Updated: Jan 9
Photo by Kat J
Over 45 school districts in Arizona, around one-third of the total in the country, use a four-day week to instruct students. The reasons touted are student and staff morale and the savings to the district budgets. This most recent information was from a 2015 article by Lisa Irish written for Arizona Education News Service. The article also wrote the savings to districts averaged less than 6%.
One district, Liberty Elementary in the West Valley, claimed it will help them with "the potential to better recruit teachers in a nationwide shortage". A common mantra for four-day school weeks.
The picture above represents a young boy, a student, crying over the lost education that we as responsible adults were supposed to provide him.
From Arizona Education Forward in October 2022, "Recent data from the Arizona Personnel Administrators Association (ASPAA) shows that Arizona’s teacher shortage continues and is worsening. There were over 9,600 teaching positions open for the 2022-23 school year. After one month into the school year, ASPAA showed that almost one-third (27%) of teaching positions remain unfilled."
Less time in instruction means fewer skills. I looked up on Google "hours of practice to be a great mathematician and for being a great musician". The articles pretty much agreed. Lots of practice. Lots and lots. No matter the skill. Taking away from school instructional time does not help the chances for Arizona's public and charter schools to improve the state's abysmal test scores. For example, in 2022, for Grade 8: ELA 36%/Math 27%. Around one-third of the eighth grades students in Arizona are not meeting state expectations after nine years of education. It is not the student's fault that after nine years of attending school, they are not meeting minimal expectations.
The four-day school week has not solved the teacher crisis in Arizona.
Providing less instructional time has not increased extremely low skills needed for a firm future for our Arizona students.
Here at Maricopa Christian Academy we are committed to a five-day school week. It is one of many reasons our students excel in reading, math, and writing. That and daily individualized goals and instruction, prayer and a very experienced teacher.