Monday, April 28, 2008

Week 29 Senator Michel asks for your ideas!

Have any of you ever visited the Minnesota State Capitol in Saint Paul? If you do, you might see Lexie’s father, State Senator Geoff Michel who represents Edina and West Bloomington. This week we have asked him to blog with us about an issue at the state capitol that affects schools and kids:

Hello Normandale! I hope you can help me. An issue that will be getting a lot of attention at the Capitol over the next few years is whether we should require more days in school - a longer school year - for Minnesota children. Currently, schools in Minnesota average 170 days per school year. The average in other states across the country is 180 days a year in class (that is two weeks more). Other countries, like China, have school years that are more than 200 days long! If you were a Minnesota State Senator how would you vote?

I appreciate your thoughts about this important topic. I will take them into consideration as I make my own choice. Your opinion counts!

Here are some pros and cons to consider before you cast your vote and state your reasons for your vote:

PROS (in favor of more days in school): If we want Minnesota kids to be the smartest in the world we need more time in the classroom. We are falling behind other states and countries and could learn more with more time in the classroom. Minnesota teachers are great and we could accomplish more and learn more if we spend more time with them. We could add more days without shortening summer vacation if we had fewer days off in the middle of the year.

CONS (against more days in school): The school year is already long enough.Vacations and time off from school is important for kids and families too.Minnesota schools are more productive than other states and countries and we do not need as much time in the classroom. More days in school would cost more money - we have a deficit right now because the economy is in recession and should spend our money on other priorities.

How would you vote and why?

Write a topic sentence stating your opinion. Then write a "tabletop" sentence explaining one reason for your vote. Add two specific examples or details ("legs") to support your reason.

As always, be sure to 1) write and save your comment in a word processing program first, 2) revise your work to be specific and clear, 3) correct any errors in spelling, punctuation, and capitalization, 4) cut and paste your writing into the comment box on the blog, 5) add your first name and code before publishing your comment.


Anonymous said...

My anser is yes, but at the same time no. I think in thous extra tow weeks, the school shoul be 1/2 day. I think so because that way it’s like a comprimis. Kids would be there for 3 1/2 houers, in stead of 7. This way the kids could have a little more time in the class room, but not miss much of the day that they could be outside, or with there famliys. Cristiana SW#12

Anonymous said...

I think there should not be more school in Minnesota because. In the letter Lexies dad wrote mentions that our state is a state that has 170 days in school well other states schools have 180 day. That causes them to be a little smarter than us each year but that’s okay because older kids need time to relax and not have to do homework imagine if we were piled down with homework 5 grade already gets homework every day. Maybe instead of shortening summer vacation shorten holiday braces like Easter or thanksgiving.

Patsicia 13 Sw

Anonymous said...

I think we should have a longer school year so I’m a PRO. This way we could learn more and have a better education. If we learned the subjects more we would get better grades. For the summer we would have 1 week of school and have 2 weeks off. This would mean we would have around 190 days in the school year, which is a decent amount, and we would only be 10 days off from China. Thanks for reading my opinion.

Kevin Cash Sw6

Anonymous said...

We should not have more days of school. We have enough days of school already. Kids need to spend more time with their family. We learn different things out side the class room. Because they go on vacations .

Garrett SW#23

Anonymous said...

Dear Senator Michel,
I don't think that there should be more school days because during the summer you are able to get more exercise and you also get to spend a lot of time with your family. If you had 200 days of school you would feel more careless about school work because it is such a long time to be in school. Maybe instead we could add another 30 minutes to the school day. So kiddies at Normandale would start at 8:05 and end at 3:05. Where do you get the money to pay the teachers and the TT's, ect.? Thank's for letting us help you decide.

From: Patrick SW #VII

Anonymous said...

I think that we should stick to the normal school year because it is important to have quality time with your family. It is important to exercise so that kids can concentrate better while they are at school. I also think it is important to spend time learning how to ride a bike or go to the pool and learn how to swim. Exploring in the neighborhood and having fun with other children is also educational.


Anonymous said...

I think that it would be horribel to have a even longer school year!!!!!!!!!
Because if we have a longer school year we will have more time that we have to sit down and pay more attenchin for longer and less time to run around and play. An other reason is if you have pets you will get less time with you and they will miss you more.
An other reason is you will have less time to be with famile and friends.
Also if you have little brothers or sisters they will have less time with you and less time for you to teach them fun stuff like how to ride a bike.

Sarah sw2

Anonymous said...

Dear Senator Michel:

I think students should have more school days per year because I like school. I like to learn new subjects and find out what I really enjoy. I will become smarter and be able to go to a good college and get a better job in the future.
Maria J4#5

Anonymous said...

My answer is no because I think kids should be outside more and not in a overheated class room packed with kids. If we did I think we sould do some of our classes outside.


Anonymous said...

I think we shouldn't have 10 more days of our school year because thats just taking away 10 days of our fun summer activities.drew #17 j

Anonymous said...

No more school for me. It is also important to spend time with your family, you learn a lot because you are experiencing activities rather than reading about them. Kids need to move. Our college entrance tests are in the top five, how are we behind other states? I think we already have enough school days, Senator.

Thomas j21

Anonymous said...

No. One reason I think it’s bad to extend school is health. It’s not good for your brains. Another reason I think we should not extend school is your brain needs exercise there’s proof. One other reason I think school should not be longer is, if you put yourself in my shoes, first if you think that kids hate school I’m not one of them. (Math, science and reading are my favorite subjects). Your brain was made to live then die but not to sit in a chair for an hour. (If I don’t win this thing you would have to do some class breaks to stretch.) It knows it sounds stupid but it’s for our own good. In every class some one goofs off. j25#

Anonymous said...

My opinion is that the total amount of school days should remain the same as they are now. If kids had to go to school during the summer I think it would be harder for teachers to motivate them to do good work. After a summer break of spending time outside and doing things with your family and friends, kids are ready to head back to school for something new. If the school year were extended by taking away days from breaks for holidays, kids would not be as *rejuvenated by the time away from school. Possibly the teachers might not like the amount of time they have to teach too and would not be fun to be in a class with!
Ellie J26

Anonymous said...

I believe we should not have more days in school. A longer school year costs the tax payers more money which they can not afford right now because gas prices are so high and companies are having to downsize. Gas prices right now are the highest ever so it costs more money to ship stuff and so it costs more money to buy stuff. The companies are forced to fire people because they don’t have any money to pay them. Therefore we should not have more days of school because it costs more money.

Ben f

Anonymous said...

Dear Senator Michel,
I don't really think that there should be more school days at Normandale , because in the summer I am able to get LOTS of exercise, and I also get to spend a whole lot of time with my family. If I had 200 days of school, I might feel more stressed about home work because it is such a long day in school. Maybe instead you could add another 30 minutes to the school day. So classes at Normandale could start at 8:05, and we wouldvgo on the bus at 3:05. Thank you for letting me help you decide.
Andy J16

Anonymous said...

There shouldn’t be more days of school because vacations are important because people need to rest and need to spend time with there familys. Having more school would take them away. Also, it would take up money that is needed for more important things, like taking care of the parks and streets. And what’s the big deal about having the smartest school in the state? So that’s why I think there shouldn’t be more days of school. Ellie B.J3