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Poor kids banned from school carnival: Why did school hold carnival during class time anyway?

May 26, 2015

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

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My objection is: Why did the school administrators stage the carnival on a school day? Shouldn’t public schools be using school hours paid for by taxpayers to actually teach kids something? The answer to that question looks pretty obvious: The purpose of the carnival, organized by a parents’ association, was to raise funds for the school–and there’s no audience so captive as a bunch of children who are obliged by law to be at the school anyway most weekdays. The carnival, which cost $6,200 to operate, including hiring the services of a professional carnival company, netted a $2,000 to $3,000 profit for the school. The practice of using school days for anything but school is widespread in the public-education system. Here In D.C. schools are regularly closed for full days and half-days for such non-instructional events as “parent-teacher conferences” and “professional development.” I always wonder: If teachers are supposed to be the professionals they claim they are (which is why they’re constantly claiming they’re underpaid), shouldn’t they be developing themselves professionally on their own time, the way other professionals do? And how many parents, most of whom undoubtedly work or have other responsibilities, take time off during the day to travel to a school to talk to a teacher unless their kid is in serious trouble? Parent-teacher conference days for teachers sound like “office hours” for college professors: Time for catching up on your paperwork in an otherwise empty room.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

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One Comment
  1. Matthew Chiglinsky permalink

    The whole day?

    When I went to Catholic school as a kid, the most non-educational thing we did was have a “field day” once a year near the end of the school cycle, but it involved competing in physical events so it at least taught kids the importance of physical fitness.

    The second most non-educational things were “field trips”, but at least we got to tour historical sites like Valley Forge, where I learned that a long time ago it sucked to survive through the Winter in a log cabin.

    But a carnival is just sitting on a lazy ride. There’s no education in that.

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