The Washington Times-Herald


February 22, 2014

ISTEP only reason for extended school days

The recent decisions by the North Daviess and Washington school boards to extend the school day by one hour are, as expected, difficult.

This terrible winter has caused local schools to gauge their communities and ask difficult questions on what to do with the remaining days our children were home because of the snow and ice.

Needless to say, opinions on the matter to either go to school an extra hour, go to school on Saturdays or extend school to possibly June are emotional and across the board. What did we expect? Decisions are emotional when our children are involved.

The comments we have seen on our Facebook page, following Washington’s announcement that hours would be extended come Monday, proves that point. There is no clear answer on what is the right thing to do for local students because it depends on the age, and ability, of the students.

It will be hard to say whether the direction Washington and North Daviess is the right one, but there is only one plausible reason to extend the school day — the ISTEP.

Due to the winter delays and cancellations, teachers have felt they do not have enough time to prepare their students for these high-stakes tests.

And there’s nothing wrong with that, given the importance of these tests. Due to state mandates, these tests are the benchmarks for teacher evaluations and school grades, items that affect funding and teacher pay. There is nothing wrong with admitting this was the best, and really only, reason this decision was made.

Any other reason to extend the day is pure window dressing. The other reasons we have heard, like graduation on time and not going to school in June, are nice to hear for but are not the real reasons why students in Washington and communities in Daviess County are going to school earlier and getting out later.

Text Only
  • Learning from the examples of Jesus I was reminded again on Thursday night at our church's Maundy Thursday service about humility and obedience. As part of the traditional service, we not only take part in communion, but have a foot-washing service. On the evening before his death, Jes

    April 19, 2014

  • The past is prologue When I left Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday, I watched a lot Barr-Reeve leave depressed and disappointed. The Vikings had lost a heartbreaking Class A final and I think a lot of people were wondering how and why. I'm not sure if either question n

    April 1, 2014

  • A Viking team to remember All roads lead to where you stand. And today, the Barr-Reeve basketball team will find themselves at center court of the Class A State Finals. Whether they win or lose is now irrelevant, as their legacy has already been written. This team will be rem

    March 29, 2014

  • Those hard working worms When the word "worm" comes up in conversations, there is often a wide range of ideas as to what people think about worms. Someone may think of a worm as a creepy, crawly thing that wiggles around in the earth, that young boys used to tease young gir

    March 25, 2014

  • Long live the Big East It first started when I was a student at Indiana University in Bloomington and I didn't quite understand. Most of my friends and people I would meet while watching college basketball wondering how on earth I couldn't be a crazed Hoosier fan, despite

    March 22, 2014

  • Twigs give Leatherwood its name One of our lesser known Indiana shrubs also has a rather unusual name. This is the leatherwood. A usually short shrub, it only grows to a height of around six feet, leatherwood receives its name from the soft leather-like twigs that extend out from t

    March 18, 2014

  • 'Old-school' sharing found in different ways The concept of sharing has taken on a new meaning since I was supposed to have learned it many years ago. What we all know, or supposed to be taught, was to let others take part in your good fortunes. When we all learned about sharing, it was over ou

    March 15, 2014

  • How far was Hooterville from Walton's Mountain? I have always said that television is the one item that binds my generation together (the generation that still watches televison, talks on phone and asks people for directions instead of using one device for all three). And with that in mind, it ma

    March 8, 2014

  • Time to seed the state tournament

    The Indiana boys basketball state tournament got underway Tuesday night as the most exciting month in high school began. As the old saying goes, "In 49 other states, it's just basketball, but this is Indiana." With that in mind, the IHSAA needs to to take a long look at seeding the state tournament.

    March 7, 2014

  • The pen is mightier than the sibling GD (Grand Dad) came to town for a visit recently and before he left I heard him ask Ava if she would to write something for his newspaper back home. She said she would but I could tell by the look on her face that she didn't really want to. She was p

    March 6, 2014