Back to Basics, Folks

How about making the school year as we know it worthwhile first?

Reporteth today's Star Tribune:

Minnesota's school superintendents urged Wednesday that the school year be extended by five weeks -- a move that would be phased in over four years. The proposal, which was intended to bolster competitiveness, also is likely to revive lots of debate.

Can we fix a few of the really basic things ailing the system first?

How about this year's shift to enormous, untenable class sizes--even in the earliest grades? (My son's elementary class, 20 kids last year, has swollen to 25 this year; too hot for teacher for sure.) How about classroom aides to help with all of those burdensome tests and paperwork? How about better hours, more before- and after-school care, and more contact with parents? How about real gifted and talented services for those who need them?

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