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Less movies, more learning

Posted: June 15, 2010 8:01 p.m.
Updated: June 16, 2010 4:55 a.m.

The 2009-10 school year will be remembered as the year of budget cuts and impending teacher layoffs. For my daughter, it will be remembered as the year that her middle-school graduation was canceled. With so many great educators losing their jobs, it seems petty to complain, so I won't.

I will complain, however, about the circumstances under which graduation ceremonies were canceled. During a phone call in April, the principal informed eighth-grade students and parents that there would be no graduation due to budget cuts. So far, he had my support.

He proceeded to say that the cancellation would be beneficial to students, as they would be able to spend more time in the classroom rather than practicing graduation. Seriously?

At the beginning of the school year, I started a list of nonacademic movies that my daughter watched while at school. I was astonished to find that she spent 22 hours and 26 minutes watching movies such as "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel," "The Princess and the Frog," "Tooth Fairy" and "Paul Blart: Mall Cop," to name a few.

A school day is approximately six hours long. How about we cut out the movies? We could shorten the school year by 22 hours and 26 minutes and might be able to afford graduation. Or we could spend more time teaching and, dare I say, learn more.



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