The Cobb County School Board (our local school system) has voted to end the balanced school year model it followed last year and go back to the longer summer, no fall/winter break model.
Why did they vote to make the change?
Was it because students were performing poorly? Nope. A balanced school year improves learning retention and decreases the need for extensive review periods.
Was it because students were feeling burned due to the shorter summer break? Nope. The balanced calendar provided much more frequent breaks, approximately every 6-8 weeks and broke up the educational time into two relatively equal semesters.
Was it because parents didn’t like the balanced calendar? Nope. A poll sent to all Cobb parents found that over 70% voted in favor of the earlier “balanced calendar” start date.
Was it because teachers didn’t like the balanced calendar? Nope. 84% of Cobb teachers preferred the balanced calendar.
Was it because of overwhelming public outcry against the balanced calendar? Nope. School board members reported a flood of emails about the issue, with 2-2.5 times as many emails in favor of keeping the balanced calendar.
No, one of the main deciding factors of going back to the traditional long summer school year is apparently that a local water park lost business.
Priorities, folks. It’s all about priorities.