CPS hits the mark with new start times proposal

Show Choir is one of the activities that the takes place before school and would be affected by earlier start times. Photo by Daphne Yu
Junior Karina Kitchen prepares for Show Choir’s premier concert. Show Choir is one of the activities that takes place before school and would be affected by earlier start times. Photo by Daphne Yu

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This is a satirical piece.

BREAKING NEWS:

Columbia Public Schools has released a new proposal regarding school start times that does not at all contradict everything the administration has previously released or hinted at.

This proposal is totally in line with the research regarding teenager sleeping habits and does not go against it whatsoever. Research suggests that teenagers naturally feel sleepy around 11 a.m., thus, CPS has taken the right step in ensuring their high school students will be alert and awake when they arrive at school after waking up at 6:30 a.m. to get ready for school. If teenage brains start to digest information at around 9 a.m., 7:20 a.m. ought to be close enough.

CPS shows just how much they want high school students to succeed by making this decision. Currently, eight percent of high school students get enough sleep on weekdays, and in starting earlier, Columbia Public Schools Administration will clearly raise that statistic among our high schools. Students will obviously fall asleep less often in class with the proposal, and because they get enough sleep when they wake up at 6:30 a.m., students will start to score better on all standardized tests. It isn’t like starting later would result in better grades and test scores, no, perish the thought!

High school should start earlier anyway. As a high school student, I assure you, high school is far, far less important than elementary school. If, for some odd reason, there is an extremely rare student who will be more tired as a result of this change, the student’s entire academic career will not suffer. Obviously, the SAT and ACT cover important material learned in middle school, not high school; if this anomaly of a student fell asleep in class, he/she would not miss classwork essential for high performance on these tests. AP classes are of no consequence either. If this student was tired, he/she could easily keep up with such a rigorous, college-level class. It isn’t like college classes are more difficult than high school classes, after all. And, most of all, if somehow, we accomplished world peace, and there was a general trend of lower standardized test scores among our students, it isn’t like our educational system uses test scores as a ruler for success. The school’s funding will not, in any shape or form, decrease because of these purely hypothetical, poor test scores.

Not to mention, colleges rarely look at the high school years. This proposal wouldn’t make students more tired or seriously endanger their chances of getting into certain universities. And colleges hate seeing extracurricular activities and job experience. There is no other reason for CPS to have proposed such a schedule. Some students will have to work after school and into the evening, long after their extracurricular activities. Working these jobs might make students go to bed late and wake up early, but thankfully, colleges don’t demand well-rounded students who have job experience. Students who want a competitive application won’t need to work late into the night, only to awaken before the sun decides to. In this, CPS administration shows they are dedicated to making sure high school students are successful in post-secondary education.

I mean, high school is far less important when it comes to preparing for a career than middle school or elementary school. High school doesn’t offer narrowed classes for specific jobs. High school classes aren’t further in-depth or necessary for being an informed global citizen. You don’t learn how to do the essential things in life, such as balancing check books or developing math skills. In the grand scheme of things, high school-level information isn’t the most important part of public education. No, finger-painting and story time in elementary school are far more essential to become a successful adult. Learning about evolutionary theory or the thoughts of Sigmund Freud? Why not ponder where Waldo is or what happens when you give a mouse a cookie? No, we shouldn’t put any focus on the more advanced topics that high school students learn about. It isn’t like this knowledge is the necessary foundation for inventing the iPhones we carry in our pockets or the latest gaming systems in our homes.

Most importantly, CPS has finally committed to showing how they care more about sports than band, show choir or other morning activities. By starting so early, CPS has eliminated the possibility of culturing a successful marching band program or a stellar show choir. Despite the plethora of students who will chomp on the bit to march and sing early in the morning, the programs will simply take place too early to be feasible. After all, we don’t want students to get too tired! Not to mention, by getting out earlier, sports will have more time for practice in the afternoon sunlight. Finally, Columbia Public Schools can stop pretending to care about the programs and classes that take place before school.

Already, students and parents have moved behind CPS to support their decisions. Parents who voted on a survey about the change are pleased to see that the district has taken their feedback seriously. In no way are parents upset with the administration. Students have organized Facebook groups to attend the first Board of Education meeting discussing this proposal and show their overwhelming support for the district. Students are not hoping to change minds or organize a movement against this proposal.

This proposal doesn’t just help high school students though. Elementary school students will mature as they stay home alone when their parents head to their work, starting before their kiddos go to school. Alternatively, parents will get the excellent opportunity to pay for two hours of daycare each morning.

It is evident that CPS administration has put lots of thought into their decision and evaluated the possible outcomes. In this proposal, we can see just how much the administration cares about their high school students and their now brighter futures. We should all take time to attend the school board meeting next Monday and share how much we appreciate their proposal.

Further information is available here.

This is a satirical piece.

This opinion piece is labeled as such on the desktop version.

By Atreyo Ghosh

battle-logoThis is part of the Preparing for Battle ongoing special report. For more information on the changes occurring, check Bearing News biweekly for a transition update.

1 Comment on this Post

  1. Profile photo of Alyssa Sykuta

    I appreciate this satire. Love it love it love it :)

    Reply

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