The news from Hall County schools concerning a thorough evaluation of block scheduling is a very good sign. Parents and students of all our local schools should encourage administrators and school boards to exhibit the same openness and concern for what is best for students in all areas of their education.
For some time now, it has been very apparent that the block schedule, while aiding a few areas of learning, has actually been more problematic than helpful in other areas. In subjects such as mathematics and foreign languages, where there is great benefit in a disciplined daily repetition of a limited amount of new material, the extended block schedule has hurt rather than helped, and has resulted in a tremendous waste of teaching time.
The fine arts, too, have suffered, and continue to suffer in systems where the block system has forced a one-size-fits-all straightjacket approach to learning. You can imagine how difficult it is to build a fine instrumental or choral music program in a situation where gifted students only dabble in the arts on an exploratory basis. In some cases, they must stay after school in order to participate in the arts, which I submit, are equally as valid to one's education as any academic area.
When one begins to examine the experience of school systems across the country, and also many fine systems in Georgia, the evidence mounts that the block system is not living up to the original hopes it seemed to promise.
Indeed, where teachers themselves have had significant input, the decision has often been a "no" to block scheduling. It may, perhaps, eventually suffer the same end as the failed whole language fad that was trumpeted with such fanfare only a few years ago.