EdMedia Commons Archive

No More Grades? School After 3 p.m.? WaPo Goes Spring Cleaning

The Washington Post did its annual Spring Cleaning feature on Sunday, taking on societal conventions from the arguably pointless (Premium Gas) to the outdated (Software Patents), even venturing into Seinfeld territory (The Social Kiss). In the process, they deemed two education mainstays obsolete and worth tossing out.

Peter Orzag calls the 3 p.m. school bell a relic of a long-parted America:

School hours in the United States were developed during the 19th century, in part to allow students to help their families with farm work in the afternoon. We are no longer an agrarian economy, but most schools still get out around 3 p.m. It’s time for a change: Schools should remain open until 5 or 6 p.m. The result would be better-educated students and less-stressed parents.

Elsewhere in the feature, MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry gets right to the point:

The world would be a better place without grades.

Of course, both of these education models currently exist, albeit in limited quantities. But can you envision a world where most, if not all, public schools have gotten rid of letter grades and implemented bank hours? If you were conducting you own education-related ‘spring cleaning,’ what would you toss?


This post originally appeared on EWA’s now-defunct online community, EdMedia Commons. Old content from EMC will appear in the Ed Beat archives.