January 25, 2011
?Bone-chilling cold? was how the AP reported it. But I didn't read that report until just now?yesterday I was too busy trying to unfreeze frozen pipes (according my LL Bean indoor/outdoor digital thermometer it was ten degrees BELOW zero outside) and listening to the car's starter go, aaah-ah aaaah-ah aaa-ah ah thlllltttttllltttl. My plumber said, ?Make a mental note: if it's below zero, turn up the heat.?? Thanks.? Then the email from the school superintendent?thank God the Internet doesn't work with water?saying we used our last snow day.? And we haven't even hit February yet.
Okay, if we can't move all schools into the temperate belt (that is somewhere near the beltway, though I know what happens to D.C. when it snows?try to find a cab), what do we do?
Jamie covered the territory pretty well in December.? Writing about new Ohio Governor John Kasich wanting more ?calamity days? (is that really what they call them in Ohio?) in the school calendar (from 3 to 5), she quotes outgoing governor Ted Strickland (who had wanted to extend the school year by 20 days!) who said that if ?the state pays for a day of instruction for a student, the student should get a day of instruction.?
That's the Ed Rendel spirit (see here).
As Jamie wrote,
The Cincinnati Enquirer has it right in making the case for ways to make up lost instructional time, either by emulating nearby states (Kentucky, Indiana?both of which have a longer school year) in requiring students to go longer in the school year or cutting into spring break, or by taking a cue from one Ohio district using online learning when bad weather hits.
But I don't know. Do we really want to take the serendipity out of school? As a kid, I would never wake up earlier?and without prompting?than when snow was in the forecast and I would peak out the window, into the dark, to see if?oh, please, oh please!?the ground was white. Snow Day!!! Now that I'm an adult, I still wake up early, and peak, but I now shout,?Calamity Day!!!
?Peter Meyer, Bernard Lee Schwartz Policy Fellow