Up north, it snows enough that schools can’t just close every time a few flakes fall. But I live in Virginia, just outside Washington, DC, and it doesn’t snow that much here.
Weeks ago it snowed eight inches, a lot for us. The schools in my county — and throughout the region — closed.
But in Washington, DC, the schools stayed open. And controversy ensued.
Was opening the schools unsafe? Was it a waste of money, since only a small percentage of students and teachers showed up? Or was a school day too valuable to lose?
For me, that’s all beside the point. I think a day having fun in the snow is more valuable than a yet another day in class.
This came to mind again when I listened to President Obama’s recent speech about public education. Obama wants our kids to attend school more days and longer hours. Apparently, children in South Korea go to school more and score better on tests.
Not only am I skeptical about such comparisons, and those tests, I’m totally uninterested in educating my kids to best the Russians or the Germans or the Japanese or anybody else.
To me, education is all about encouraging my kids to love learning, and then facilitating their very personal pursuit of their own dreams. It’s not an international competition demanding ever-more hours of drudgery.
So, let it snow.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.