Dear TN legislators,

Please do not pass legislation mandating school calendars. Leave that decision in the capable hands of local school boards.

You already know how low ACT scores, graduation rates and subject area benchmarks are for Tennessee’s children. You have seen the reports from Tennessee universities that most incoming freshmen need remedial coursework before they can begin their college level classes. Business leaders have repeatedly told you that they cannot operate in Tennessee with the illiterate workforce that currently exists.

Our high school students are too valuable a commodity to weaken their educational system with this ‘compressed calendar’ movement so that companies can have cheap summer labor. School IS a student’s job. Our students need more education and not less education. Our state needs a more highly skilled workforce to survive in the current and future economy.

Our state needs to focus on jobs. Jobs require a literate workforce. Future jobs require a highly educated and skilled workforce capable of innovation. Our students need more math, more science and more critical thinking skills. Our students need less summer vacation, not more.

Please do not take control of local school calendars away from the communities which they serve.

Cathy McCaughan, parent

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