Grading The Four-Day School Week: The Impacts On Budgets, Education And More
Support for on point and the following message come from legalzoom. Legalzoom used by more than four million people for a variety of services from wills and trusts to LLC's and trademarks. More information is available at legalzoom dot com slash point. From NPR WB. You are Boston. I'm magnetized GRA birdie. And this is on point. There are many great ideas for how to best educate American kids in the twenty first century longer school days. Maybe more stem classes student lead learning closing the achievement gap. Invent intervention starting from birth. You name it will what about cutting the school week, down to four days that is happening in more than five hundred districts in twenty five states across the country, the cuts come due to financial pressures, but they're also seen as a way to recruit, and retain great teachers so more districts could follow what affect, though is that having our families and student learning. So this hour on point the four day school week, and you can join us do you live in a district. That's moved to the four day school week. Do you wish you did live in one? What impact is it having is it making your life easier or harder? And ours students learning as much join us anytime at all point radio dot org or. Under and Facebook at on point radio will join us today from Brighton. Colorado is Chris fiddler. He's the superintendent of Colorado's twenty seven j school district just north of Denver. And he just wrapped up the first school year in the twenty-seven day district with a four day week superintendent fiddler, welcome to on point. I think you read me see you've got eighteen thousand students there in your district. Is that right? We do just uh slightly more than that. But I eighteen thousand five hundred pre K through twelve okay. So pretty large district then what was the impetus to moving to a four day school week? Well, there's always, there's always context to two decisions like this. So we have were very fast growing school district in the year, two thousand we had about five thousand students. So we've, we're very quickly going to reach the point where we've quite quadrupled since that time, we expect left twenty thousand students in the next twenty four to thirty six months with that growth comes in eat for additional schools. And we have was looking at this morning before I got on air with you, we've been in front of the voters, fifteen different times since the year two thousand for either of you, override elections, or bond elections and communities been very. Very generous in terms of passing bond elections forced to build new buildings. We've had eight different bond questions out before the voters. We passed a half of those most recently in two thousand fifteen in the same time period, we've been on the ballot for of override elections, and those are operating expenses and those types of things eight different times as well. Most recently in two thousand fifteen twenty seventeen excuse me, and we fail the last six times. So we have the unenviable does nation of being the lowest funded school this never metro area and we're just trying to play our hand and, and the best way that we can in terms of serving our kids. So we once we failed in two thousand seventeen on that six mil of you'll write election. We've really chased society of a four day, it's not unique to Colorado and other western states, as you may know, we really chased it for the purpose of attracting retaining and then developing quality adults to work with our kids in. They make the difference quickly just to be clear on something. So the last six. Times that voters were asked to pass an override essentially to help fund the operating costs of, of the district, which is verging on being four times as large as it was in the early two thousands. Those votes haven't come through so you're, so you're saying that there's a major budget crunch here. Well, we, we have to live within our budget. What I would suggest to you is, we have far fewer resources financially to work within our that our Denver metro Pierce. Yeah. And so the four day school week is designed to. To address that. But also, as you were saying, retain, and attract great teachers how how's it doing that? We've been really pleased because we're going so quickly. We hired over two hundred teachers last this last spring for this current school year we were moving into the four day, and we had wonderful results in terms of the number of applicants over nursing and coming join us, and we saw that again, this spring, we expect, we'll be near somewhere between two hundred and fifty and three hundred new new teachers for this coming fall, we've been really pleased with the number of applicants, you know, where we would maybe previously have forty to fifty element of applicants. We've had as many as over one hundred for each position and the hard to fill positions, special education, secondary map, those types of things we've been really excited if we had four or five to choose from, and we've had applicant pools in the twenty five to thirty range, and it's really, really been helpful. We also have seen that much more more mature applicant pool. In terms of not just the brand new teachers coming out of college looking for that first job. We've actually seen teachers from neighboring districts, come to us, specifically for the four day week. And we think it's been a huge tool in helping us be competitive are beginning teachers salaries last in the metro area. Our average teacher salaries last, and it's just gives us an opportunity to be little bit different and restructure time in a way that we think works best for, for teachers, so the teachers are getting paid fulltime, but don't have to work on that fifth day. Well, they're paid fulltime so for clarity. They work the same number of hours on the four day week that they did previously on the five day. So there, there's not a reduction in the amount of hours, they're working, and for clarity to because people often assume that there's less time with the kids, the number of instructional hours for students at the same on the four day week is they were with the five is a little bit longer day. So we're just restructuring time in a way that we think works better given our circumstances. So, yeah, they're they're still working to same number of hours. They're not working not being paid the same working less working the same number of hours. And there's the state mandated number of hours of students have to have instructional time that hasn't changed. It's just those longer four days. Correct. Okay. All right. So, so what about the question of how students learn? I mean, does there does seem to be, there's not that much research out there? We'll talk a little bit about it, but, but as it's been it's only been going going on for a year. Is there concern that kids aren't getting the same kind of education? They might get over five days, even though they're in school longer for four days. Now. Absurd. Expensive dispensary asked our world view is we don't think time is the is the most important factor in a child's education. We think that the adults that worked at them are so that the quality of the teacher and the quality adults that our kids are around matter, most, we know that the research suggests that if there's very little evidence that demonstrates the amount of time that a student spends, unless it's drastically different again. This is the same amount of time. But how you portion that how there's to my knowledge, little to no research that suggests that time is the determining factor in anyone who's ever had a poor teacher or poor coach knows that more time with that poor teacher. Porco says not gonna make you learn more become a better, whatever it is. You're trying to be if that makes any sense, makes perfect sense. I mean, great teachers are the heart of, of a strong public education system. You know, if if you get as much out of four days as you do out of five granted those longer four days, but it does make you wonder about the efficacy of anything. That's happening in a school. Maybe wanna rethink that education as a whole. But Chris fiddler STAN here, stand by here for just a second, because this is absolutely fascinating. Chris fiddler is the superintendent of the twenty-seven j school district in Colorado. The first district in the Denver metro area to move to a four day school week, I want to now bring in Paul Hill joins us from Seattle Washington, he's the founder of the center on reinventing education, and he's a research, professor at the university of Washington, both bell, Paul Hill. Welcome to you. Thank you. Okay. So tell us first of all, we, we'll get into the nitty gritty of how a four day school week works, but does it have an impact positive or negative on, on student learning? I think it's fair to say, we don't know the you can see arguments on either side there are there arguments about whether teachers and students get fatigue in whether the kids can learn in a ninety day ninety minute longer day as much as, as they did in the other part of the day, and teachers are as effective, and there's concern about little kids about whether their fatigue is, is really much more serious than that of older kids and might fall off, so that the extra time might not benefit them. But on the other side, there are schools that have been designed from scratch to go more than four days to go only four days, and they are generally considered pretty effective, what sets them apart from normal practices that they usually are schools, with fairly educationally savvy, parents, and with lots of homework and lots of enrichment so that the fifth day for the child is definitely not a day off. It's a day of learning in another way. So I can't say that a given district is that goes for day was will have a problem, but I think the problems we'll show up if there are any with younger kids and also with kids in disadvantaged areas, particularly in rural areas where there may be migrant groups that live outside of town, and the kids really aren't loose ends on the fifth day. So there's a lot more to be learned in, and we have almost no evidence on it and the evidence we have on it as mixed. Okay. So Chris fiddler let me to come back ki tells more about about the twenty-seven j school district. I mean, the socioeconomic profile of it, and what, what the kids are doing in the in their day off now. Sure. So the demographics we are the majority of our students are students of color. So about fifty three fifty four percent of our students are students of color in then somewhere between thirty five and thirty six percent free reduced lunch. We're we're Denver metro of school district. So we serve core Brighton, which, which is where a district headquarters in is located in and then we serve the eastern portion of the city of Thornton, and then what they refer to as the northern range of commerce city, all three of those cities are growing tremendously. I mean to the point is we, we had eight hundred fifty two new kids last year. We're expecting another seven hundred or so for the following year and really ruin that seven hundred eight hundred students enrollment increase really from now till twenty thirty we, we surround different national airport. So we're Twitter, fourteen square miles, and there's a big hole in our district were DA's located. We used to if you're familiar with Colorado, we used to think we'd never build the school on the east side of interstate. Her state seventy six and you should learn never to say, never because those developments are coming in. I think eventually they will circle DIA, but he had in terms of the context know when you talk about us being lower funded so in fiscal year nineteen this current school year, our total funding per pupil. When you think about the school finance act in our one loan, Levy override, which has passed in two thousand for three quarters million dollars into question about forty dollars. Student words seven thousand eight hundred eighty one dollars per student in if I go to the far end of this and for the most extreme Sheridan school district is a twelve thousand three hundred seventy six dollars Denver's at eleven thousand to nineteen boulder at ten thousand three forty five. So it's not like it's just pennies on the dollar. That gap is really, you know, in some cases, almost it is three thousand dollars or more in several almost two thousand dollars. Christie's, I just gotta take a quick break here. So hang hang on here for a moment, because and you laying out this numbers, I keep hearing that this is a decision. That's. Not made out of a spirit of improving education, but dealing with budgetary concerns. So we are talking about the fact that twenty five states across the country allow or have district set of moved to a four day school week. And we want to know what you think about that. But we back this is on point. Support for on point and the following message come from legalzoom with their network of independent attorneys licensed in all fifty states. Legalzoom offers a variety of services from wills and trusts to LLC's trademarks and contract reviews legalzoom has helped more than four million people take care of their legal responsibilities. And the best part is legalzoom is not a law firm. You won't get charged by the hour. More information available at legalzoom dot com slash point on balls. I talk with people who make amazing work, Greta gerwig, Arul Morris ace app for the conversations are real and funny Chang. You're somewhere unexpected. Find bullseye with Jesse thorn on NPR one or wherever you get your podcasts. This is on point. I'm Meghna Chakrabarti. We're talking this hour about the four day school week for schools K through twelve it's happening in some twenty-five states across the country. Most of them west of the Mississippi, five hundred and fifty school districts at least are now at a four day school week, and we want to know what you think about it. Do you think it's a great idea? Do you think it makes it tougher for families and parents, and what should kids be doing in that fifth day if they're not in school schools in Bayard, New Mexico, run on a four day week and Sonya Dixon is a public librarian there, she told PBS NewsHour, that parents strapped for childcare are dropping off their children at the library for hours of unintended time scrape for teachers, they love it in why wouldn't they? But I see a lot of grandparents and relatives seemingly a little overwhelmed in burden. Well, the school board in Athens, Texas approved a four day school week for the next school year. Here's mom, Shawn Butler, call talking to kale TV about her concerns. Are they going to be able to stay home from work? Are they gonna be able to just their schedule? There are quite a few daycares here, but legally, are they going to be able to absorb all the extra kids. That's a mom in Athens, Texas. Let's go to the phones. Chris is calling from Washington, North Carolina. Chris, you're on the air. Hi, thanks so much for taking my call. Go ahead. My, my question is right along the same lines. I have two kids, and I'm curious order, they expected. What's the expectation for the day when the kids are off depending on their age our parents expected to put them in temporary daycare situations. Are there things offered by the public schools to supplement this particular day off each week? I'm just curious as to what the expectations for a lot of working parents. That's not an easy thing to, to find. We'll chris. Thank you for your call. Let me go to Chris fiddler who's the superintendent of the twenty-seven j school district in Colorado, the, the district, who came up with some, some ways to assist families in that fifth day Chris, he tells more about that. I can't the context initially we weren't weren't thinking we were going to offer care, and we have to we had our first community meeting pretty clear we needed to do that. So we had an existing before and after school program that we already was payer funded in terms of them paying a fee for that care before. And after school. So we had the system in place, and then we would be our offering Monday care and eight of our elementary schools. It's about five percent of our elementary families are taking advantage of that. It's thirty dollars a day. If they had when it was when we're still in a five day week, and if they had their children, and before and after school care on Monday, it was twenty dollars if they were before, and after it was a ten dollar digital cost per student, it just to some anecdotally, when we asked parents to put down a deposit and last June, July the whole the space for Monday care. We had a little over six hundred students that were signed up, and then as we get to, to the school year August-September, we're only seeing about three hundred of those kids. Actually attending at those eight different sites, which is about five percent of our elementary population to give you a feel for what that looks like. So the vast majority would appear figured that out in terms of either, you know, they have a parent at home. They have apparent was the flexible work schedule on Mondays they have older siblings. Maybe they have relatives grandparents aunts, and uncles who were assisting. We also had the boys and Girls Club in town shop, Nick. They're offering care for twenty dollars a day on Monday. I know some families are utilizing that. And then some other extensions, we have the art academy of Colorado here in Brighton. That's offering our classes. We have a young lady who's offering orchestra academy. One of our schools. We have any twenty five or thirty kids that are signed up for that. And what else am I forgetting the, the rec centers, it will commerce city in Brighton or offer offering programming on Mondays. So there's you know, and then if you're a high school student, a lot of those kids are working, or if you're, if you have a teenager, they're probably sleeping till noon, because that's what they will Paul Hill, the founder of. The center on reinventing education. Let me let me turn back to you, because we've got a lot of questions along this line. We have Emily Brown online, asking us. Please address issues with access and affordability of child care for parents in this situation. Jessica porter ho says, I'm all for less instruction time or more free time, but you still have to keep my kids, six to seven hours, a day, five days a week because I have to work and after school programs are already too expensive. So if we're gonna if districts are moving to four days a week to have to figure out a way to support parents on that fifth day. Yes. There's a problem that in many ways, this is a burden shift from the schools to parents and civic institutions. And, and as we just heard a lot of them are stepping forward, but certainly the district alike, Colorado twenty-seven, Jay with a lot of families on free reduced price lunch at thirty dollar daycare, addition to the budget every week is a is a pretty big burden and that may be the reason why fewer people are using it, but the big advantage that, that district has in being in the Denver metro is that all the kinds of organizations like the boys and girls clubs that were described are there and sometimes they have their own budgets, and maybe they can refund as and so on. But in a lot of the rural district, we looked at where they're not institutions like that. They're not even churches that leaves people pretty much on their own. And, and if the district comes around to compensate for that to do subsidized daycare, or whatever then. That, that eats into their budget. So it it forty we can only work if somehow parents and the community can accept the fact that financial and care. Britain's Irving shifted to them and in some places. That's the case. I'll say more about that later. We'll so is there a risk, though of? Again, this is probably one of those is an unexpected outcome. Even with the best of intentions that by not having kids in school for that fifth day that for those families rural suburban wherever those families who are slightly better off. We'll find ways to enrich that fifth day somehow and that those families who are not where it will struggle to do that. So it's going to create yet another place where it we'll see a divide amongst among students that, that's the fear, and we need to know more about it certainly in the in the isolated rural district. We looked out on the four-day week that was a major concern in the suburban areas. I think as I've heard today, twenty-seven J may be the ideal district to adopt a four day week because they have all these assets, whether they would get the continue that vantage of being able to compete better for teachers than their neighboring districts at the neighboring districts use the same method. That's a good question. Well comment on our website. Hello. Kitty says Lord less schooling is the last thing we need in this country. I would be okay with the four day school week if there were year round school. Let's go back to the phones. Pamela, is calling from Saint Petersburg, Florida. Pamela you're on the air. Hello. I'm a retired schoolteacher thirty six years in the Pinellas county school system after Dame, Ella mentally school, all those years. And I've always been favor of a four day school week, by the time you get started each day, teaching it seems like you never have enough time in the day. And, and then before you know, it developed rings and the kids leave and, and by the fifth day, they're kind of I'd say it, but they're a little bit burned out from all five days of intense teaching struck shin. And so the four days, they'll get used to that schedule, like we all do it is changed. But on the fifth day when there's no school they can have the after school. Well, the, the latch Hugh type programs they can utilize. The latch key programs can lease it from the school, and in new zip Assila that way and the latchkey programs that we always had had a sliding scale for the different. Various income. Pamela, let me just limit here. Pamela just have to ask you questions. So you were saying earlier about seeing teachers burn out at the end of the fifth day. So do you think that four days a week would help for to make for better teaching? Well, four days of an of, of good instruction, I do believe in by that v day, you can have another type of -struction from the different programs that are there to, to, you know, keep the children and, and just have a variety. I think it would open up another kind of commerce in a way. We'll Pamela thank you so much for your call. Chris fiddler superintendent of the twenty-seven j school district. Let me just turn back to you quickly. And did you, you were telling us about the kinds of teachers who were able to recruit with the four day week? But have they have you gotten positive feedback from teachers? I presume yes, while we haven't I I'm sorry, I missed the caller's name, but. Panelists call. So the we really think about the opportunity to have an extra hour every day. So my, my having the teachers were the same amount of hours Tuesday through Friday dated Monday through Friday. We added an hour a day, every day Tuesday through Friday of additional planning time, and collaborative time for teachers to work and do all the work we asked them to do to be pros for kids in and being really honest. We have over the years asked teachers do this work, and it's kind of nudge, nudge, wink, wink, because we don't have any idea when you're really gonna do the work to be collaborative to have data conversations around formative assessment and how you can improve your lessons for kids. We've actually created a digital time in the schedule for them to do that four days a week. It didn't exist in the previous schedule. So we really chased this around high in the best possible teachers, and adults and then giving them additional time to really be pros for kids and the side note, that's, that's the reason we landed on Mondays off as opposed to Fridays off. We had a long conversation internally here in the district about which day in the natural instinct is. Friday, who Friday. Could you want to start your weekend, we landed on Mondays as the day off, because that is a day that you can have the weekend, and then you have Monday to prepare for kids for the week and we're, we're really happy that we landed on that money, people do it different ways. But most folks take those Fridays off. We're really pleased with how Fridays worked in that we have staff development for teachers, one Monday a month in the morning. And then our Oliver administrators are required to have to, to money's a month for for, for professional growth and development time for them as leaders. Well, Chris, fiddler and Paul Hill. Hang on here for just a second because I want to introduce into the conversation John Turner. He joins us from Springfield, Missouri. He's the assistant professor at Missouri. States unit Missouri state university's college of education. He's the author of several studies on four day school calendars in Missouri next school year. By the way, the state will have sixty one school districts on a four day calendar. John turner's. Also, the former superintendent of Dallas county r one school district in buffalo. Missouri. John Turner, welcome to you. Thank you for having me. So first of all, let me just ask you a basic question. Have you yet seen a school district? That's well funded move to a four day week. You know, that, that is, you know, in Missouri, and Missouri doesn't have nearly as many years on on the four day school week as they have in the mountain west states in Colorado, and, like, we're we're Dr Hiller is out in the out in the west coast in Missouri. We've only had the four day school week for about nine years as even an option for school district, and those early adopters in Missouri. I think that school finance was of the, the, the key factor in, in that switch. But of course, their savings is going to be minimal probably less than five percent of their overall budget that they may save by going the four day week. But these recent trends, you know, if you look at again with the first four or five years in Missouri where it was an option. We only had a handful of schools that adopted the four day school week. But now two years ago, we had twenty five Missouri this current year that we're just inning right now. We have thirty three and going into next year. We'll be up to at least sixty one so it's growing very fast. And these late adopters now are you're hearing a lot. More conversations like Dr fiddler's talking about there in Colorado is that you're hearing, a lot more conversation about the competitive job market, trying to attack attract and retain teachers so, but money is always an underlying factor in there somewhere. You know, if you look at school districts, and I'll just use one example, for example, you have Branson, which is well known in Missouri for entertainment, mecca beginning teacher in Branson with a bachelor's degree. We'll make thirty five thousand five hundred dollars. If you go twenty five miles away to a school district Galina, they're gonna make thirty two hundred is a bachelor beginning teach us thirty five hundred dollars difference. But if you look farther down on the salary scale when they add years of experience, and additional education, like a masters degree will teachers at Branson with many years of experience and a masters degree. It'll make sixty thousand dollars teacher in galena. They're gonna make forty eight thousand so then that, you know eleven twelve thousand dollar difference. And they're only twenty five miles away that definitely money does become that factor where you again, not only have trouble attracting teachers, but then retaining them as they mature. Or through their career and, and, and advance our scale this is such a tough bind. The district's find themselves in because it almost sounds like a zero sum game. Right. They know order to keep the best teaching talent that you got, you got to cut somewhere else, and cutting the number of school days is one way to do that. Even though as you're saying it's only at the top end of five percent savings, because you still need the same number of teachers, but you've also done research on, you know, on the, on the outcomes of the four day school calendar in several Missouri district, what did you find did the, the quality of the education change meaningfully, and, and we've done three different studies. And, and, and the study that, that I'd I'd like mentioned, I is Dr Fiedler talking a fiddler talking about the parents perceptions, and that was one of an similar kind of study where we went out into Missouri schools at had adopted the four day school week. We looked at the end of that, first year we went and looked at them in may. When they were finishing up their school year, and talking to parents and while overall parents. By almost every category were overwhelmingly supportive of the four day school week in Missouri school district's you know in the eighties higher. Seventies and eighty percent range across all categories, including free and reduced lunch and different age factors. And, and a single parent household factors all of those groups overwhelmingly supported their, their school district shift to the four day school week year. But there were a couple of categories that then again, Dr hill, mentioned, one of them are those parents that have students receive special education services there in the, they're in the fifty percent approval range and the same with, with parents, that have only early childhood kids kids with in kindergarten first grade and second grade those parents again in the fifty percent ranges, and so I again, it is a mixed bag. Okay. Well, pull he'll jump in here. So I have to say, I'm bringing my own fully bring my own bias to the table. I've heard it was. It's surprised to be the so many parents would be supportive of, of a four. Day school week because I still can't quite wrap my head around it. But, but let's talk about the parents who are concerned and those parents who have children with special needs. I mean how, how can a district support them if the very programs that those kids needs are inside schools, and they just don't have access to them on the fifth day. It's difficult. And, and I think people are trying to work it out. Again, the more capable and bitter resources district's like twenty-seven, Jake have lots of options for kids, the ones that are the main adopters really poor nicely ruler is just don't have many alternatives. And in the, they're already big problems of special education delivery, and also science and math and kids with learning disabilities. Lots of kids that really lose even throw off school, an extra day. These are all challenges that, that districts have to face. I frankly, don't think the discourse in most localities led to the decision contemplated. That it was sort of this. This is something we need to do because we're dealing with the with financial stress, and we need to keep our teachers. I just want to raise one point that, that, if you see this as competitive strategy that district say, I can get better teachers and beat the, the my competitor's to get good teachers. If I go to four day week, oh, that lasts only as long as others. Don't go for a week. And I think the explanation for the rapid spread is that people are seeing that are getting beaten by for destruction. So they're, they're grabbing teachers that way. Does this lead to go ahead? Vince, you thought does this lead to very widespread adoption, which means it no longer conveys any advantage. So we've given away a day of school opera transitory advantage for some districts in competing for teachers. School interesting, Paul Hill and John Turner. Standby Chris fiddler superintendent of the twenty-seven j school district in Colorado, the first district in the Denver metro area to move to a four day school week. I'm going to let you go. Thank you so much for joining us today. Thank you very much. Appreciate it. This is on point. The fact that in two thousand and nineteen. We're having this debate about measles, vaccine, makes my head want to explode, which is tennis strange really strange place may only people speaking up the parents, endless thread, the podcast from WBU are Boston's NPR station and read it brings you a special series on the history of vaccines in antibac- Sers, subscribe on apple podcasts, or wherever you listen. After James Ribas murdered in nineteen sixty five there was a national outcry, the back of the scene of the crime in Selma Alabama Guinea, people responded differently, so what happened, and what could Justice look like all these years later, NPR's, new podcast. White lies is seeking answers. Listen and subscribe now. This is on point. I'm Meghna chock. Roberti were talking this hour about the fact that twenty five states at least twenty five states. Most of them, west of the Mississippi have district school districts in them that operate on a four day week. That's more than five hundred fifty school district so far, and more are turning to the four day week, and we want to know what you think about that. What is lost? When school districts moved to four days versus five, what is gained. Is it better for teachers, which means it's maybe better for students in two thousand sixteen vice news looked at Oklahoma's noble school district, which moved to a four day week in the face of a budget crisis Nisha Bundy works hours as long hours as a nurse. And her son has an auditory disorders. She worried that the shorter school week keeps him from getting the personalized attention. He needs. You've got, you know, kids like mine that do you have kind of special needs that you have to throw that in on it, too. And it just it makes it really difficult to try to maneuver, all that. And makes. Sure that they're going to be successful. The leaders of Pasco county schools in Florida also considered a move to afford day school week. It was a very controversial topic at a Ted x event. They organized for students. Here's a fifth grade student. Mario Vazquez some schools have ready four day school week on the school schedule to that s a four-day no way gifting the having one less day each week is great. But I think the complete opposite, what if you're an after school program like football or soccer, according to Patty Richards, if choosing are required to be in school for eight hours each day? The Tenneco participate in after school activities is really diminished as a fifth grader, the Pasco county schools, in Florida, the district, ultimately decided to stick with the five day Cowan, Dr I'm joined today by John Turner. He's with us from Springfield, Missouri. He's an assistant professor at Missouri state university's college of education. Paul hills with us from Seattle Washington, he's the. Founder of the center on reinventing, education, John and Paul. We've got calls from all over the place North Carolina Idaho. Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Connecticut. We're Edith is calling Edith is with us from canton. Connecticut, you're on the air. Thank you. My concern is the US is already not number one or two in education standing three to rather. My grandson, is six years old. He leaves the house at eight AM comes home at four PM. He's kindergarten to condense, a five day school day into four will affect many people, the people who work and have to make different arrangements, and you've covered there already. We haven't kept sickness in mind, then a lot of sickness, meaning that kids sometimes miss two and three days out of a week Helis that work made up. Take it back from you, because thank you so much for your call Paul Hillary, turn to you and I the first thing that Edith wanted to know she's saying that the United States is lag is no, definitely not number one in education globally. So does this further set kids back? It's possible that a does one thing that bothers me is that when I look across the country, district's and have taken the four day week. These are not the districts that again all the kids into college and have sensational results these are districts that have been struggling before, and whether they get better is questionable. Paul hill. He's still there. We're going to try and get him back here. John Turner, let me turn back to you there because I understand that you've tried to figure out if outcomes educational outcomes change, but different testing regimes over the course of several years of misery, prevented you from coming to any conclusion. A challenge, that's probably been nationwide with the controversy over the nation at risk, and, and no child left behind. And, and we've, we've seen a number of national initiatives. And, and especially when you get into the assessment area that we've seen lots of change here in the last four or five years. And especially when you look again at Missouri, but it's only been trying the four day school week here for about nine years in some districts, we've gone through like three or four different assessment regimes here in Missouri in that time period, so it's hard to have some type of identified consistency. But one thing I do want to mention on this is remember that, especially in states, like Missouri. And it's this way across the country is that those, those school districts are primarily operated by locally elected school board members, and those locally school locally elected school board members have a great concern, obviously about their kids and their future. And so this decision that they make it's not something that they just do on some spur of the moment type thing when you were talking to Dr fiddler, there, it's obvious that they thought of every angle out there at the twenty-seven j school district in Colorado. About trying to make sure that this decision is not going to have a negative impact on kids. And so it's not like somebody does this, casually. I in Missouri. We've got currently thirty three school districts and I've sat across the table from from thirty two of the superintendents in those districts all across the state of Missouri. And let me tell you every one of them has the sincere best interest of their kids at heart when they make this decision. We'll show in here because I think you're making an extraordinarily important point, right? I mean, there's, there's nothing that that would that raises the passion and care of people at the local level, more than their schools, for sure. But I mean, doesn't that just get back to the point that we, we get to an every education, conversation that the implication is these district wouldn't even be engaged in this discussion or having to make this decision if they were appropriately funded by the tax payers in their in their localities and states where, you know, especially when you can't be competitive in job market, you know, no teacher in rural America should have to take a vow of poverty in order to exercise the career in rural schools. And when you look at the numbers again, especially not only beginning teachers, but as they move across their careering to become veteran, teachers, they're almost forced to go into the suburban school districts that are better funded because of higher salaries because it not only impacts them on that year on their, their salary. It also impacts the retirement also, but yeah. There's, there's definitely a funding mechanism in there, too. But another thing that I do want to mention is that when we talk about the comparing us to other countries also realize, that, that, you know, it's sort of like putting your program together for two hours a day. How many hours do you have to go in planning? All you have to do in this two hour on point broadcast that you have. It's many, many hours will like, like, like Dr feed them fiddler mentioned earlier. It's sort of a wink and nod, that we've had in, in schools where we go through and say, yeah. Teachers, we want you to plan together. We want you to have discussions and collaborate and things like that. But we always just expect them to do it during the regular school day when they make we may give them a forty five fifty minute conference period. And th that's one of the things that I hear quite regularly as those school districts to go to the four day school week. They say now we have the time for our teachers to sit down and discuss. What's going on in the great before them, and the great after them have discussions across the department to say what's going on this English one classes compared to another English one class having that collaboration. So there's definitely at nine. Namic there, that this additional collaboration and professional development time lungs. Teachers means that you're still gonna like we've talked about, you're still having the same amount of instructional time. But it might be higher quality because it's better plan. I completely see that. And so then the quality of the teaching goes up as you said, but there's, there's still as we've been engaging across this hour. The question about the students and the time that they spend on that on the fifth day, and how the community and families need to support them on their fifth day, if they do it all. But look, I'm running out of time here. Let's go to another caller. Anna is calling from Omaha. Nebraska. N A. You're on the air. I'm a mom of six kids, and we don't have a four day school week. We do have five days in our district. I do have family in a four day district that made the decision for busing reasons for costs, but they have found a benefit to the mental and emotional health of their children, as they have more time to spend the family, right? They get their work done. And then they spend time as a family, and they still have a day to actually rush and I see my kids working really hard and they're just exhausted, especially my older ones. It's I think their mental and emotional health of the kids could be benefitted from a little less constant going and working hard at schools. In a thank you so much for your call, Paul Hill. Do we have you back here? Okay. So I couldn't hear you there a couple of minutes, but Anna pointing out that there could be social and emotional benefits to not being in school for five days. What do you think about that? There could be in the in the situation, she describes when the family's able to pay attention in the way, they describe less less confident in play, you know, family has to work in six day, workweek among poor people, the what I did want to say that, that there are probably ways that forty week can be introduced without dis-. Hurting kids learning. But what we see across the country is the districts that are going this way are not the hot districts river child is going to college where the scores are great, where there's a lot of equity between low income and high income kids, instead, we see, these are struggling district's already, and now they're moving toward a four day week, which the argument could be that it doesn't hurt anything, but, but that's kind of the upper bound of it except on in a few cases where people can take advantage of it. So it, it is something that needs to be looked at it probably can be done right. But it probably isn't being done right in most of the isolated districts, I looked at and given that it's spreading think we need more attention to the issue. John donne, turn a how much more do you think this is going to spread? I mean you Missouri has gone from what thirty three at one point in time districts that use the shorten calendar to now sixty one in the next school year. So how much more could it spread? It is obviously, if you looked at a map of the state of Missouri, and Paul mentioned this earlier, if you look at the Memphis state of Missouri, you know, back a few years ago when there were only seventeen there's five hundred and eighteen school district's in Missouri. So every little small town, Missouri has retained their, their local school district. So there's five hundred and eighteen and a few years back, we only had twenty five and so it was sort of spread across that Matt very broadly. But now, you're seeing really convinced pockets in certain parts of our state, primarily in south west, Missouri around Springfield and then the western suburbs west of Saint Louis. And in that area across northern Missouri up along the Iowa border up in there that you're seeing these pockets develop of a four day school week districts and, you know, I think you know as much as we've looked at this and like I said, I've been in of the current ones we have thirty two I've been the thirty three that we currently have been in thirty two this is not for every school district. There's probably just as many that, that vote this down when they consider it as, as vote to, to prove it, but. Because of this competitive marketplace people really struggling to not only attract teachers, but retain them I'm thinking, Missouri that you may well get up to maybe twenty percent of the school districts in Missouri will eventually be on the four day school week, because they're like Paul mentioned earlier, that, that when the neighboring district doesn't then you can't match them on money. So you've almost got to keep up with them on the four day week. John Turner, assistant professor at Missouri state university's college education. Thank you so much for joining us today. Thank you. And Paul Hill, founder of the center on reinventing education and a research, professor at the university of Washington's they'll sell with us from Seattle, Paul Hill. Thank you so much for being with us. Thank you, folks. Go to radio dot org or Twitter and Facebook at point radio and let us know what you think of the idea of a four day school week in a moment. John Krasinski advice for the class of two thousand nineteen this is on point. We've been listening to excerpts from some of the best graduation speeches given this year. John Christine sqi is probably best known for playing Jim Halpern on the American version of the office on NBC. He's also a writer and director before his career in Hollywood. He studied English at Brown University and he delivered the baccalaureate address at his alma mater in Providence, Rhode Island on Saturday for the next four years. I wanted to be a part of it. All I formed a new way of thinking new way of executing those thoughts I leaped out of my comfort zone than stayed there. And then left again, I experienced firsthand the powerful shift and doing something out of love rather than out of necessity. I learned what it meant to believe. Took chances, I failed and I took more chances, so yes in the classroom I received one of the greatest educations, one can possibly get true. But the piece of paper I got a graduation also represents that education, the piece of paper. I got not only says, where I was educated. But who I was educated with, and it declares that I am a member of that community of people to be relied upon to take risks provoke thought and to be committed participants in this world. The piece of paper I got represented every facet of my experience and the piece of paper, I got is the exact same piece of paper, you're gonna get tomorrow. The piece of paper. I got I live my life, every single day by because when looking at this sense of nervous that you're feeling. Now ask yourself what's it based in visit based in the unknown? Because my question to you is up until now. How how else have you approached each new tomorrow? And if you're nerves are based in fear failure. My question is up until now. How do you define success because in this community without the presence of financial gain isn't success, simply defined as you're just being onto something taking an idea farther that had never been before. Why does it ever need to change? Doesn't. Or of your nerves are based on something bigger a fear of something bigger the world at large. Well to that. I do say, yes, it's true there. Right. The future does indeed belong to you, but the abstract weight of responsibility to change it overnight very much does not. Real change is organic. You're the only responsibility, you all have is to hold fast to everything that you have lived right here to not conform to realize that when you're out there. You've done all this before right in here. Remember, fondly, the discomfort you felt when you were asked to push yourself farther than you ever. Sure you could go in the washable elation when you finally got there. Remember to be scared. You've been they're scared before you'll be scared again. Fine. More of your people lean all the way in take chances failed big and take chances again. Listen to music. Remember to believe in something and fall in love as many times as it takes. And remember before you do something special just do something. The truth can almost seem to simple. But the simple truth is the program you ran here is the same program. Just run it again. And again. And again. That's what I know. Thank you to this class to business to Shen his my honor. Thank you. Actor writer and director John Krasinski speaking at the back laureate and Brown University on Saturday. We've got a link to a video of his full address at on point radio dot org. I'm Meghna Chakrabarti. This is on point.