Saturday, January 10, 2009

Additional Thoughts on K-12 Schools: Early Start of the School Day & Air Conditiioning

As someone who used to occasionally substitute in public schools, I have a couple miscellaneous observations about schools.

First, this trend toward earlier start times for schools is not productive. It's one thing to do physical labor at 7:15 a.m. It's quite another to be sitting passively in a class listening to a teacher lecture at that time of the morning. While some suggest that students are whiners for complaining about early start times, I have found that adult students are not productive that early in the morning either. A few years ago, I taught an experimental morning political science class from 7 to 8:15. It was designed so the mostly adult students could take the class before going on to regular job. It flopped. The students were not alert and neither was their professor. Yet this is exactly what we put K-12 students through.

Second, schools that have AC need to turn up the thermostat. It doesn't matter if it is August and 90 degrees outside, inside the school building it is almost always freezing. Teachers should not have to wear sweaters in August. While air circulation is important in the air-tight new schools, I do not see why there has to be a constant blowing of chilled air throughout the building. I would think schools could save a fortune by simply running the air conditioner less.

Just a couple random thoughts.

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