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Mixed Reaction in Miami to Suggestion of Post Labor Day Start - KOAM TV 7

Mixed Reaction in Miami to Suggestion of Post Labor Day Start

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MIAMI, OKLAHOMA -

Oklahoma lawmakers are exploring the idea of mandating a later start to school to cut energy costs.
But while district administrators and teachers oppose the idea, some citizens like it. ?

 “Forty-five divided by nine is five. Does everybody agree? Thumbs up or thumbs down," questioned Linda Brown, a third grade teacher in Miami schools.  
Students worked math problems Tuesday with air conditioning cooling their classroom.
State lawmakers are studying whether  starting school after Labor Day, in September would save energy costs.


Parent Corbett Taylor was ok with a later start  "If it saves money then  sure, I’m for it. But  if not, I don’t really see what it would matter."

A  Miami school calendar committee  member said starting in September would likely just mean shifting days to June, when it also gets hot.
Kaci Hoffer explained,"We're still going to have our air conditioners on  all the way up until October. The longer we go into the summer,  we have to have air conditioners on. So, I think it’s a moot point."

 The district superintendent said setting a calendar includes a multitude of factors. Jeremy Hogan elaborated, “Trying to allow our families time to get their vacations  in over the summer, have Thanksgiving break, Christmas breaks, things of that nature.  They can spend time with family. But also maximizing our  instructional time and allowing us to get more instructional time before the testing window."

 

Teachers said students have multiple standards to learn in math  before state testing and it’s better to have time at the beginning of the school year.

Brown explained,  "I’m not really for it for a couple reasons. One, they lose so much over the summer, you play,  a lot of the first months  of school is basically  review  and trying to get them caught up to where they ended in the spring"

Brown said state assessments  are high stakes and third  graders must pass to move to fourth grade.


 But citizens we talked with disagree that testing should affect the calendar.
Corbett Taylor said, "I don’t think testing should be the basis of anything.
I think that teachers are taught to teach kids to test. I don’t think that testing is what they need to learn. I think they need to learn actual things they need to deal with life."
 

Ruth Floyd, a Wilson Elementary grandparent said, "It should  be a measure of what they've learned over the years,  instead of what they've just learned or you’ve got to learn for this test."

Pat Bridgewater, a retired Oklahoma teacher said, “We started  school after Labor Day and finished before Memorial Day. We did not have four days weeks. We did five day weeks. We still had testing but testing  was not given the over-emphasis it’s given today. Personally, I think it’s time to go back to teaching and forget about testing."

The superintendent said when to start the academic year should remain a community decision and  not become a state mandate.
Hogan said,  "I love local control cause what works for Miami public  schools is different for Oklahoma City."

Superintendent Hogan said the late start has been discussed before but didn’t gain traction.
          He said if the district's calendar committee proposed it, the board would have to consider it.


 

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