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Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023
Good morning to you!

Does working four days a week sound desirable to you? If you are an employee, I am guessing it does. If you are a customer wanting goods or services from that company or organization and now have one less day to do it, I am guessing it doesn’t. And if you are an employer, you are likely caught somewhere in the middle. Oh, and if you are retired, you are likely grumbling over how today’s generation doesn’t have the work ethic that yours did.

Like the debate on most subjects, it depends on what chair at the table you are sitting at — or if you are sitting at the table at all. Meanwhile, more school districts in Iowa are considering a four-day school week.

When I first learned of this, I was a bit puzzled, as it seemed to contradict the other often-debated idea of having year-round school. That idea has been floated based on the idea that students apparently lose much of their knowledge during the time off in the summer months and have to spend weeks — or even months — regaining it. As the gap in scholastic testing scores between American children and those in East Asia and Europe who attend school year-round continues to widen, something needs to be done, according to this train of thought.

I am not an educator of children, and I do not fully understand those needs. I am a business man, though, and I do understand the need to satisfy the customer or risk no longer having the funds to operate. The question in the education world is, who is the customer? Is it the children who are being taught? Or the parents who are paying the bill? Or the teachers who are leading the classrooms?

Many in the business world would say the person who is paying the bill is the customer, but my educator friends adamantly disagree with this and say the student should be the only focus. Meanwhile, principals and others who are hiring would say the need to satisfy the teachers is now the priority, as fewer applicants exist, especially in rural areas.

As such, much of the argument for a four-day work week is to help in the recruiting efforts of teachers who apparently desire more time off. Meanwhile, young education graduates are seeking to work at suburban schools where principals continue to have the cream of the crop to choose from, although I am told the applicant pool is decreasing. Rural schools clearly have a tougher row to hoe, though, and some say more time off may be the answer.

I realize the comparison of business and education isn't always fair, and some say it should never be made, but one can’t help but understand the need to focus on putting out a better product or risk being beaten out by those who will. In the case of education, the product is the students. If overall test scores are improving, and our students are among the smartest in the world, then we are doing things right. If the trend is going the other way, then we need to try something different. The answer in how to accomplish that is not simple. Meanwhile, I have yet to see any company, organization or educational institution put out a better product tomorrow by dedicating fewer hours to it today.

Have a terrific Tuesday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman 

President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

View Shane Goodman's archived columns from past issues here.

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Your Clear Mortgage forecast

We've got a great week ahead temperature-wise. Slight chances for what would be light rain come our way late Wednesday into Thursday.

For help with preapprovals or refinancing, get in touch with Carrie at carrie.mortgage.

Featured home for sale
Attention Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.
392 S. 91st St.
West Des Moines, IA 50266
Looking for BETTER THAN NEW? Don't miss this 2021 build loaded with upgrades and updates. The home is meticulous in style. You will love the black and white finishes. The kitchen stuns with black hardware and white kitchen cabinets, beautiful quartz counters, a custom-built hood over the range, built-in wine fridge and premium Signature Series kitchen appliances.
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FROM KCCI: Iowa 7th graders hospitalized after hay rack ride goes wrong, says parents, sheriff's office

KEOKUK COUNTY, Iowa — Keokuk County parents tell us dozens of Sigourney 7th graders were thrown off a hay rack ride Saturday night, and at least two were hospitalized. It happened on a gravel road just east of What Cheer. Parents tell KCCI the children were riding on a flatbed trailer when the accident happened, and were thrown into a ditch. ... READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Man in critical condition after morning stabbing, DMPD says

DES MOINES, Iowa – Police are investigating a stabbing in the King Irving neighborhood Monday morning. Sgt. Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department says it happened around 5:38 a.m. at the intersection of 11th Street and Forest Avenue. A 38-year-old man is hospitalized in critical condition from the incident. ... READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Trump nabs new endorsement as his Iowa campaign ramps up after second-place finish in 2016

ADEL, Iowa — Former President Donald Trump on Monday rallied caucus-goers in Iowa's rural Dallas County, where he received the endorsement of the state's attorney general and predicted a landslide victory three months before voting begins in the GOP contest's kickoff state.. ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5


The traditional colors of Halloween, orange and black, are reflected in this photo taken at Reiman Gardens on the Iowa State Campus. Photo/Paul Houston.

Sports Notes
Yesterday's action from ESPN.com:
Rangers 5 Astros 2: ALCS - Game 2 TEX LEADS SERIES 2-0
Diamondbacks 3 Phillies 5: NLCS - Game 1 PHI LEADS SERIES 1-0
NFL Monday Night Football:
Cowboys 20 Chargers 17: Cowboys seal win on Parsons sack, Gilmore INT

Theme parks around the world had a bad summer. Weather was blamed for lagging attendance. Many are going all out for Halloween according to Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

WSJ rated the top 30 American cities for convention hosting. To no surprise, Las Vegas was first. To much surprise, Chicago was second.

Today marks the debut of Oak Park (3901 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines), the most seriously appointed restaurant ever in Des Moines. Staff was sent to sommelier school, the test kitchen has been fully staffed for half a year, the state of the art equipment was sourced from Spain and France and custom built in Virginia. Chefs Ian Robertson and his wife, Jess, have ridiculous international resumes. The wine cellar has 7,000 contestants. There will be three levels of caviar service. Owner Kathy Fehrman took the staff to Alinea in the early planning phase.

- Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com

Birthdays and notables!

Happy Birthday Sharon Vickery!

These celebrities were born on this date: Alan Jackson, Chris Lowell, Eminem, Ernie Els, Felicity Jones, Fred LeBlanc, Gary Puckett, George Wendt, Astronaut Mae Jemison, Matthew Macfadyen, Sharon Leal, Wood Harris, Wyclef Jean, Ziggy Marley

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:
Why do big, scary monsters enjoy skeleton jokes? Because they are so HUMERUS! - Gail Tomlinson. Because the answers are usually "no-brainers"! - Carolyn Rogers.

Today's riddle

What did Dr. Frankenstein say after the monster spit on him?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in this daily newsletter, contact Jolene Goodman at jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com, or call 515-953-4822 ext. 319.

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