What About This? By Wayne William Cipriano

Hearing how some smaller school districts, where school administrators, faculty, and staff and their families comprise a large, actively voting political bloc, have adopted the Four-Day School Week Plan, I have given a lot of thought to improving upon that idea. I’ve come up with an even better one, which I call the Cipriano No-Day School Week Plan.

Now, before you reject such a forward-looking plan out of hand, let’s give it a fair hearing. With a No-Day School Week, you automatically get a No-Day School Year, and therefore no more schools at all. And with no more schools, we get no more school construction, no more school renovation, no more school maintenance, no more buses, no more utility bills, no more security, no more custodians, no more lunchrooms, no more cooks, indeed, no more staff at all.

We will, of course, have to continue to pay property taxes (hopefully at a reduced rate) to cover administration and faculty salaries and support football and basketball programs without which my No-Day School Plan will fail.

There are only two main objections to the plan. The most powerful one is the lack of 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. detention of children while parents work, but I have an easy fix for that. Teachers and administrators being fully paid with a lot of free time on their hands can open private daycare centers for all the kids out of school now roaming the streets or roaming the Internet free to “explore the limits of their potential.” We could call these places something descriptive like, for example, “schools.”

The second objection, far less important, is the lack of education for our youngsters. But, let’s look at that for a moment. How much “education” do our students really get from school that they could not get with much less inconvenience and pressure by using social media and the Internet, TV dramas, radio talk shows, movies, and occasionally cruising the square?

I’ve heard we have tests in school. I assume achievement tests, administered to assess, I assume, how well our students are learning which reflects how well they are being taught. But of what value are these tests given in one school year when the results are not made public until well into the next year?

Not in the June following the tests, not July, not August…not December, not January, but at least eight months after the tests were given, and that’s if the tests were given on the last day of school. Since we don’t care what or even if our students are learning, why are we so wedded to a school week of any specific length or a school year for that matter?

If we adopt the No-Day School Week, how much education will we really lose? Well, recall that when we do get the results of those tests back, we discover that our schools fall solidly in the average category that is produced and statistically dominated by evaluating other, much larger, and often urban school systems. Systems that often suffer from the problems of drugs, gangs, rapes, wholesale truancy, general violence, and so many other negative experiences that plague such schools.

Ava schools, our schools, do not suffer from these monumental problems, and yet we are not at the far, positive end of the educational bell curve. We are right in the middle with all those far less peaceful and supposedly less effective schools. Consider what percentage of this year’s graduating class, or last year’s, or the last ten year’s classes that went on to reputable academic institutions and left those institutions with real professional credentials – psychologists, architects, accountants, medical doctors, lawyers, mathematicians, and the like. You know, real professionals.

Now, in your heart of hearts, decide how many that did go on to do so would have reached those professional levels had they attended no public school, but relied upon their innate individual attributes and helped by intensive home pressure and private academies.

Where, many will ask, will our future professionals come from if we are producing so few right now and may produce even fewer? From engineers to physicists, where will our country get our necessary professionals? Simple. We will just continue on the track we are already following. China, India, Pakistan, Canada, Hong Kong, and so on will provide all the professional power we’ll need as long as we make it financially attractive. And we will, since we’ll save so much divesting ourselves of educational expenses overall.

Whatever professional shortfall we’ll experience will be made up by those parents dead set, for some reason, against my No-Day School Week Plan who send their kids to private schools, or, if all else fails, home school them.

Since my space is limited, and I know I am speaking to intelligent people, I’ll not bore you with all the other reasons the Cipriano No-Day School Week benefits us all. Ask any public school student and they will go through the list for you.

If we adopt my plan, we won’t have to go to all the trouble of convincing our fellow citizens to gradually reduce the school year, now down to 168 days, I believe, to fewer and fewer days. My No-Day School Week automatically translates into a No-Day School Year! A No-Day School Year means no schools. And, as a retired public school teacher pointed out immediately upon hearing of my plan, no schools means no more school shootings. It’s pretty much perfect!

I realize that many believe citizens must be acclimated slowly and gently to the idea of a No-Day School Week by proceeding from a Five-Day Week to a Four-Day Week and so on while quietly reducing the number of school days mandated for a “full” school year – which will unfortunately require working closely with and spreading a lot of cash around the State. But I think the best way to remove a bandage from a wound is not to slowly and painfully drag it off the wound millimeter by millimeter, but to rip it off quickly and be done with it. Likewise, adopting a No-Day School Week and thus a No-Day School Year all at once, regardless of all the repercussions, will encounter all the resistance (social, legal, cultural, etc) that merely reducing the school week from five days to four will have to weather. If we do it all, right now, bite the bullet, once and for all, we will have an accomplished procedure set in concrete and you know a decision once made like that is impossible to change.

A No-Day School Week and a No-Day School Year, as long as property taxes continue to be collected to pay school salaries, will experience no push back from administrators and faculty and be met with wild enthusiasm from students. Only a very few twisted citizens and some overly-involved, trouble-making parents will object to the Cipriano No-Day School Week Plan. And, after all, who really cares about them anyway?

What do we want? No-Day School Week!

When do we want it? Now!