Tuesday, December 10, 2013
By Frank Burtnett of Rockport, author of education guidebooks
I have read the calls for the grade 13 proposal supported by Gov. Paul LePage and believe it may be a good idea, but not for the reasons cited by Gov. LePage and other proponents (Our View, "Fifth high school year good plan for Maine," June 13).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frank Burtnett of Rockport is author of the "Bound-for-College Guidebook" and "Bound-for-Career Guidebook."
Like many other proposals, this one is also misguided. Before the public schools add time at their desk for students to make them career- and college-ready, they need to do some serious soul searching about how effectively they are using the 12-plus years that they already have to work with.
One only need to look to international educational models and you'll see that learning effectiveness is not measured in how long you study, but rather in the techniques and tools that are used during the prescribed time. Excellent teachers using effective strategies are where Gov. LePage and the educational system should be pointing.
If Maine schools move in the direction of grade 13, it should be to enhance and add to the curriculum, not fix what they haven't been able to accomplish.