As a teacher with 27 years experience, and a parent of three children myself, I find so much wrong with the mindset behind this post: The assumption that work trumps what’s best for kids (schools should keep sick kids at school because it’s inconvenient for parents to pick them up — seriously?!), the complete ignorance of how schools function, what teachers need to teach well, and the financial and structural hurdles behind lengthening the day or year. Here’s the real question we should be asking: What happened in our society that made it “necessary” or even desirable for two parents (and in my school district two parent households are the exception) to hold down full time jobs? Our country generates more per-capita wealth than any time in history, yet less is going to the “middle class. What’s needed is wage reform, a return to unions and workers rights, and a minimum wage that guarantees a full-time worker isn’t living in poverty.
The problem isn’t with school schedules, it’s with a culture that accepts — promotes — the idea that we can and should have it all. Career, happy successful kids, 4000 square foot house, 3-car garage… Raising kids is hard work. Don’t make it someone else’s job.