While tepidly supporting the Local Control Flexibility Act, this page has noted people’s concerns and suggested that supporters and critics alike should watch carefully how the plan is put into play.
Last weekend, an article from McClatchy Newspapers, reprinted in The Star, pointed to a way the act could improve the health, social skills and learning of Alabama students.
The article noted how studies are showing that students need more free play — good, old-fashioned “recess” — to blow off steam and relieve stress. It also pointed out that most states do not meet the recommended minimum free-play time.
According to the state Department of Education website, Alabama requires 30 minutes of physical education daily, not counting lunch or recess. There is no free-play requirement.
Some time ago, administrators and teachers at Kitty Stone Elementary School in Jacksonville came up with a plan that would have 60 minutes of PE every other day, which would have included time for free play. The alternating days would be for computer or music instruction.
But guess what? State law and Department of Education rules would not let them adopt that schedule.
If the goal of the Local Control Flexibility Act is to let teachers and administrators at the local level come up with new and innovative ways to help students learn, the Kitty Stone plan might have been approved.
That, it seems to this page, is what flexibility should be about.