Still watching that Dallas Independent School District trustee meeting; it's torture, man, torture. (Four hours after kick-off, we still haven't gotten 'round to the budget or campus consolidations.) Like, here: The board has spent the last 40 minutes talking about next school year's calendar. Shouldn't have taken that long. Except board president Lew Blackburn wanted to know why kids were getting off December 21, the Friday before Christmas and the two-week winter break. After much talk, talk, talk it's now back as a regular ol' school day. (Blackburn also suggested cutting winter break short, with kids coming back January 2; he was told, um, no.)
Then there was much talk, talk, talk about those so-called "flex" days. The way the calendar reads right now, elementary and middle-school students get out June 13, 2012. But high-school students could get out May 30 ... if, that is, they fulfill three criteria. The trustees were told students will be eligible for early release based on these things: academic assessment (they have to pass all their courses, for starters), attendance (can only miss seven full days) and discipline (they didn't commit an expellable offense during the school year).
Said one member of the panel of principals in front of the board: "We ask a lot of students and give nothing tangible back." Early release is their reward. But the trustees wondered: When will they know if they've got those two weeks off? When will they be evaluated? And how? And by whom? They were told: We're working on it. They're still talking about this.