Today, most, but not all, District 150 primary school students will be getting out of school 90 minutes early (1:45 instead of 3:15) as part of the School Board’s new “Wacky Wednesday” plan. During the 90 minutes of school the children will be missing, the teachers are supposed to be collaborating, learning from each other, making alterations to their curriculum and instructional techniques as a result, with the end goal of being more effective teachers. This is supposed to translate into better student performance — enough improvement to more than compensate for the lost instructional time during Wacky Wednesdays.
I encourage all parents to ask their children’s teachers tomorrow what they did during their teacher collaboration time this afternoon, what new techniques they learned, and how they’re altering their teaching styles as a result. I’d also like to find out what metrics the district is using to determine if this effort is successful or not. Are they going to base it on the rise or fall of standardized test scores?