(Reader note: This is the fifth in a series of weekly suggestions or talking points to help improve school and/or student performance. No other candidate is offering weekly suggestions during this election cycle.)

There is fresh evidence that starting the school year earlier than Labor Day may improve school performance. There is an interesting story in Forbes online which claims that the main reason many urban school districts start classes after Labor Day is to earn extra revenue from tourism dollars. They even cite dollar amounts and you can read it here:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2014/09/01/the-real-reason-some-schools-start-after-labor-day-is-it-worth-it/

There is fresh, local evidence that starting school in August will improve performance and you can read that here:

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/school-633765-high-students.html

One of the benefits cited in the Orange County Register story is that kids finish the semester before the long winter break, instead of having to test when they return and may have forgotten much of what was taught. That alone could boost test scores.

Idea #5: Watch the Orange County School districts that are starting earlier. Monitor their academic performance results. If there is compelling evidence that an earlier school year start will boost performance, start working on changing the calendar.

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Steve Smith is endorsed by the Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers.You can support the vision of better schools and a more efficient school district by supporting my candidacy one or all of these four ways:

1) Vote for Steve Smith on November 4

2) Tell your friends, family and co-workers to vote for Steve Smith on November 4

3) Tell your friends, family and co-workers about this blog.

4) Make a campaign contribution by check made out to Steve Smith for School Board and mail it to:

Steve Smith for School Board – P.O. Box 2361 – Costa Mesa, CA 92628

Thank you for your support.

Steve

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