Obama and Duncan push for longer school days

In calling for a longer school day, President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan cite the lagging US performance in international tests.  “Now, I know longer school days and school years are not wildly popular ideas. Not with Malia and Sasha, not in my family, and probably not in yours. But the challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom,” said President Obama

The president wants schools to add time to classes, to stay open late and to let kids in on weekends so they have a safe place to go.  (I once attended a conference highlighting cities that decided it was idiotic to keep school buildings closed for the summers, holidays and on weekends. They use the schools as community centers when classes are not in session. )

“Our school calendar is based upon the agrarian economy and not too many of our kids are working the fields today,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a recent interview with The Associated Press.

The AP notes that while it is true that kids in many other countries have more school days, it’s not true they all spend more time in school. 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).

However, many schools report  success after extending the time students spend in core classes. The AP story cites searcher Tom Loveless of the Brookings Institution, who looked at scores in countries that added math instruction time. Scores rose significantly, especially in countries that added minutes to the day, rather than days to the year. “Ten minutes sounds trivial to a school day, but don’t forget, these math periods in the U.S. average 45 minutes,” Loveless said. “Percentage-wise, that’s a pretty healthy increase.”

The premise of KIPP charter schools is that their kids are behind, so their day iso three hours longer than the typical school day.  They go to school every other Saturday and for three weeks in the summer.

I would be delighted to see a longer school day. How about you?

71 comments Add your comment

momtoAlex&Max

September 28th, 2009
11:39 am

Longer school YEAR? sure. More school DAYS? Of course.

Longer school day? I don’t think so. It’s a long enough day for elementary students. And they NEED the time for relaxation, free play, homeworkd and extra curriculars.

Laura

September 28th, 2009
11:40 am

It’s quality of education, not quantity. That, and students as it is are already in classes for up to an hour and a half a day, and by that time, their attention spans are shot.

The only good thing I can see about it is that kids’ll maybe get home at the same time as their parents, not before. But, they’ll have less time for homework, sports, extra curriculars, and just being kids.

trell

September 28th, 2009
11:44 am

I agree to longer days for middle thru High schools, but elementary I am wavering. It could work with elementary if they allow a 1 hour nap time around 12 (after lunch) and then allot 1 hour for play or recess. Children need play added to the cirriculum anyway, not enought in the schools.

mom4

September 28th, 2009
12:00 pm

If it’s mandatory, heck no! If it’s voluntary or based on achievement level, i.e. only required for kids who are not on grade level.. then OK.

The problem is that I can provide much better extracurricular activities than my school can. I can provide much better travel/educational opportunities than my school can. My kids are waaaaaaay above grade level with just 180 days of school that are about 6-7 hours long. They do not need more time in public school learning a bunch of stuff that they knew a year ago.

If kids are failing, or if their parents want to send them to school all day long, every day of the year, then let them. However, if I want to pull my kids out for the summer to attend summer camp or go on a trip abroad, I should be able to do that.

I’m afraid that if our friend Arne gets his way, public schools will lose most families that have the means to pull their kids out. Most of these families are the ones with a parent who has the time to volunteer at school and the disposable income to contribute to school in a meaningful way. Their kids tend to be the higher achieving kids. But…. go ahead, Arne, run them all off.. then maybe the teachers won’t have to differentiate so much.

kandice

September 28th, 2009
12:01 pm

i disagree with longer days at achool due to students that are 18 years old or 17 years old have jobs and live out on their own and have to pay bills well they want be able to if they have to go to school longer during the day. and students already has classes for up to on hour and a half a day and by that time their attention spans are shot and they want pay any attention.

Joy in Teaching

September 28th, 2009
12:02 pm

I think that longer school years is a must if we want to be able to competes with the rest of the world. However, we are having to furlough teachers now because there isn’t enough money to be had. How is he planning to fund this?

David S

September 28th, 2009
12:04 pm

Homeschooled kids learn way more in way less time. Its the system folks, not how long kids are imprisoned in it.

More money, more time, smaller classes, new math, ebonics, look-say, and every other farse that has been perpetrated on the innocent has achieved nothing more than more money for more idiots who don’t know what they are doing.

The constitution provides no legal authority for government to be involved in education. They are failures at it and it is time to shut down the brainwashing/indoctrination centers and go back to parents and the private sector solving the needs of education for THEIR children.

NewParent

September 28th, 2009
12:05 pm

I agree with Trell. Middle and High school kids can handle more time in school. I am sick of hearing parents scream about the money they spend for summer programs. You had the kids stop expecting other people to spend their time taking care of them.

School should not be a measure of child care. That is a huge part of the problem now. It is not a teachers job to raise your children.

I don’t agree with the year long school. I have children in a different state and we are already not on the same school schedule. If they make it a national thing and all students are off at the same time then yes, but if not it will be a hardship for those of us with by-regiional families. Our other children should not have to go without see us and vice versa because the school systems cant seem to get their act together.

V for Vendetta

September 28th, 2009
12:16 pm

Joy,

Take government out of the equation, return the tax money to the people, and privatize the system. Like magic, there will be enough.

David S.,

Absolutely. Quality matters far more than quantity. Although I wouldn’t be opposed to longer days/years in certain scenarios, the big issue here is one of quality. The government can’t provide it nor should they.

Vivian

September 28th, 2009
12:23 pm

Another attempt by Obama to make our nation a communist nation. How dare he come in and tell us that our children need to stay in school from sun up to sun down 365 days a year. Mr. Obama as a Harvard graduate I am surprised that you truly believe a calendar teaches children. Parents and teachers teach our children. These are children and if you are so concerned about the underpriledged then please give them more schools, books and teachers. Please tell us how you would intend to fund such a plan?

parent and teacher

September 28th, 2009
12:47 pm

Middle school and high school are already 7+ hours long (with as little as 20 minutes for lunch at some schools) – how much longer do you want it to be?

If they extended the time, the extra time cannot be spent sitting in classes. Hands-on (art, music, science) enrichment, remdiation, study hall (to work with a teacher, complete homework, or go to the library), intramural team sports – even just walking around the track are ok, but more seat time is like pouring water in an already full glass. I’m adult, and I’ve been burnt out at the end of an 8 hour training session – how do you think the kids are going to feel?

Will

September 28th, 2009
12:48 pm

A. How does Prez Maobama plan to pay for this?

B. I cant wait to see the reactions from the teachers unions when Maobama tries to force them to work a full work year and/or a full work day, like the rest of us!

C. More time in school WILL NOT improve the QUALITY of public education. Getting rid of tenure for public school teachers would be the best thing we could do for our public schools!

SteveR

September 28th, 2009
12:52 pm

Bottom line, we need to go to year round school interspersed with breaks of a few weeks throughout. This will accomplish two main issues with the current schedule. Students forget what they’ve learned after a protracted vacation over the summer and weeks are spent at the beginning of every school year to review lessons. Second, both students and teachers are more refreshed by taking breaks more often during the course of the year instead of having a long one during the summer.

The differences seen in better test scores of other countries with fewer school hours is cultural. Until American parents become more involved and nurturing of their children, we will continue to lag behind other countries. Calls by the government for longer hours is simply keeping the kids in a better environment for learning instead of one at home with parents who are more interested in warehousing them to suit their own schedules.

Our culture of entitlement will continue to be an impediment to progressing as a nation, not only educationally, but other aspects as well.

philosopher

September 28th, 2009
1:12 pm

Vivian- your political agenda diminishes your argument- comcern for our kids being educationally competitive in this world is certainly NOT communistic.

philosopher

September 28th, 2009
1:18 pm

David S.’s example of home-schooled kids demonstrates that good education does not require eliminating childhood. However, as long as public school is hampered by too large classrooms encumbered by such variability in learning styles and ability, it can’t be taught like home school.
And, If public school is lengthened without a decrease in homework amounts, I will remove my child from public school…for these reasons:1) much of the school time is spent on repetitive activities-wasted time is tremendous, why sit longer doing nothing new? 2) my child rarely sees the light of day, now, as it is. In elementary school, recess was too short and more often than not, the teachers found reasons to cancel it: some kid misbehaved so the class didn’t get to go out-over and over and over again!, The teachers thought it was too cold or too hot or it might rain, or it might snow or the child was sick yesterday and had to stay in to make up that work.KIDS MUST PLAY!!! In middle school, she doesn’t go out at all and some classrooms have no windows. Homework keeps her from being able to go out at all on many days. In winter the short days already make after school play nearly impossible. So, no, I don’t want longer days…unless homework is not added and recess is mandatory! As for year-round school? Dr. Petruzielo has been forcing that on us since his arrival, shortening and shortening summer vacation until there is little left. For those who work and must put their kids in daycare during those stupid off weeks, the care is absent, no real programs exist and the kids are in a state of chaos and undiscipline for a week. Or they are home alone and veg or get into trouble.. Summer programs, on the other hand, are well-planned and structured. And MOST families still enjoy family time and family reunions in the summer time, when the weather is nice and they otherwise could not get together. Let’s think and plan before jumping into a bandaid approach to education that may likely further diminish childhood and family togetherness. The fact remains- public education needs a major overhaul…it’s TIME!

HS Teacher, Too

September 28th, 2009
1:18 pm

Longer days, longer years … it won’t mean anything unless we make it more MEANINGFUL time. Not more time for meetings or other baloney (bologna? However you care to spell it.). Duncan points to school systems that have seen improvements in — yes, of course, test scores — when they’ve increased time spent in core classes. But those were already lower-achieving schools and I would really like to know how that time was spent. If, as in some schools I’ve seen, the time was simply spent “practicing” for the test in that subject area, I’d argue that it was NOT time well-spent and there was not necessarily good “learning” after all.

Maureen, I suppose that’s a difficult question to answer, but it might be worth a look. What, exactly, did those schools DO with that extra time?

(I also find it incredulous that Duncan and Obama would compare us to Japan and not even give passing mention to a difference of CULTURE and how they/we value education, deal with discipline, special education — Japan doesn’t have any, for example — and the countless other issues that hold our schools back. When and if we are ever able to compare apples to apples, I –and many, many others — will be interested. Until then, it continues to be the same old improper comparison.)

Year Round Public School Teacher

September 28th, 2009
1:24 pm

As a teacher of a year round school the above comment needs to be corrected. Year Round Schools (YRS) are great in theory, but since we do not have “summers” we build in summer school during our breaks. On a 3 week break kids and volunteering teachers are in school for 2 of those weeks, except at winter which is for only 1 week of additional instruction. That means many of our kids are in school for 200+ days! And folks last year we didn’t meet our districts targets. We met AYP, but not the district level targets which are traditionally higher than that of the government’s. The root of this evil in our education is the lack of value in the home. Those of us responding to this blog obviously were reared in homes where education was valued, and many of us probably are the first in our families to attend and complete college. That goes to show it isn’t necessarily the level of education completed, but the value of its benefits. If we keep kids in school longer from homes where education isn’t valued are we fostering this value or feeding the fury of resentment people in this country have towards education. We’ve gotten so far away from education being seen as a privilege in this country that it is now a right and those who don’t want it have more rights within it and as a teacher that pisses me off. My students do not need longer days or school years I don’t think any of them do! What my students need are parents first, teacher second and government last. So, Obama wants kids in school longer…where was that in his speech to the youth?

lesley

September 28th, 2009
1:32 pm

I am pleased to see that this is one of the more civilized discussions on this blog with a few exceptions. I think many people made some great points. I personally don’t believe in longer school day as all students (and hard working teachers) are exhausted with the current schedule and demands. However, I strongly advocate lengthened class periods and block scheduling. This will allow teachers to do more project-based and experiential learning which is more like learning in the “real world.” They may not have every subject every day but today, teachers can integrate online learning into the courses as well to give students meaningful tasks to complete and discussions to participate in that extend learning and allow students to be engaged even when they do not meet face-to-face. Teaching schools how to incorporate online environments would be a much more cost effective way to address current challenges.

I am not against the concept of year-round school as long as it is still around 180 days with the breaks spread throughout the year. Unfortunately- the research does not really support that this method leads to better results.

Of course there are issue of technology access and that is where I like the model mentioned of having school buildings be like community centers after hours where students can get online safety and get extra help if needed. Teachers who work the extended hours should of course be compensated for their time but I will be extremely disappointed if longer school days are mandated for all children. The needs to be time for the extra-curricular and experiential learning that occurs often outside of school.

ESMom

September 28th, 2009
1:39 pm

I could go for a longer school year but absolutely oppose longer days. Kids are already very crunched for time after school to play, participate in sports or other extracurricular activities, homework, and family time. Parents don’t see their kids enough as it is.
We can improve the QUALITY of education without extending days.

Tony

September 28th, 2009
2:03 pm

Presiden Obama and Mr. Duncan are calling for longer days and making claims that are not supported by research. They do compare KIPP schools’ longer days to the higher achievement that KIPP apparently shows, but they do not tell you that KIPP schools have very high attrition rates. They also do not tell you how KIPP schools are able to “encourage” lower performing kids to exit their program and return to public schools.

As for the nations that have longer school years, there is also a dubious use of research. Some of the nations have higher achievement on average, but they do not share the fact the the US has overall more high performing kids than any other country. They also do not report that 8th grade math has risen through the last few years.

Longer days for kids? Give me a break. Are they going to pay for this? If you look at their track record for footing the bill for things they require from the federal level, you will not find one that is very good. Special education funding was promised to be 40%, minimum. The feds still fund less than 20% of special education costs, yet they require schools to provide very expensive services.

Truth is, only certain portions of our students would benefit from longer school days and years. I’m not sure if we want to get into those kinds of specifics.

mom4

September 28th, 2009
2:40 pm

Year around school does not boost learning. Here is the best research to date on the topic.

I will homeschool my children before I subject them to one more minute of government school. More than half of it is a complete waste of time anyway.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070811151449.htm

Reality 2

September 28th, 2009
2:49 pm

Let’s use longer school days to give kids more recess and free time. Some school days can be just for fun – filed day, etc.

The bottom line, unless the quality of instruction improves, incresing the time kids spend in schools will not mean a thing. 30 more days of nothing is still nothing.

Rural Education

September 28th, 2009
3:44 pm

The problem with education does not lie with the teachers. The whole self-esteem movement and the move away from allowing teachers to teach has created the current situation. Many of us remember not being asked if we liked certain subjects, we were just expected to take them and make an effort. The grade was equal to the effort. At some point we decided to reward students for doing the expected. Why?

Kawla

September 28th, 2009
5:32 pm

Children do not spend enough time with their families as it is, and homework often cuts into what little time there is to spend together, often making the time together unpleasant. Parents, not peers need to be the primary influence in a childs life, and should have time to plan family actvities and trips. Not to mention that many children, mine included , are involved in many activities outside of school that are worthwhile, and would probably have to be cut out if a longer school day and year came about. Childhood should not be spent warehoused inside a building and apart from those who truly care for the child.

I do like the suggestion though, that maybe schools could be community centers in off hours- those that NEED more time in school , or just a better environment to be in could then take advantage of that if they chose to do so.

An

September 28th, 2009
7:16 pm

I am not against more school days, but longer school days may be a problem. If it is to long you are barely going to have time for homework before your child goes to bed.

Teaching2educate

September 28th, 2009
7:40 pm

I can see some benefits if there is nothing more productive for the students in their home environment and for the students who are academically below grade level. I also have some concerns about this proposal. I am first concerned about compensation. Teachers will not be paid fairly with the increased days and school year. I base this belief on the premise that teachers are not being paid fairly with the current schedule. Secondly, the teachers will in effect become the parents and teachers. When will the parents spend time with their child, if teachers have them until 5:00 p.m. and on the weekends? Thirdly, the issue of class size is a concern. The increased schol day and school year will have little effect without the reduction of class size. I believe reduced class size will have a more positive affect then increased school time.

ScienceTeacher671

September 28th, 2009
8:38 pm

Homeschoolers move much faster because they basically have personal tutors.

School moves more slowly because there are 25-35 students per classroom, and the teacher has to work with all of them.

Class size isn’t important, though — ask any non-teacher.

Food for thought

September 28th, 2009
9:07 pm

Thank goodness my personal children are finished – the last thing they ever needed was MORE time in school. Of course, as a parent I actually spent time with my kids after school – we ate dinner together – played games – watched TV and movies, whatever. I will pay for my grandchildren (if and when – hopefully not soon, lol) to got to private school – or homeschool them when I retire.

Jeez – can you say “nanny state?”

And I know other schools in other states have shorter days, but here in Georgia, middle school and high school are already close to (or even over) 8 hours when you factor in bus rides. The “union” (lol, I know we don’t really have one in GA) sure didn’t have anything to say about that! Kids still need time to be kids! Someone’s point above about homework is very true – they lengthen the school day, I would expect there to be no homework.

As far as adding days to the year – this is mainly to Will – teachers aren’t the ones complaining – we’re paid by the day, so we’ll make more money! Many of us do work “all year” like the “rest of you” – we just do things like teach summer school, work other jobs, or own our own business (lots of us dabble in real estate – this recession has been a double-whammy). You probably wouldn’t hear from the “union,” (which of course isn’t a real union) but you would hear from parent groups like Georgians Need Summers – never assume, Will, never assume.

jake asher

September 28th, 2009
9:15 pm

SCREW
THAT!!!

BuckeyeMommy

September 28th, 2009
10:07 pm

Just one more thing that Obama wants to control.

Rosie

September 28th, 2009
10:19 pm

How does Mr. Obama plan to pay for longer year and longer days plus weekends? Teachers in our state have been furloughed and expect more. On this very site is another article about National Board Certified teachers not receiving full bonuses. I’d like to suggest something free that will turn every American school around- Unwavering DISCIPLINE! Longer school days would only increase discipline problems.

Echo

September 28th, 2009
10:24 pm

Maybe Arne Duncan can make every American school district as great as the one he left in Chicago. They apparently have a novel approach to reducing class size, the students simply kill each other.

d

September 28th, 2009
10:44 pm

Couple of thoughts….
1) In Georgia, teacher contracts are for 190 work days (well they’re supposed to be but good ol’ Sonny needs his fish pond in Houston County, but I digress) Ten of those days are planning days. These days are vital for preparing for teaching. Quality education does not happen without quality planning, which 175 or so of the 180 school boards in Georgia seemed to think was not the case (ehm ehm $100 Million Reserves Mr. Wilbanks) but since the contracts are for 190 paid days of work, extending the year would require extra pay for the teachers. Since tax revenues are down in our antiquated tax system, where is the money going to come from?
2) I truly believe if the focus was less on passing a multiple choice test in December, February, April, or May and focused on actual learning (and authentic assessment to boot), our kids would perform. They get over anxious or bored or just don’t give a damn about most of these standardized tests and who gets blamed? I won’t say there aren’t teachers that need to find other lines of work, but basing teaching ability on student test scores on tests that really aren’t valid anyway is just not really fair, now is it? Let’s use the time we have to really teach and really assess our students and we’ll see Georgia Schools aren’t as bad as they really appear.

Oh, just an interesting thing I fact I was given…. Georgia is 42nd in the nation for tax collection rates (thanks in part to a very antiquated system) and our schools rank 47th…. coincidence? I think not.

Dr. Craig Spinks /Augusta

September 29th, 2009
2:48 am

Longer school days and longer school years might work if we incorporate more frequent recesses in the former and more frequent scheduled breaks in the latter.

John

September 29th, 2009
6:47 am

Just what we need, spend more taxpayer’s money that this country simply does not have! Come on, have we not already put a large burden on our children with the future of this country, now we need to burden their childhood? Besides what has technology really achieved?

catlady

September 29th, 2009
7:03 am

I have to LOL at this. In our county many kids are on the bus at 6:30 and off at 4:30–a ten hour day. In addition, they are even DRILLED IN FACTS AS THEY ARE IN LINE TO USE THE BATHROOM. I think taxpayers are getting quite a lot of bang for the buck here.

Gwinnett Parent

September 29th, 2009
8:34 am

Has anyone done a study to see how much classroom time is wasted on disruptive students, slow kids, political correctness, and teaching the test? We keep trying to re-invent the wheel. Let’s face it, some kids are a drag on the system and bring us down as a whole. This has been a key problem since the inception of public education. Instead of more time in the classroom, let’s have the kids visit the school 2 weeks before the start of class, take a series of tests, and then separate them based on abilities. Let’s get serious about the disruptive students and place the slow students in separate classes, starting in kindergarten. Unfortunately, not all minds/children are created equal.

Here we are, the end of September. My daughter’s class is still reviewing the previous year. Last year she did not start learning new material until February. What is the point of giving the government more time to waste? I can enrich my child with trips to museums, music lessons, and real life experiences much better than any government school ever imagined.

If we want to become globally competitive, offer advanced elementary school kids foreign languages. My daughter’s school is already wasting 6 months of her 10 month school year. We need to look at inefficiency in our current system. Also, if we do not capture the bored and intelligent kids early, a lot of them will grow up to be non-productive members of society. An idle mind is a dangerous mind.

Bill

September 29th, 2009
8:34 am

In life and education you get what you pay for. Kipp does it. So what, must Charter schools don’t even have certified teacher, they write their petition so they don’t have to.

Meme

September 29th, 2009
9:48 am

I have always been one of those folks who thought we should have a longer school year. 220 days a year sounds good to me.

Meme

September 29th, 2009
9:50 am

220 days sounds good to me.

mom4

September 29th, 2009
10:08 am

You know, I feel sorry for kids whose parents want them in school 220 days per year. Many don’t have the resources to provide novel opportunities for their kids (which often can’t be helped). Others just lack the creativity or desire – the kids of those parents are the ones for whom I truly feel sorry.

Why not handle school like we should be handling health care. Have the schools open for an extra 40 days for those families whose parents are unable or unwilling to provide stimulating activities for their kids or for kids who are below grade level.

As for the others who are doing quite well with things as they are…… leave them alone. We don’t want the extra 40 days, and quite frankly, I don’t want to pay taxes to entertain the kids of a bunch of middle class or wealthy parents who don’t need or want the extra time in school… what a tremendous waste of money that would be!!!!

mom4

September 29th, 2009
10:17 am

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).

Reality 2

September 29th, 2009
12:13 pm

mom4

So, perhaps what we should think about is to spread the same amount of instruction time over many more days. People need some time to really reflect on the new learning experiences to understand. Having classes (of the same subject) everyday might not be the most conducive for learning.

Willing to hear them out.

September 29th, 2009
12:59 pm

I think that having a slightly longer school day, broken up differently wouldn’t be a bad idea. If they included sports and band, etc in the longer school day that would be great. It’ll cut down on unsupervised time for the kids. A longer school year, sure, why not? The average school year in other countries is around 200 days. Year round school is a great idea. Schools open on the weekend, GREAT idea!! It’ll provide a safe palce to go, and a place for students to work on group projects, and the such. Where is the money going to come from, I’m not sure. All in all, I’m willing to hear them out on their ideas, and I hope that they’ll be willing to hear out parents, teachers and students.

John

September 29th, 2009
1:12 pm

Some public schools are very poor. Longer days would only depress and frustrate the youth even more.

School also is often just about conformity. The best artists and scientists are often anti-authoritarian, and ant-conformity.

Obama, for all his fancy education, seems to completely fail in understanding what innovation and originality actually are.

Tom

September 29th, 2009
3:33 pm

As a teacher this all sounds great. But the facts of the matter is with less and less money going to schools we can’t afford that we have now!!!

Whome

September 29th, 2009
4:53 pm

Okay, more time in school. Does that mean more field trips so that students can have experiential learning opportunities? Also does that mean more vocational opportunities for those that have been identified in 3rd grade as not having a mathematical or scienctific mind or IQ. If we are going to have year round all day schools like all of the other countries, what else are they doing? Maybe it is not the etra school hours that we should emulate. Maybe it is back to ability grouping and parents being responsible for their children being properly socialized by having a state sponsored holiday to a foreign country once a year.

verdi73

September 29th, 2009
5:10 pm

After thinking about this I have the following questions:
1. Who is going to pay for the extra days? We can’t pay teacher contract days now. How are we going to pay for 200 or 220 contract days?

2. Why is that the federal gov’t dictates all the rules but they only give 5-10% of the state education budget?

3. Obama says that our school kids stay in school for only 5-6 hours? I don’t know where he go that because the kids at our school start class at 7:55 and end at 3:30 with a 20 minute lunch break.

4. Yes, students may go more days in other countries, but we must look at the HOURS of instruction. Many students in other countries are allowed to go home for an hour for lunch, and they don’t stay from 8-3. What he is stating is not the full truth.

There should be further study before he just makes policy. Also, this is really starting to fringe on state rights.

Upset teacher

September 30th, 2009
10:44 am

Elementary students do not need longer school days. I am a kindergarten teacher and they cannot handle it. They need time to be children. The president wants to compare us to other countries and their test scores. Does he realized that they pick and choose who takes their tests?

NewParent

September 30th, 2009
10:51 am

The bottom line is that the President is trying to do SOMETHING. For all of the complaining that you people do on this blog, what are any of you DOING to try and change this. For those people on here who live in Gwinnett County, you people havent changed the majority of your school board in over 30 years. Vote those losers out and get new, younger, innovative people in there. Of course you are going to have old theories in place when you have old people on your board. I personally like our President but even when I didn’t(Bush) I gave the position the RESPECT that it deserved and I have always tried to work within the system. Now that we have a new (black) President, yes I said it, everyone wants to be more critical of his every word. Ok, you don’t agree with what he and Mr. Duncan are proposing, then open your mouth, write your congressmen, hell look him up on facebook, or twitter him. the bottom line is that the only people that are on this blog are the parents and former parents of children who care about education. It is not the teachers job to babysit your bad butt children because you don’t want to deal with your children. School choice is very important and the fact that Newt and Al are on the same page says alot about how horrible our education system is. NEWT AND AL!! Think about it people, who would have ever thought that would happen in our lifetime. I love all of you on here for your comments and for your passion, but let’s use those qualities for good and not to bash the LEADER of our Nation. Trust me, he does have America’s best interest at heart and it is okay to disagree about how to go about getting that goal accomplished. It is not okay to continue to bash his head in everytime he opens his mouth. Nor is it okay to place a poll question asking if he should be killed. You see as long as we name call and act like this, the extremists will as well. Ask yourself how you would feel if the President was killed. Doesn’t matter if you like him or not, you wouldn’t want to see a father of two daughters, or just a human being treated like. How would you feel if an extremist read one of your posts and that was his or her last straw. You would be indirectly responsible for something horrible.

Think about it!!!