Pinnacle editorial: Instruction time snafu an unfortunate mistake

Anzar High School’s unfortunate mistake with classroom instruction time leading to an extended day for the remainder of the year is just that – an unfortunate mistake.

Anzar and the Aromas-San Juan Unified School District have corrected the problem. The state doesn’t take such discrepancies lightly – Anzar has been shorting students’ of valuable classroom time for at least the past seven years – and took the appropriate action by requiring the school to make up the past year’s discrepancy.

Public schools in California have been experiencing continual declines to classroom time, largely due to negotiations with unions, so every available minute matters toward the future of students and the education system.

State education code mandates that schools offer a minimum of 64,800 minutes of instruction per year – or an average of 360 minutes per day for grades nine through 12. The school’s deficiency totaled 917 hours for which the local district needed to compensate.

The superintendent, Willard McCabe, explained in an interview with The Weekend Pinnacle that the violation stemmed from the district counting minutes from a single advanced biology class offered during zero period, when it should not have been because the class “is not available to enough of the student body who would qualify for the class and would want to participate in it.”

It appears that Anzar and the district made a technical mistake, an easy mistake to make. School officials have recognized the problem and are addressing it. That is all we can ask – while the San Juan area district and others have learned a valuable lesson from the ordeal.

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