Monday, March 2, 2009

Education chief favors longer school year

Personally, I think this is a great idea. The only reason why American children have summers off is because our history as an agrarian nation. That is not the case anymore. I like the model of 3 months on and 3 weeks off. This is common all over the world.

The school year covers the whole year and there a 4 real good breaks for travel, rest, play and deeper focus.

I love this idea. What do you folks thing?

From CNN:

Those lazy days of summer may become a thing of the past if the new secretary of education has his way.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan suggests giving incentives to teachers whose students perform well.

Arne Duncan, the Cabinet secretary charged with overhauling America's educational system, is studying programs that keep kids in school longer to boost their academic achievements.

"When I go out and talk about that, that doesn't always make me popular with students. They like the long summers," Duncan said in an interview Wednesday with CNN conducted in the Education Department's library.

But Duncan said American students are "at a competitive disadvantage" because the United States has shorter school years than other countries such as India and China.

"It doesn't matter how poor, how tough the family background, socioeconomic challenges," Duncan said. "Where students have longer days, longer weeks, longer years -- that's making a difference."


Anonymous said...

I think that a longer school year is a great idea -- for the right kids. My older one needs plenty of routine, routine, routine.

My younger one, though, would probably benefit from a more loose schedule some months of the year. Give him the ability to explore on his own, which he loves to do.

deirdre said...

We have family in Australia and they follow a schedule much like the one you mention. I love the idea - and it has impacts for everyone as you don't have that summer vacation flood of people everywhere.

My only caution is that 3 weeks off every 3 months (or whatever - longish breaks) can only really work in a context of good child care for all. Without quality, standardized child care, 2-career couples will be forced to find camps or other expensive options. A year-round K-12 system has to be part of a larger shift toward family support.

It only takes a little travel to discover how family-unfriendly our nation truly is. I don't think any other industrialized country puts so much on the backs of the people growing the next generation of citizens and workers.

(uh-oh, you got me started....) ;-)

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