Here’s how to improve student and teacher morale in public schools:
1) Abolish ADEPT. Evaluate teachers in a more humane way, and quickly. Do not take licenses away. Teachers should have a second chance.
2) Restore recess - 15 minutes during morning and 45 minutes after lunch.
3) Shorten the school day by one hour, as before 1995.
4) Forbid serving breakfast in the classroom. After breakfast in the cafeteria, children should play outside until 8:10 a.m.
5) Reinstate optional kindergarten naps. Children who do not need naps can read quietly.
6) Test during the first week of school and once during the last two weeks of school. All other testing should be teacher-selected.
7) Teacher selects 100 days of instruction from list of standards, thus moving at the student's interest level and ability. Teachers should have the freedom to use the expertise they were taught in four years of college. All standards do not have to be covered. Children can Google it.
8) Curricula should be made developmentally- and age-appropriate.
9) Put a bus driver on the playground all day long as a monitor. Children with attention problems should be given a 25-minute pass to the playground.
10) Pills will not be allowed unless for real problems, such as deprivation of oxygen at birth or obsessive compulsory disorder. The mountain of pill boxes will be dismantled.
11) Teach keyboarding in fourth grade. Do not allow children to hunt and peck in early grades on the computers. By fourth grade, the child's hand are large enough to keyboard.
12) Teach manuscript in kindergarten and first grade. Teach the child to hold the pencil correctly.
13) Teach cursive in second and third grade. Cursive is a social skill and is faster.
14) Have superintendents collaborate instead of competing; abolish monetary awards.
15) Have all superintendents publish a mental health report giving the number of students with mental health problems and what kinds of problems.
The writer lives in Conway.