Mailbag: School on Saturday

08.17.10 | Dr. Stephen Coleman | Comments[7]

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In just a few weeks it will be back to school for kids in both the Empire and Keystone States. With the start of a new school year just around the corner, I'm reminded of a commentary that I delivered several months back in which I asked lawmakers in New York and Pennsylvania to consider having classes for students on Saturdays throughout the school year. This -- I argued -- would provide young people with a better education in preparation for the world of higher education as well as the world of work.

Well, based on your response to my commentary, I think the idea of requiring Saturday classes has practically no chance of becoming law because it is simply too unpopular. For example, Carol commented, "Kids have enough stress and are overburdened enough without adding another day of classes." Meanwhile, Shannon shared these words: "I am completely opposed to school on Saturdays year-round. What about family? Weekends are family time."

And finally, Bill and Pearl objected to saturday classes for religious reasons. They wrote, "We are Seventh Day Baptists and believe children of Sabbath keeping families would be penalized for not attending school on Saturday. Five days a week is adequate. Children need the weekend for church and family time."

It looks as if my idea of classes on Saturdays to improve education in New York and Pennsylvania is doomed to failure. Given this, how about a system where public schools have classes on Monday through Friday, eleventh months of the year with August off for the kids. That would give the kids a better education and keep Saturdays and Sundays for family time and religious activity.

What say you?

cc-wetm - tv- Dr. Coleman also airs commentaries and a public affairs program on WETM 18 Elmira. For more information on these programs, go to


Your Comments(please keep them on topic and polite)

on 08.17.10 Cherie Anderson- Frewsburg, NY commented

I do not agree with school eleven months of the year. I feel we should go with Monday thru Thursday, giving them more time to rest, catch up and be with family. These kids need time in the few months of summer to sleep in spend time with friends and family without the stress of peers/school.

on 08.17.10 Fair Ideas commented

As a Christian, education is to come from the home as Deuteronomy 6:6-8 says. Our government seems to be on the mission of taking our children out of our homes more and more which obviously will weaken our parental authority over them. The children are then sent to a government school where our God has been taken out of the education process. I am totally against any more time in school which erodes the family and our faith. Our children were gifts from God to the family, not the government or the school system.

on 08.17.10 Chris Pecherzweski-Olean NY commented

I agree with Fair Ideas. Kids need more family time together on weekends. I also feel the government is trying to intrude into the family and take more control of our children. I say NO to Saturdays.

I CAN spell my name butI can't type well!

on 08.17.10 Will commented

The problem is not how much time is spent in school, it is what is being taught and the attitude of those being taught.

If your taught junk you will produce junk, if you dont want to learn then your not going to learn. School everyday of the year wont change that.

on 08.17.10 Anonymous commented

I do not agree with going to school eleven months out of the year. I am currently in high school, and I take school very seriously. Between classes themselves and extra curricular activities, most students are at school for most of the week anyway. Kids need their time to relax, spend with family, and to be at church. If we had school six days a week, or for 11 months of the year, we wouldn't get those opportunities and it would be way to much stress. The students themselves are the main thing that factors into their education. If they care to get a good education, nine months of school a year is more than enough to get a proper education. Summer is not always a time for kids to be lazy and do nothing. Most kids in my area have camps, classes, trips, vacations that will either strengthen their faith or allow them to spend the needed time with friends and family.

on 08.17.10 Pennsylvania Mom commented

NO to Saturdays and NO to 11 months of Monday through Friday school!! They are our children, not yours.

on 08.18.10 A teacher of young children and mother of 3. commented

Having longer school days and weeks is just a rediculous idea! You can always tell how ignorant a person is about education when they make proposals like this! Kids and teachers need a break to continue working at their best! As a person who doesn't work with kids, try to imagine being with them for 6 hours a day! People who don't teach think that it is such an easy job, we get paid too much, we have too many breaks, etc. They dont know that teaching is much more these days than just teaching!! Kids are so needy! I think we need to go back to traditional values! We really need family values and family time! Instead of extending school time, make it manditory that parents spend more time with their kids! Have parents attend school on how to be a good parent! We have so many in society who stay at home and collect from the system, make them earn their pay by taking parenting classes or doing activites with their kids! Maybe the government should use some of this money and give it to people who work so they can stay home on weekends and holidays and have family time! Family time could make a big difference for alot of kids!! They would do better in school with a stable home life!