In a letter to the Fairfax Times, Ed Linz says, “Here in northern Virginia where I taught for 25 years, most high school students are now receiving over 10 percent less classroom instruction on new material than just 10 years ago.”
What can be done? First there must be an awareness of what has taken place. Then school systems must be forced by parents and taxpayers to make some hard choices: either cut out remediation during the school day along with these new “socially-driven” areas of instruction, or, more preferably, increase the length of the school day to allow additional time for this larger menu of instruction. I have proposed a plan to increase the length of the high school day, with no increase in costs, to the Fairfax County School Board and was met with deafening silence.
I posted some comments about the relationship between the lengths of the school days in high schools and elementary schools. “I agree that Fairfax needs to focus on time,” I said. “A good first step would be providing full-day Mondays in the elementary schools.”