Who Is Right in Fairfax Schools Contract Issue?
A coalition of Fairfax County parents groups and teachers unions are upset at what they say was little public input into an expected decision tonight by the School Board to extend the control of Jack Dale, the schools superintendent.
This is a situation in which both sides are right.
The school board in the Washington area’s largest school system has not in the past sought much public comment during this process, instead relying on what members see as concrete and measurable markers on which they can make their decision.
The areas that most concern the board are with student achievement and operations in the 169,000-student school system. And by standards set by the board, Dale deserves four more years, which he is expected to get.
The board should measure Dale on what they set forth as performance measures.
And the public deserves a chance to talk to a school board about the performance of their schools superintendent, something the board ought to consider for future contracts.
Some of the issues that Dale’s critics want to raise are worth serious discussion. One in particular that interests The Answer Sheet is the start time of school for teenagers.
A group called SLEEP http://www.sleepinfairfax.org/ has argued for years that schools should start class later for teens, whose body clocks, scientists have shown, are different than younger kids and adults. It sounds like a teenage excuse, but experts say it is true: It is hard for teenagers to go to bed early.
Superintendents serious about helping kids perform their best should reconsider the very basic notion of when kids go to school.
Stay tuned to The Answer Sheet for more on Dale--and more on sleep.
| September 10, 2009; 2:03 PM ET
Categories: Fairfax County Public Schools | Tags: Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County School Board, Jack Dale, teenagers and sleep
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