Four-day school week fails the test

Four-day school weeks are popular with students and teachers in Caldwell Parish, Louisiana, but test scores are declining, reports AP.  The district adopted the four-day week two years ago and plans to continue for the upcoming school year.

A comparison of Caldwell Parish fourth-grade LEAP scores from 2007 before the shortened week to those of the 2010 spring scores shows that the percentage of students scoring basic and above dropped in three out of four subject areas.

The number of students scoring basic and above in English language arts increased 5 percent, but fell 4 percent in math, 7 percent in science and 8 percent in social studies.

Eighth-grade scores also were down in three out of four subject areas. The percentage of students in eighth grade scoring basic or above was down 2 percent in English language arts, down 9 percent in math, down 9 percent in science and up 1 percent in social studies.

Students qualifying for promotion from grade four to five has remained the same as in 2007, but students meeting promotional standards in eighth grade are down four points.

Superintendent John Sartin said the district’s performance score, which reflect test scores, attendance, dropout rates and graduation outcomes, increased  from 92.8 in 2007 to 96 in 2009.

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  1. SuperSub says:

    When there is no news…make it.

    “A Louisiana State Department of Education comparison of the average percentage of students scoring basic and above to include grades three through 12 ranks Caldwell Parish among the bottom eight in the state for percentage of change.”

    So, although some test scores did decline, they did so by a very narrow margin. Did the reporter bother to compare the percentage decrease to the statewide change to eliminate the test itself as a variable? Did the reporter bother looking at previous years to see if 2007 was a peak? No. Better to publish an article that ultimately has no informational value.

  2. How can you come to the conclusion that these downward trends were due to the four day school week alone?

  3. Of course it will be blamed on the 4-day week. These are very unpopular with some parents as it eliminates the state-funded day care they depend on to raise their kids.

  4. Have to concur with the comments so far. Not enough evidence to blame the four-day week for these results. Not surprising though that the media is quick to portray a progressive education policy in a negative light.

    Check out more Education News at where this story is currently at the top of our reader rankings.


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