Schools to add 20 days

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The recent decision by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles to expand the school year by nearly three weeks has many parents upset — with some even seeing ulterior motives behind the move.

Starting this fall, the majority of Catholic elementary schools in the city will add 20 days to their calendar, making their school year among the longest in the nation.

While outgoing Cardinal Roger Mahony denies the move is an attempt by the archdiocese to gain a competitive advantage over the Los Angeles Unified School District, parent Christy Cattalano tells KFWB’s Maggie McKay and Michael Shappee she’s not so sure.

The expansion to a 200-day calendar comes as the LAUSD slashed its school year to 175 days in 2011.

Mahoney says the move, which affects over 52,000 elementary and middle school children in three counties, is largely aimed at improving classroom performance to ensure that students would become globally competitive.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (14)
  1. AJ Morgan says:

    The Catholics have to refil their coffers from all the payouts they made to the abuse victims.

    1. Sara says:

      My thoughts exactly…

    2. jimO says:

      a really stupid statement

  2. Joyce says:

    What a good thing. I want my children to grow up educated and not waste their time with video games and all the other garbage. Lets keep our children intellectual competitive.

    1. Julie Bower says:

      I moved my kids from a private Catholic school to public school only to find out they were a year behind in science and math! My son spent countless hours catching up to his peers. I’m so glad to be in a public school that is more academically challenging and less school yard drama.

  3. critic says:

    Isnt it funny that certain groups of people continue to beat the drum of ignorance and dont even understand to reason what the point is behind a real extended education

  4. Johnny Utah says:

    I am half and half on this. I think it’s great that kids are in school longer because if I were a parent, I’d be scrambling to find them something to do. What I don’t like is Mahony dictating this without a meeting. It also draws skepticism on his part that this is purely about money.

  5. Atheist says:

    Not going to send my kid back if they keep the same math teacher. At my kids catholic school 6 out of 33 kids passed the most recent math test. Humm maybe it’s not the students fault. 20% pass and the other 80% fail sounds like a teacher isn’t doing their job very well

  6. LakerFan says:

    All the parents I know are extremely upset by this decision. Many parents have talked of leaving, as we have. Increasing the tuition is just too much during these hard economic times, especially for those of us that do not pay for childcare over the summer. Since it’s just a longer time to learn the same information, how will that put our kids ahead of other countries? It won’t. And why do they want our kids to be in school during the hottest month of the year? They can just increase each day by ½ hour and make Friday’s full days to get more time if they feel it is really necessary. A four week break in July in simply not enough time for kids to develop other interests outside of school, including vacations, visiting relatives, participating in camps, etc. Also, the timing of this decision really limits parents’ abilities to seek other options for next year. We are very upset that there was no discussion, no surveys, no warning, just a mandated decision. A lot of us believe that this decision was made primarily to raise extra funds for the archdiocese to pay off their debts. Why make us all suffer? A better idea would be to make full day summer school available at a low cost for parents who want or need it. Until education is reformed on a National level and more material is required at each grade level, this decision should be overturned.

  7. Lisa says:

    I’m thrilled. What a terrible headline. Shameful comments. BTW, tuition did NOT increase at our school.

  8. Tkitty says:

    Still wondering what is really going on…… The catholic elementary school in our area is adding time for education and the catholic high school is cutting back one class a day. Won’t be going anywhere though public school is not an option in our area.

  9. JimO says:

    It is very interesting that none of the above comments reflect an understanding of the nature of Cathoilc schools and the reason to send children to them. They are NOT “private schools”, they are NOT “public schools”, and they are NOT simply academic institutions. They are a place where children can receive a well-rounded FORMATION in the faith, in the knowledge of Catholic doctrine, Christian values and living, in love and outreach for the poor and marginalized, which is the “umbrella” structure under which reading, writing, and artithmetic are also learned…a WHOLISTIC program of learning and formation to prepare future Catholic leaders to give witness to the love of Chirst to our polarized world and to help reconstruct it back into His image with the tools, skills, and expertise they have been given through the Catholic formation system… spiiritual, moral, human, academic, technological, etc.

  10. bob says:

    Don’t punish the high achieving school kids with an extra 20 days at school.. it just doesn’t make sense for the family… when is there family time anymore… teachers are going to be the parents of these future kids?

  11. PoorParent says:

    As a parent who has decided against continuing in a failed system I feel compelled to comment on JimO. Sir, these ARE private schools! We pay a lot of money! With respect to academics, what are we getting for our money? The school can’t outperform the local public school with a student body censored of “problem” kids? Is it worth these extra cost, and are the tuition increases that FAR outpaces the inflation rate worth it? Love the platitiude on formation in the Faith, values, wholistic (sic) programs. So do all Catholic school grads remain Catholics? How do the rates of falling away compare between Catholic and private schools? It strikes me as a slight against the catholic kids who do NOT attend catholic schools. In LA these kids are the vast majority! Also, of this formation is so important to the Archdiocese, whey dont they just subsidize catholic schools education for all Catholics?

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