Students suffer downside of lost Fridays


POSTED: Thursday, November 12, 2009

Some public high school students are noticing the negative effects of Furlough Fridays. “;Everything is getting compacted and shortened. And the quality of our education is being lowered,”; said Jessica Minick, chairwoman of the Hawaii State Student Council.

While thousands of students spent the Veterans Day holiday outdoors enjoying the balmy weather, 13 members of the Hawaii Student Council spent yesterday indoors, mulling over the issue.

In a conference room at the Department of Education's Diamond Head offices, James Brese, chief financial officer of the DOE, held a presentation of the school systems' “;budget blues,”; prompting questions from council members on what can be done to restore lost school days. The teachers' contract calls for 17 Furlough Fridays in the current school year to save money on salaries. Everything is being jam-packed into a four-day week, said Minick, a senior at Hilo High School. “;It's not working. It's not working at all.”;


        ”;They're getting lazy on both sides: The students don't want to do the work, and teachers don't want to give out the work.”;
        —Jasmine Healy / Senior at Kapolei High who has noticed complacency around her school

In the past two weeks, Mark Aoki, a junior at Roosevelt High School and Honolulu district representative for the student council, said he has seen the added stress on fellow students and his teachers rushing to cover all the standards.

Mark Dannog, a junior at Waianae High School, echoed Aoki's comments. While teachers have time to prepare lessons, they have less time to teach it, said Dannog, Leeward district representative.

Students as well as teachers at Kapolei High School have become complacent, said Jasmine Healy, a senior at Kapolei High. She said she has noticed that students don't care as much about their education and a lot of teachers are not assigning homework to make up for lost class time. “;They're getting lazy on both sides: The students don't want to do the work, and teachers don't want to give out the work,”; said Healy, Leeward district representative. “;Everybody is suffering overall.

“;We need to be in the classroom as much as possible,”; she said, adding that she fears that students will forget how important education is for their future. “;Our education needs to be the best that it can be.”;