The 4-Day Work Week

Nov 27, 2018 by

They are few and far between, but among the heaps of ridiculous education-related “innovations” that are opportunistically infecting school systems throughout the nation, there is one that is totally out of contention in New York City:  the 4-day school week.

What could possibly be the sense of chopping off a day from the academic week?  It defies even pseudo-logic. The number and complexity of skills demanded by the job market and the exponentially expanding universe of knowledge should, if anything, make every hour of every day more intense and objective-driven.

But overshadowing all that is that school systems want to save money on bus service, heating bills and staff salaries. A smorgasbord of inane priorities take precedence over the advancement of generational intelligence. No power on earth can interfere successfully with the seamless implementation of nonsensical ideas of “education.”

Truncating the normal school week would necessitate the expansion of each remaining day. That preposterous notion can only be asserted by an outsider with no clue about the psychic energy patterns of students and teachers. 

Classroom teaching and learning is more concentrated than almost any other activity associated with other professions.

Those extra hours would be spent  with minimal brain activity collectively  watching the clock until dismissal.  It’s yet another recurring instance of policy-makers having to come up with some novelty to justify their existence.

The proposal of a four-day week has an ominous overtone. It would involve slashing extracurricular programs and wrap-around services on which so many students’ families depend.  Community programs must be operational more, not less. An academic sabbath is not only an intellectual deprivation, but would be a logistical nightmare and financial sacrifice for working parents seeking child care.

The 4-day folly has not taken root in the Northeast, but is spreading west of the Rockies, especially in states like New Mexico and Colorado, where more than half the school districts are on board with the idea, or at least have not dismissed it.

They claim it results in less student absenteeism and that staff often come to work even on unpaid days anyway.

Willingness to work without pay undermines the profession and is not proof , or even a hint,of superior dedication. There is altogether too much uncompensated volunteerism going on as is, particularly when it is driven by a crass suck-up play to please the boss..  Helping students in extraordinary need is another matter entirely.

If a case can be made, based on objective research, that a 4-day is conducive to meeting learning goals, then it might be worth  an experiment, as long as wages were undiminished.  But it should not be just another ruse, ploy and gimmick such as are endemic in the industry of educratism.

With all the clashes, controversies and conflicts that embroil us in New York, at least our education houses in Albany and City Hall is comparatively in good order.
Ron Isaac

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.