Here is a link to an article from the Associated Press concerning changes that Pres. Obama would like to make to the school calendar.
Basically, he would like to add time to classes, keep schools open later, and leave schools open on the weekends as a safe place for kids. Education secretary, Arne Duncan told the AP, "Young people in other countries are going to school 25, 30 percent longer than our students here. I want to just level the playing field."
Interestingly, the AP points out, "Kids in the U.S. spend more hours in school (1,146 instructional hours per year) than do kids in the Asian countries that persistently outscore the U.S. on math and science tests - Singapore (903), Taiwan (1,050), Japan (1,005) and Hong Kong (1,013). That is despite the fact that Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong have longer school years (190 to 201 days) than does the U.S. (180 days)." That leads me to understand that other country's school days are shorter. Not only would our children be going to school more days in the year, but we'd also be increasing their hours spent in school? No thanks.
Charter schools are used as positive evidence behind increasing time spent in school, as well as a Massachusetts' expanded learning time initiative program.
Most disturbing to me is the vision that Education Secretary Duncan has of our schools being "the heart of the community". Ummmm.... Isn't that what the family is?
Here are my thoughts/questions/ponderings: How will these changes affect the family? Will these changes really make our children more competitive? How are we going to fund this (it seems to me that most schools are already operating on skim funds)? Why not use that money to give teachers a raise (I feel teachers are the biggest factor in the quality of our children's education rather than how long our children are in school)? Is it the school's responsibility (taxpayers) to babysit/provide for families that have two working parents? Kids hanging out at school after hours or on weekends seems like a breeding ground (perhaps literally) for trouble... unless they are being supervised by/engaged in activities by teachers, in which case, how do we fund that?
What do you think?