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Valley Perspective

Year-Round Calendar

February 04, 2001

Re "Overcrowding Challenges Mini-Districts to Fulfill Their Mandate," Jan. 21.

Year-round tracking calendars are administrative schemes bent on housing students. They have no other purpose. Certainly, year-round tracking calendars have nothing to do with better education and, as [Maureen] Foster points out, it could be argued that tracking works against better education.

Tracking calendars are an admission of failure on the part of a school district's administrative team to plan ahead--they failed to accurately project increased enrollment needs, they failed to adequately expand facilities to meet that projected enrollment and when existing facilities became severely impacted, they failed to build new schools.

Gov. Gray Davis has proposed lengthening the middle school calendar year 30 days, from 180 days to 210 days. Immediately, district administrators began scheming to find ways to reduce that time to minutes so that those 30 days could be incorporated into their district's adopted year-round tracking schemes, thus qualifying their districts for additional state implementation funds.

I say no dice. Only school districts that actually adopt 210-day school calendar years, not the equivalent of 210 days through deceptive tracking calendars, should qualify for state implementation funds.

Back to basics in education also means back to traditional school calendars.

DARWIN M. OCHS

Lancaster

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