More time for teachers to teach is a good idea
The Carson City School District board’s decision on Tuesday to cut the number of early-release days from 15 to eight is something everyone should be pleased with.
Parents who work during the day no longer have to make as many accommodations as they once did to find care for their children during those afternoons. Instead of watching cartoons, students will be in the classroom.
The district as a whole, which is trying to meet requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, will have a better chance of preparing students to pass the tests used for evaluation. Few would doubt that more is being asked of teachers and students than ever before, and taking that much time away from teaching was ill-advised to begin with.
Professional-development opportunities are required by state law. That’s a good idea. Teachers, and all professionals for that matter, should be given opportunities to improve their skills. But the school board went overboard last year when it approved the 15 days, especially without getting direction from teachers.
The training days themselves apparently weren’t that effective to begin with, at least according to some teachers who participated and gave their thoughts in a survey mentioned at Tuesday’s meeting by Richard Stokes, the district’s associate superintendent of human resources.
“I would say in general that they wanted to have more input as to the content of those days,” Stokes said at the meeting.
In light of that, we hope school officials will listen closely to teachers about what kind of training they need to be more effective in the classroom. If they do that, it seems like they can accomplish at least as much in half the time.