Dr. Michael Martin, director of schools, has had his work cut out for him since arriving to head Campbell County’s schools in June.
Improving lagging ACT and Gateway test scores at the county’s two high schools has been a priority on Martin’s to do list from the beginning.
During Tuesday’s board of education meeting, Martin took the opportunity to share the second in his three pronged argument for reverting from the current block scheduling method to period scheduling.
Last month Martin began making his case against block scheduling by pointing board members to data that showed while the classes in block scheduling last longer, approximately 90 minutes, students receive less actual instruction time.
On Tuesday Martin continued to support his claims against block scheduling by presenting outcomes from a study involving millions of students across the country.
“I’ve been an advocate for block scheduling and I wish I’d had this information then,” Martin said of the data.
According to the information presented by Martin “4x4 semester block schools demonstrated a generally declining trend in mean ACT scores across tests.”
“This ought to alarm parents and it ought to alarm educators,” Martin said. “The longer you are on the block the more damage you do to students academically.”
Board member Bo Buckner asked board attorney and Anderson County School Board member Dail Cantrell what type of scheduling his school system used.
Cantrell said Anderson County is currently on block scheduling but a departure from this type of scheduling was likely on the horizon.
“We are probably going to move to a modified block (six period day) for the same reasons you are discussing tonight,” Cantrell said.
Martin will present board members with the financial implications of block scheduling versus period scheduling during the December meeting.
Following that meeting, Martin said he is prepared to ask the board to make a decision on whether to continue with the current method of scheduling or to make a change.