December 5th, 2012
04:00 AM ET

Longer school day coming for thousands of students

by John Martin, CNN

(CNN) - School's going to be a little longer for about 20,000 U.S. students next year.

On Monday, The U.S. Department of Education, the Ford Foundation and the National Center for Time and Learning (NCTL), announced the formation of the TIME Collaborative. This initiative will support more than 40 selected schools in Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee that will be open an additional 300 hours during the 2013-2014 school year. For schools on a 180-day calendar, that would add more than an hour and a half of instruction per day.

The TIME Collaborative, a partnership between NCTL and the Ford Foundation, is funded by federal, state and private funds. NCTL will provide technical support for schools, while the Ford Foundation is offering $3 million in grant funds.

One of the group’s goals is to reduce achievement gaps for children who live in impoverished communities. "More learning time was simply necessary to close opportunity and achievement gaps," David Farbman, senior researcher at NCTL, wrote on the organization’s official blog.

Ford Foundation's president Luis Ubiñas said that research shows that student achievement is correlated with time spent in the classroom. "When kids spend more time in school they score better on standardized tests; they graduate at higher rates and are more likely to land internships or apprenticeships," Ubiñas said during the unveiling of the program.

Students in the selected schools won't necessarily be facing more hours studying social studies and science. "Our goal must be to turn those hours into moments of opportunity—with expanded curricula, re-imagined school programs, internships and apprenticeships, and greater exposure to areas that are increasingly on the educational cutting block—arts, music, drama and athletics," Ubiñas said.

Sam Chaltain, a senior fellow at the Institute for a Democratic Education in America, said that at-risk learners could disengage if longer school days look similar to current school activities, even though the practice will help many others. "If it's more of the same, if we continue to focus just on reading and math scores, I think it's safe to say we'll be successful. We'll raise those scores, and we'll probably raise student dropout rates because increasing numbers of young people feel that school is irrelevant to their needs and interests." Chaltain told HLN's Kyra Phillips. "If the goal is to re-imagine school itself...then I think it holds great promise," Chaltain continued.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan has long been a proponent of longer school days. "One of the most important things we can do is give those children who may not be blessed with a house full of books, who might not be blessed with a family member who has gone to college or even graduated from high school, we have to give them the time to learn more. And this initiative is a huge opportunity to do that," Duncan said on Monday.

Don't expect most students to be thrilled by the prospect of longer days in their school buildings. "We just want to get out of school and have a little break from all of that intense, you know, learning," Massachusetts middle school student Hannah Kirstel told CNN affiliate WWLP.

We want to know what you think: Will a longer school day translate to better student achievement? Post your comments below.

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Filed under: Arne Duncan • Policy • Practice • School funding
soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. caseythekid

    This could be great, if it means that the Home Work load will be reduced because of this. The less kids have to do at home the better things end up. In my opinion it is much more affective to learn at school then at home, because at home it is always possible to find a distraction from doing home work, be that Television, friends, video games, naps ,etc.. Longer days would be much more beneficial if it means kids have to do less work at home.

    December 12, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  2. High school student

    I'm not in favor. Some people might think it's good, but from what I've seen most students (The ones who have to deal with this) are stressed enough, I think it would be great for grades.... if it didn't leave more stress for the students.

    December 12, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  3. teacher2be

    I think that having a longer day may not help. The classrooms are already 15-30 kids to 1 teacher. This can often times result in teachers babysitting, instead of being able to teach. It would be good to offer after class tutoring in a classroom environment. There is a bigger issue that needs to be addressed though. Here is an example of what we're truly talking about. Kyron and 5 other students read on a 2nd grade level, barely can write, spell, or comprehend what's being taught. This in turn leads to him and the other students in his classroom acting out and disrupting the other children's learning. Based on this scenario extending the day is going to further perpetuate the issues. We need strong, confident, and knowledgeable principals, who will stand up for the child and to the parents to call a thing a thing. We need teachers who are encouraged and supported by its administration and parents to rear our children and give tough love when needed. Sometimes it seems to me that we’re being run by bullies. Parents who come and make a mockery of what our education is supposed to be. Administration, that only tries to band aid situations but won’t stand up and really make the tough decisions instead of trying to just appease. Then children who are abandoned and abused who in turn come to school to abandon their education and abuse their peers and teacher. There is more wrong with our educational system than extending hours. Let’s magnify that and begin there. Stop teaching to a test and teach life skills. Let us teach fundamentals to help our children excel.

    December 12, 2012 at 1:40 am |
  4. ShelbyAnn

    It is not the hours they spend in class, it is the quality of teaching these children receive. I had recess for 25 minutes at 10 am and we received 55 minutes of lunch and playtime in the afternoon, and somehow, we still scored well on our tests. Why? Because the quality of teachers was so much better back then. Being a teacher did not mean they get the summer and all holidays off. They knew they would need to do something in the summer to suppliment their income. They taught because that was what they liked to do. Unfortunately not all of the teachers now think that way and this is just a job for them. I have had my daughter removed from a class in grade school due to a teacher who played on social status of the neighborhood moms. She was horrible. She called my 5 year old a liar and withheld snacks from her, and would not let her outside to play with the other children. My son's third grade teacher quit and walked out on the class before I had the opportunity to speak to the principal about her. The more hours you put on these children, the more disconnect you will see. The low test scores are not the fault of the kids, but the fault of their educators and the system who failed them.

    December 12, 2012 at 12:28 am |
  5. Teri

    Sounds like free after-school daycare to me. I seriously doubt the kids learn any more than they will with a regular school day. Most schools already spend half the day on useless activities.

    December 11, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Rachel

      Hi Teri,

      How involved are you in the school system? Do you teach?

      December 11, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
  6. r_kage

    I think extending the school day might be helpful for two-parent working families, who want to ensure their children are somehow contained and not home alone. That's about it. These days, I think kids are bombarded with instruction geared toward enhancing test scores and given an excessive amount of homework to meet state objectives, but not enough effort is made toward making sure our young students gain practical life skills. Kids don't even get adequate breaks (whether in the form of recess or not) to be able to absorb and reflect on current topics. Tacking on hours to the school day for already tired young minds isn't likely to help but a few. I think it would be far more useful for schools to make an OPTIONAL homework session available after school. This way students who do not have a good environment at home to complete their studies, or perhaps do not have parents who are willing or even able to field homework questions can get a little extra assistance. Not all kids require this, though, and forcing kids to sit through longer days takes away from other activities, including things they can be doing with their families.

    December 11, 2012 at 3:01 am |
  7. Miss Thebeaught

    Yea! Longer days for congress, too. I can't believe we didn't think of this earlier. THINK LONGER!

    December 11, 2012 at 12:16 am |
  8. Rachel

    Every school is different. As an Elementary Education student at a local college this will effect me, but we will not know how it will work until we see it. Let's not freak out over something just yet! For those parents complaining about having to get the children up early to get them on the bus; try living in the middle of no where, 30 mins away from school and having to ride a bus for an hour and a half every day. I had to do that as a child and I got up between 5 and 5:30. Starting school earlier in the mornings would be great if they do an exercise program. The students would focus more because it would release endorphines that would make them have more energy and help with depression. I personally feel that this will be a great thing! Quit complaining about something tha you don't know for sure will happen. My point to all of this is CALM DOWN!! It hasn't even started yet!! Give it a chance!!

    December 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Teri

      The first kids on our bus route are on the bus at 5:30 in the morning because they are required to be on school property by 7:10 so that the kids who get free lunch can get their free breakfast before the 7:40 bell (class starts at 7:50). They also don't get home until 4:45 in the evening because they run the route in reverse. First pick up is last drop off. Completely unfair if you ask me. It makes for long days. And, yes, this is in TN – one of the states to add the extra hour and a half. I just hope it doesn't apply to this particular school. That would be an almost 13 hour day.

      December 11, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  9. Blake

    I am not affected by this new law but i must say.... it sucks i live in california kids here are tired and deppressed enough as is i would truly hate whoever imposed this to the up-most highest degree

    December 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  10. Reile

    What about Alabama?! Macon county is one of the poorest counties in America!

    December 10, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Teri

      Please. Macon county isn't even close to one of the poorest counties in the country. You need to take a drive through Lowndes, Perry, Wilcox and Dallas counties. Not to mention half of Mississippi.

      December 11, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  11. CTmom

    Here in Connecticut the time will be added in the morning and will include breakfast and an excersise program. Then a lesson in math or reading. Their day will start at 7:30. This means parents will be waking kids up at 6:00 to get them ready for the bus. Personally I rather have my children sleep longer and eat together as a family , but then again I'm not some lazy parent only looking for government handouts.

    December 9, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Teri

      On our bus route, kids get ON the bus as early as 5:30 and get home as late as 4:45. And, it's all due to the kids getting free breakfast/lunch because they have to be given 30 minutes in the morning to eat once they get to school. The bus gets to school at 7:10. It's absurd. At one point they were going to delay the buses an additional 30 minutes in the afternoon so the kids who needed tutoring could go there before going home. You are right – a lot of it is because of free handouts and parents not wanting to be responsible for their own kids, which means they are all essentially punished. (Needless to say, we are in private school – much shorter days and the kids actually learn more.)

      December 11, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
  12. Wife of teacher

    Really? Adding more time at school may help some but not others. Kids have a hard enough time staying focused, lengthening that time won't help. Those who want to learn will continue to learn, that is why we call it homework. This just adds more work/stress to the kids lives . It is the parents responsibility to help their kids learn and excell at school, but parents aren't taking responsibility. They blame teachers for dumb kids, when it's the parents at home making sure their kids study and do their homework that makes the kids smarter. It just going to take away after school activities and make nights later for kids. Not the right solution for this problem!

    December 8, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Teri


      December 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Name* mom3

      Dumb kids? Wow. This is coming from the spouse of a teacher. Hate to see what the teacher calls the students.

      December 11, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
      • Name*ty

        C.all a spade a spade if a child is below average lett it be known don't b so PC. Kids and teachers should thake an iq test at the start of the year and form classes around that. We allready have honor classes and spec ed classes.

        December 12, 2012 at 9:26 am |
  13. jamyah

    i love school and i hope we do get an extra hour because every time i get a "c"on my progress report or report card i get on restriction. that one hour will help me finish my work, it want kill you to get out of school at five yes it is dangerous but your parents can wait for you at the bus stop or get you from school.

    December 8, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Teri

      Let me guess – English is the class where you are struggling with grades. Learn punctuation and the difference between want and won't. You can also work on capitalization and run-on sentences.

      December 11, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
  14. Nathan

    Having more school days would have two effects, yes it could raise grades, but it will also have a negative side. I myself love learning so having longer time at school is something I cheer for.

    December 8, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  15. Gabe

    I think it is a great idea to add more time to school and I think it would help alot of kids in my school get there grades
    higher,it would help me alot, I know that.

    December 7, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  16. Chandler

    Good thing I'm a Senior, this won't be a problem for me.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  17. sputnick1

    Good... Keep the little brats in there

    December 7, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  18. Inner-city Teacher

    This is a fantastic idea! It would contribute to work ethic, work morale, and the overall issues we have with school budgets. What's not to love?

    As it stands, schools operate within a very tightly constricted range of spending. Paying for general maintenance, necessary staff, faculty, updated resources, federally-mandated programs such as Professional Development courses, state assessment training, orientations, IEP interventions, just aren't taking away enough of the finite funds available. I mean, look at that grant - 3 million dollars! That's easily enough to add 300 hours across the 99,000 (2009 records) public schools in the US. That's like 10,000 dollars per hour to split between 99,000 schools...what school CAN'T use an extra 9.90 an hour? That totally covers electric, air/heat, staffing, etc! In fact, we might even have to pass some of the extra benjamins over to those nifty charter schools.

    And just think of how much more hard work our kids can do with an extra 90 minutes! This program is geared towards disadvantaged students, so as someone trained in urban education who has worked in urban districts for a few years, I can honestly say that 90 minutes is another opportunity for students to, well, do something! With high dropout rates, skipping rates, and general "I'll show up but not do anything rates," this is like adding another scratch-off square to a lottery ticket. Who doesn't want one more chance for the grand prize? Maybe the disadvantaged students will actually work in that 90 minutes, you know, after not doing much work for the previous 7-8 hours. At least those 3/4 who actually come to school, and the 2/3 of those that don't just go home at lunch. 90 more minutes to stretch a thin budget just offers more opportunities for everyone all day, every day. What's not to love?

    And then the morale! Man, this'll do wonders to help the statistically significant rate of teacher burnout and turn over in disadvantaged districts. I mean, as a teacher who spends 9 hours in the building daily (1 hour of pre-school prep, 1 hour to tie up loose ends at the end of the day) and then spends another 2-3+ hours at home grading, assessing, and planning, I really feel like I don't spend enough time working. My colleagues keep telling me about how they really don't want to see their families until, like, 7 at night or later, then not see them again because they're working until 11 or midnight, to wake up at 5 and do it all over again. This'll work wonders on us all.

    Which brings me to year round school. Yes, perfect. What we need is an approximate 365 days a year of kids repressing their hormones and energy levels for 9 hours a day, all year long, being asked to sit through 8 different lessons on 8 different topics a day, master them easily, and still have room left to enjoy their youth. I mean, adults like us are constantly spending hours everyday mastering as many as 16 or 17 different topics, why can't they handle 8 or 9? Kids these days, man, just not made of much umph. They don't need lengthy breaks to enjoy their time as a child, they need hard work and DISCIPLINE!

    Clearly, we manage the time they spend in class extremely well, so why focus on that? Just give them more time in class! Because, you know, blindly throwing money at something fixes everything.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Davis


      December 9, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Been there done that

      Loved your reply!!! Why can't people see how useless this would be! Great reply!

      December 12, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  19. Logan

    The hour and a half extra would be nice as long as that hour is used for an elective or internship that students would be interested in. I believe that it would be alright just as long as the students get to choose something that they are interested in.

    December 7, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  20. Wietsma

    As a student myself, I know that if kids want to do the extracurriculars that these extra hours would offer, they would. Adding hours just takes away from the special extras that those who want to excel take part in on their own time. I, for example, have either private music lessons or an outside group four days a week, and other activities besides that.
    If we are made to get out later that will also impact our grades, and maybe not positively. Teachers hand out homework. That is a well known fact. It is also known that students often stay up late to get that work done. If we must stay in school longer those hours would get later and later. Teachers would have to either give less homework, or give more time in class. Either way, we get less time were the teacher actually teaches.
    Do the pros really outweigh the cons?

    December 7, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Knowingness

      Finally, someone understands! Thank you Wietsma! I, also a student, often stay up until 10:00 PM doing homework. If I were to have ant more, I would go ballistic! What ever happened to being a kid! This is America, not Russia! And for all of you parents who are too lazy to spend time with your kids, then don't even have them!

      December 9, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • Extended Day Student

      I go to school for what is an extra hour and a half of JUST instructional time every day. Followed by a total of an hour and a half commute to school. I am here to tell you that there is time in the day for all those things you want to do outside of school and I see no reason for students to complain because their school wants to help them for their future. Doing this will give these students an edge over others because they will get the opportunity to say that they have learned so much more than these other schools that don't implement this program. I'm sorry you won't have time to eat breakfast with your kids, but that he/she is doing something that could potentially change their life for the better.

      December 9, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  21. Seth

    It is a nice oppurtunity for those who actually want work experience. Though most students do not wish to have any commitments after school but instead chill. Taking after school time away from students is a mistake.

    December 7, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Serria

      I think that it is good because they are going to make the students get better test scores and have and the teachers are there to help the students stay in school and help the finish school instead of them. Dropping out and not helping them stay in school.

      December 7, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  22. Mark.

    Why add more time to perpetuate the socioecomic imbalance of our country? What is it that causes an unlevel playing field? Hmmm...let me count the dollars. Question, why do we teach health? Why do we teach about condom use? Why do we teach anything beyond the basics? Becasue our children need this information to be safe and for us to become GOOD employers. But what about our individual children? What will every ...EVERY....child use as a tool in our society ...a most important tool? MONEY. We are a capitalistic society and we do not teach our children anything about this tool. We simply allow our children to learn about money in the gutter. Wealthy get taught at home. Poor...where? Where do they learn about creating income, using money, saving it and investing and spending it? No, if the educational system is going to help our children, require every one of them understand the greatest imbalance that gives wealth to the few financially literate and requires those financially illiterate to need others for their needs. Money, having money you earned is freedom and it is liberty from worry, lenders, caretakers, etc. I would back a longer day if it sought to level the playing field for all children. This is just a longer day of more of the same and at the end of that day, after all that education ...if one does not know how to handle money, the highest income can lead to disaster while a much lower income in the hands of someone financially literate can lead to freedom and wealth beyond ones dreams. Hmmm, just think how we could help those who cannot help themselves if more and more of us grew wealth and required less from our government? As some say...simple math. Seek an education that levels the playing field in ways that are tangible for all children who will become adults.

    December 7, 2012 at 8:37 am |
  23. Bailey403

    Sorry, typo. I means Cons, not Coms

    December 7, 2012 at 5:47 am |
  24. Bailey403

    I think that longer school days would be great for our learning experience. It would provide us with new opportunities and extra time that would usually limit us in a normal school day. But I mean, we have to realistic here with the cons also. Coms:
    1. Getting out of school at either 3:30 pm or 4:30 pm, getting off the bus at 5:30? It's neither safe, nor reliable.
    2. Students are probably going to protest. I am in middle school myself and I personally hate the idea of getting out of school an hour after we normally do.
    3. Parents might have to change their work schedules just pick up their own child.
    Both sides have pros and cons and its really not clear what will happen, the comments alone on this blog show how big of an impact this will be on our students.

    December 7, 2012 at 5:42 am |
  25. Kiana

    I believe that adding some more time to school days is not the greatest idea. Children need more time to spend with family and friends after school, and getting homework and studying done. It is possible that if more time is added to the school day, kids may become more stressed. That wouldn't be good.

    December 7, 2012 at 12:02 am |
  26. hp23

    i can see it now schoole ending at 4:30 pm in winter a kid coming out of school and getting on the bus in the dark during winter and coming off the bus i dont know if anyone has beento springfield massachussettes but you dont want to be a kid coming off a bus at 4:30 pm in winter its pretty dark and springfield is ghetto trash

    December 6, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Education is good

      I see your writing has numerous spelling errors. Is your oral communication and vocabulary skills as"ghetto" as your writing skills?

      December 8, 2012 at 12:35 am |
      • Knowingness

        You missed a space between "as" and "ghetto", smart one.

        December 9, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  27. Kelly

    I invite all who are in favor of this to spend a day in an ELEMENTARY classroom. Spending an additional hour and a half per day is not wise. I am all for year round schooling...where kids have less time off in the summer. Under the current system...we see far too many kids regressing during their 10 weeks off.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
  28. Fatima

    Do we really need an extra hour of school? We're just tired to go to school for 6 hours. Can the government even afford it? It takes at least an hour to complete our homework but to add more? That's crazy.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
  29. Laura

    I don't like the extra time added. If school was longer I would like the time to be useful. Maybe Drivers ed for the students who have their permits. Maybe even a study hall time where students can go get extra help with their homework or, catch up on things they missed during class because they were sick the day before.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
  30. raggedhand

    1- Who's going to pay for the extra hour? Will the money to pay teachers for the extra hour and a half of class time and the time needed to prepare for that class come out of local government or out of the teacher's pay?

    2-Does the government really think that making a teacher's day longer is going to create quality teaching? I'm a teacher who already puts in an hour before my paid duty day and an hour after the quitting bell rings and I'm exhausted. Will I be able to be fresh and effective working 12 hours instead of my present day 10 hours?

    3-I'd like to note the highest rated European school systems have a 5 hour teaching day.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
  31. Farfora27

    Why would we need that extra time? Kids would get bored and start getting themselves distracted. And it will be harder to do homework since you would have less time to do it. And kids have activities, such as gymnastics and swimming after school. I think it would be a waste of time

    December 6, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
  32. Jose

    I can see the benefits of increasing school hours to improve the education of the student, but we must also keep in mind that students have other important matters in their daily lives that can't be cut into because of increased school hours. Extracurricular activities exist because of this, and should be the decision of the student whether or not to participate.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
  33. cooper

    I think it should be the same time as it always been because we still have homework to do and that gives us extra learning time too.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
  34. cooper young

    I think the regular time is enough because we still have a homework to do so that gives us extra learning time too.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
  35. Kayla

    Most Schools are already six to seven hours each day for 5 days a week! If we end up adding more school time it could be a mess. kids would drop out, students would have more problems to worry about and have less time with theyre family! Craming more education into Students wont help, but ruin America's families now and crash our econmy in the future.

    December 6, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  36. LUIS

    I dont think its a good idea because kids dont like going to school and adding an hour and a half would make them less pay attention. 🙂

    December 6, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  37. Olivia

    Extending the amount of school days are going to be expensive especially when schools all around the country have already had major budget cuts.

    December 6, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  38. Bryan

    i think kids shuldnt have to sped more time in class because they ned a break. the studnts who are faling ithink wold stop showing up and if it is to help those kids they shuldnt be faling in the first place, if they get held back thats there own falt. Ya this might be to help them but if the teachers and studnts really cared that much theres always before school at lunch an after school s i do think the way we have the ours right now is fine.

    December 6, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • TigerBalm0604

      Bryan, your post is a screeching cry not only for increasing the "time on task" in formal education, but also for addressing issues of instructional quality and holding students accountable to high expectations. I can generally forgive a few typos, spelling mistakes, and grammatical errors; however, your post is an editorial disaster and your absolute inability to express your opinion in anything approaching fundamental literacy does little to support the arguments of your like-minded brethren. Please, get back into school and spend some time and effort trying to improve your own basic skills before you weigh in on more complex issues.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  39. Nena

    I think that the school day should be longer in order to increase our education. But students should be given the option to stay longer not.

    December 6, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  40. romell

    they should not add school time to are days because if they do every day ill might as well go to sleep after school

    December 6, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  41. Christian

    I think that a hour and a half should not be something that is required, teachers should talk to students about help and then make being able to get home easy, so if you want to stay after for that 90 minutes.

    December 6, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  42. Jenny

    As if we don't have way too much time sitting in desks all day.
    Longer school hours aren't going to help through my eyes. If anything, it would just make things worse. Students only have so much tolerance of teachers and homework and assignments and even other students. If you need extra help, that's why there is thing called "tutoring". Students have the resources they need to improve their academic performances in school but they either choose not to or they have other priorities, Speaking of priorities, that's also one of the reasons why this is a horrible idea. By the time teenagers are 15-16, they can get a job to pay for college or whatever else. If school ends later, then they would come home from work later and they wouldn't be able to finish all of their assignments in time which would decrease their grades.
    To make things short, horrible idea and it would only make things worse (in my opinion). I'm tired of the hours we have already and I'm extremely stressed out and I've only been in high school for over 3 months.

    December 6, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Bryan

      im with you its up to the studnts on how there grade is.

      December 6, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
  43. Abigail

    I believe that the extra hour and a half should be used to take field trips to local businesses. The students could see what working there would be like and what it takes to be successful there. The kids could find a job they like and spend time studying up on that certain subject. It would provide more job opportunities and that could keep kids off the streets.

    December 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Knowingness

      Good idea. Get kids excited about being in the workforce and getting wages.

      December 9, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
  44. Andrew

    I think that it is good that they are doing that becaus people can do like band and play more longer and i play alto sax and if they did that to my school I willl like so i can play the sax more!!!

    December 6, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  45. robbob

    its not right to force students to stay at school. this program should be optional. some kids have after school sports and jobs. i don't support this.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  46. Susana

    The school day should not be extended, because there's already a lot of hours to stay in school per day, and students won't have enough time to complete homework. Also students come very tired from school.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  47. josephmesa

    i think schoo is good time wise but wat too much homework

    December 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  48. Tom

    I think that this will depend on what kind of education these children are getting. I already come home insanely tired from my middle school, with at least two hours of homework and extracurricular activities to finish before I have any time to do anything else. Having more time in school might help, but it would really depend on what the kids are trying to achieve.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  49. junior

    I think longer school days would be good for us because some students in the united states need the extra help so more people will probably have better jobs when they are adults in the U.S.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Mom of 2

      That is what after school tutoring is for.

      December 7, 2012 at 9:40 am |
  50. Kaitlyn

    Many may think that a longer school day will mean more time for students to learn, however I think that with longer school days kids will be tired. Tired kids can not learn as well in a learning envornment than a kid with plenty of rest. Plus, kids need time to get homework done and to do other after school activities, or just an afternoon to their selves.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  51. Adam P

    Why not change the school week from Mon-Fri to Mon-Sat?

    December 6, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Todd

      If that happens chances are your standard work week will change to Mon-Sat too. Having longer days makes things easier. Less mismatch from the students 6 hour schedule to the parents 8 hour schedule. More learning is a good thing, but the real issue especially in bad areas is what happens in those 2 hours before they can be safe with their parents and safety in the school. Those are dangerous 2 hours and those kids in those time have to do a lot of self protection during these times

      December 6, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  52. Reese

    I think that extra time in school is good but not for that long insted if 90 min. I think it should be like 30 or 40.

    December 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  53. Benjamin

    I think the extra time added to school should not be mandatory, if students are forced to go they will have a greater chance of dropping out. However, the extra time has to offer a variety of opportunities or it will be time wasted that the students can actually be spending at their job.

    December 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  54. madisonsmith24

    I agree with this extra time. The extra time should be filled with a study hall and an extra elective. Kids should realize how important school is and how it effects the rest of your life. Just 90 minutes extra could be a wake up call.

    December 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Mom of 2

      I completely disagree. The school day is long enough–the time is not managed well. My friends homeschool their kids and they are ablet o accomplish more in 3-4 hrs than our kids do in a full day of school. If we want our kids to succeed, we need to change how we think about school and education. Many kids struggle in life becasue the schools are too busy ensuring pass rates stay high by lowering standards and lowering the difficulty of the material. We don't group kids by ability–we "mainstream" kids who, in many cases, have no business in a regular classroom. We are slow to recognize when children are bored with the material, and even slower to find ways to challenge eager minds. We regularly let our schools take on parenting roles instead of holding the actual parents accountable for their responsibilities. WE value test scores over learning. Sorry, but I do not see any benefit in sending my children to school for a minute longer than they already attend. Instead, let's fix the problems associated with how we spend the time they are already there.

      December 7, 2012 at 9:54 am |
      • Logan

        I agree with you on the fact that it seems like the material is just being made easier and I find it kind of sad that at my high school that some students on average read two grade levels below what the

        December 7, 2012 at 10:00 am |
  55. Binky

    I think that we should not have the extra hour but if we do we should use it as a study hour my school does not have one

    December 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  56. Jada

    I like the idea of a longer school day. I feel like it would be a great opportunity for kids that want something more to do but just don't know WHAT it is they want to do. I enjoy school most of the time and I especially love the idea of being able to be a part of an apprenticeship for a teacher that I choose because so many teachers have outside lives that are actually pretty cool. After school I simply go home and waste time. I don't get to do a lot outside of school and I feel like this would be a great way to put some of my wasted time to work. All the time that I spend watching Tv, texting, sleeping, and talking on the phone honestly needs to be replaced with some positive work. Having a longer day at school would help me to manage my time as well. I wouldn't have anymore time to slack off and it may help me improve my grades. At first kids won't like this change and some may very well decide to drop out. Some may see that as a negative factor, but I believe that will honestly help the ones that actually want to be in school and that have some sort of plan for their life. This change will allow us to be able to focus more and give us more one on one time with any classes we need help with. I would invite this change with open arms. We need the extra experience and the extra work. So many teens become complacent with not doing anything with their time unless it is something that they want (myslef included) and it's honestly taking a toll on the majority of us. If we had longer school days then we would have less time to get into trouble and we'd possibly have more productive lives and futures. I'm all for this change! Let's hope Georgia gets it.

    December 6, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  57. Zoe

    Longer school days would be both effective and not effective. I wouldn't want to stay at school longer than I already do. However, if it helped me gain experience for a job, I might consider it.

    December 6, 2012 at 11:42 am |
  58. ellen

    We already have seven hours of school.. Having 8 and a half hours of school would make drop out rates blow up. Many modern day students have other after school responsibilities, like jobs, chores, or tutoring, Students who need one on one time with teachers would be diminished because nobody would want to stay after school extra if we already have 8 hours! Us students can bearly stand 7 hours! I cant imagine going to school for 8 and a half hours.

    December 6, 2012 at 11:42 am |
  59. Rachel

    I like the longer school days but only if we had those extra minutes to do homework. Most kids don't spend enough time with their family because they are too busy doing homework every night and add extracurricular activities on top of the homework.

    December 6, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  60. Michelle

    Kids in Finland spend the least amount of time in the classroom & their education system is ranked #1 in the world. Time spent in the classroom is not the problem with our schools. Standardized testing & the entire teaching model that goes along with it is ruining our kids.

    December 6, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  61. Noura

    I think that we shouldn't have school more longer,because in middle school you have to stay more longer in school like you leave school @ 4:00pm

    December 6, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  62. Michael J. O'Connor Sr.

    To whom it may concern,

    I am an freshman drop out. More time does not make you smarter. I feel that the quality of time that you have with a student is what it takes to turn out better students. I have accomplished many things in life since quiting high school and it has been due to the people that has shown compassion for someone because they themselves believe in what they are about. If you have problems with scores maybe the problem lies with the the persons leading our students. Sometimes that trail could lead you all the way to the top.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:40 am |
  63. Kam

    Elementary level children already come home exhausted after a long day. Homework at that level including reading is about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Middle school children have a longer day with 1-2 hours of homework per night. Honestly, can you really expect a 7 year old to go to school from 9-4:40 (walking in the door @ 5:00 pm) and have an hour of homework. My kids are involved in multiple evening activities, and an extended school day would virtually eliminate that. Children should be well rounded and have outside interests after school. I agree they shouldn't be sitting watching TV for hours, but most families are running from sports to dance to religion etc. Outside interest also helps keep them out of trouble as they get older.

    Bottom line is you will loose the children's interest by the end of the day and it will be a waste of time. As far as the proposal to change the format of the extended part of the day to something more interactive (guest speakers etc), great idea but impractical. First, this costs $$ and homeowners are already over taxed, second that will last a few weeks and it will become the same mundane routine. Is this really to better the children or to use the school as a babysitting service to accommodate working parents? The government officials are obviously out of touch with children. The gov't already is complaining about obesity in children.......more time sitting in the classroom and taking away sports should help that.

    December 6, 2012 at 9:36 am |
  64. Rob

    School is already in session for 7 hours, I'm a student, and i can say first hand that if extra time were added to the school day, the dropout rate would shoot through the roof. Personally i wouldn't be one of the dropouts but they also must consider that some teenagers like myself have jobs, and that extra time could drastically throw their schedule out of whack.

    December 6, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • Joey

      I think it would be better to have longer school so kids could get more time to do what they have to at school and that way i could start my class and not have to do that after school.

      December 6, 2012 at 8:48 am |
      • Kylie

        My school day starts at either 7:55 or 8:30, depending on the day of the week. I work hard all day until 4:30. By the end of the day, I am exhausted. But yet again I am faced with the task of completing 5 hours of homework. I already am unable to play sports due to the art program I am apart of. My school days have no "elbow room" for family or social problems. In fact, my long days enduce stress on my life. My friends get sick due to the pressure to do well in school and to go to college. The pressure to do well is intense. If our days become even longer... There really is no point to a social or family life. Knowing from personal experience, a longer day may contribute to test scores, but not to the student. A huge part about education is the spirit of wanting to learn. Add more hours to learning and you take away that "want." I am a 16 year-old girl and have faced social pressures, endured family problems, and have been forced to grow up faster than my parents could have ever imagine. Longer days may be profitable in theory, but in reality we are all human beings with emotions and limits. Please consider the reality of being a teen in the US today.
        Thank you.

        December 6, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  65. robert

    i think it would benefit school if they applied more to their students im a freshmen at south portland high school and i am year interested about physics but when i came here their was nothing i already new this is because they are teaching physics from 1865 that was before Einstein was borne i went and asked some of my friends what they thought about physics and they said it was boring but when i attempted to explain how the sun and lasers worked they became very interested and said wow they never taught us that before so now their really interested in physics so basically i think the schools need to up what they teach because kids are becoming smarter and are able to learn new things at a younger age

    December 6, 2012 at 8:01 am |
  66. Name*Rivey

    Its already hard enough for the poor children who stay long hours away from home. By increasing the hours it will make them come home more exhausted than they are....and on top of it all they still have to come home to do homework! This law seems more beneficial to the teachers who will have an increase in work hours and NOT to the students who already are overwhelm by the long school hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 6, 2012 at 7:00 am |
  67. zlop

    Responsible only to the Parents,
    Schools need to become a flexible babysitting service.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:29 am |
  68. lavante

    I think having more hours of school, why not a full year and one month off

    December 6, 2012 at 4:13 am |
    • Ro

      This ranks as one the stupidest things I've seen regarding education in a while. More hours? How many hours can a kid's brain be stuffed with information every day without a break? Seriously. The average adult has about five hours of useful brain work per day. Why would we subject our children to even more? Further, the school day should be moved into the late morning and afternoon, especially for high school kids. Research has proven that teenagers diurnal clocks are shifted and that they would learn better latter in the day. It's not wonder our schools are failing with crap like this going on!

      December 6, 2012 at 4:27 am |
  69. Ron Jeremy

    I think it sucks

    December 6, 2012 at 4:04 am |
    • Trey

      I thinks we should have more hours because this would sustain more knowledge of education.

      December 6, 2012 at 4:09 am |
      • robbob

        but people have things to do. plus we have homework, and some of us already come tired.

        December 6, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
      • robbob

        but people have things to do. plus we have homework. we need time to enjoy or we will become robots.

        December 6, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  70. Eternal Student

    I was born in, and grew up in the US, but now live in Germany. Longer school days is not the answer. Here, school days are about the same length as those in the US (shorter if the student has no afternoon classes) yet German Gymnasium (High School) students are far ahead of their US peers in areas such as Math, Science and Foreign Languages. They are doing something right, but it's clearly not longer school days.

    When I was in High School in the US (and as far as I know, it is still this way in my former district), there were seven periods in a day, but only five required classes (one of which, gym, was only required for half a year). Students could fill up the extra two to three slots with elective classes: languages, art, band, law, statistics, etc. We didn't have a ton of electives at our school, but we had enough that one could easily fill up one's schedule each year. Yet, there were still a number of students with two, sometimes three, study halls each semester. These weren't the high-achieving or above-average students, they were usually the trouble-making students, the students that didn't do well and the students whose families just didn't value school like many of the other students. These were the so-called "at risk" students. If you want to help the at risk students, require students to fill their empty schedules. If there are seven periods in a day, require that students take six to seven classes, even if one of them is an extra-help session. Don't let them sit idly for two to three periods every day. Making the school day longer won't solve this problem, it will only create more periods to fill when students already have free periods in the shorter school day.

    December 6, 2012 at 3:53 am |
  71. TampaMel

    Schools don't need more hours of instruction, schools need to teach the required subjects so students are not sent on to High Schools and Colleges without the basic knowledge to be in those schools. Why do colleges have coursed to get students to a level that makes them able to take the actual college level courses? The answer is easy, schools do not teach students. Schools move students along from grade to grade without any real educations. How can people not see this?

    December 6, 2012 at 3:31 am |
    • Mari

      I fully agree! I forgot to mention in my post below something very important. One of the reasons I love to have the summer with my children is I "prep" them the entire summer for the upcoming new school year. No, I don't force feed it to them. I do it at a very natural and comfortable pace...and as you can see from my daughters school performance, it works!

      December 6, 2012 at 3:44 am |
  72. Online Student

    This is to parents and students, If public school is not working out for your child or yourself, I strongly recommend Online School. Your child learns more and can create their own schedule on which classes they want to do in their preferred order. I do HS Online and believe me, Online schooling is truly the best of the best depending on what situation your child is currently going through.

    December 6, 2012 at 3:20 am |
  73. Sjmom

    It's about time – we need to put our children's education first - the school days are shorter now than they ever have been and most of these kids are shuttled into daycare or left on their own after school. I think it's great that they are given more time and resources. I have to wonder about the nay-sayers ... many of these kids would be left to their own devices unsupervised.. How could additional educational time and attention ever be a bad thing?

    December 6, 2012 at 2:27 am |
    • Mari

      I have to wonder about the nay-sayers ... many of these kids would be left to their own devices unsupervised. Excuse Me? Did it not take two people to have this child come about? Where are the parents? Proper teaching of core values and family expectations set forth, with secure maintaining of a child(s) whereabouts AT ALL TIMES should be priority one in raising a child(ren). Not, lets just let them run wild in the streets without any supervision or yeah, let's let all the teachers do my work for us. What happened to good old fashioned being a "parent"?

      December 6, 2012 at 3:00 am |
  74. Roy

    There also is a big problem with increasing numbers of hispanic students, whose families typically do not value education. That is a major issue in Texas and similar states because it is difficult to motivate many of these students. There is a cultural issue that is at play, and we need to find a way to fix that as well.

    December 6, 2012 at 2:17 am |
  75. Roy

    This is Duncan's forcing of his beliefs, and no, studies actually don't show that a longer school day will help. Some show the opposite. Glad my state won't be part of this nonsense. It probably was dangled in front of these states with goodies before they would adopt it. Notice it's blue states for the most part involved.

    December 6, 2012 at 2:11 am |
  76. Mari

    This is insane! I love having the entire summer with my daughter. Longer hours or year round school will not work. Here's the problem I see in my daughters school. They put about 6 children in each grade level in each class that score in the top ratings for the school testing. Fact, my daughter has been in the top 5 of her class for the past three years. The poor teacher has about 30 students. While she is trying to baby sit the other 25, there are 5 that are actually getting it. Pretty soon though those top 5 get tired of sitting around waiting to be challenged because the teacher is so busy baby sitting the other 25 students. Every parent teacher conference I go to, I get the same answer from the teachers. They even rely on the top 5 or so to assist with the other students who are struggling. Case in point, my daughter last year was assisting her 2nd grade teacher teach another 2nd grader who was at about at 1st grade level in math. My daughter reads at a 5 grade level and is at a 4th grade level in math..she is in 3rd grade by the way. I spend on average 2 hours a day with her after school teaching her. I teach my child to behave at school, I say that AGAIN, I TEACH MY CHILD TO BEHAVE IN SCHOOL. It's not the teachers responsibility to teach my child how to behave, rather they are there to teach. I see this as a great incentive for working parents not to have to arrange for before or after school hours though, less family quality time together, and less social activities. No, my daughter does not own a cell phone, computer, game system, etc. But you know what she does have? A huge library full of books to read! If parents would STOP "entertaining" their children with "things", then they could buy some books and spend some actual time with them. Yes, our children need to be educated. But they also need to learn how to be parents some day. So how are they going to learn how to be parents if they are never spending any quality time with them? Learn it out of a book. Look out Dr. Spock here we come again. Right, a man who wrote a child rearing book and never had children? Everything starts from home, and that's the way it should be. I see so many parents these days "so busy", that they miss the most important thing under their nose...their children. Such a shame that in America we throw up our hands and say "great idea, let's let the teachers do it". Shame on everyone, where are your family values? Do you have children struggling, grandchildren, a neighbor child? Help them! Quit being "so busy", and step up to the plate everyone. Don't sit there and say, "it's not my responsibility", if not; who's is it? Yeah, those poor teachers. I feel for each of them who get such a poor salary, their jobs are on the chopping block every year. But hey, let's all pass the buck? I say people are lazy and too wrapped up in their own little world of "being too busy". This is the generation that you are seeing as young adults now. How productive are they? How many of them still live at home? Is it lack of an education or lack of teaching them empowerment core values? Say what you will. This is one mother who puts her two children first and foremost on the important list.

    December 6, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • john

      The point of public education is to educate the public. If you feel your daughter is not being challenged enough then you always have the option of enrolling her in a private school. Why would the school system base its curriculum around your child and allow the majority to fall behind?

      December 6, 2012 at 2:25 am |
  77. Nick

    Just my two cents: I think this could go either way. Granted I grew up in a fairly affluent area, but I've been saddled with spending too much time in school for as long as I can remember. In my elementary school days I had alternating great and poor teachers. In the seven years I spent there (including kindergarten), I'd say only 3 of those years were worth anything. Same goes for my seventh and eighth grade years. By high school I finally started receiving better instruction but quickly outpaced the materials presented to me. My real education came at home on my own, reading and perusing, of all things, wikipedia. By senior year of high school I was skipping class fairly regularly, yet still graduated from my high school after the typical four years with only two B's on my record. Got accepted into a good college with scholarships. But it's not hyperbole when I say that my success was fairly predicated on me taking my education into my own hands.

    As a graduate student for a few year now, I've had to TA for large classes in my department. I don't know what the reason is, but when I started the students were much closer in age to myself. Now, years later, I still TA the same courses, but the students are different. Their patience is far lower than it used to be, and they don't seem to WANT to do as well as they used to. Maybe I just imagine these things, but maybe it's true. You can force students to be at school for 6 hours or 12 hours (yes, an exaggeration), but in the end if the student doesn't want to be there, they will tune out and it won't do any good. You get out of your education what you put into it, in my opinion.

    December 6, 2012 at 1:52 am |
    • Nick

      Sorry, meant to say that the students years ago were closer in age to me, and I don't know what the reason for it is but the general personality of students has changed. I'm not good typing all this stuff into the little box, my apologies.

      December 6, 2012 at 1:54 am |
    • EQ8Rhomes

      Student attention span became shorter. Distraction caused by fashion, gadgets, and get-some-easy-money preoccupations have contributed. Parents actually separated education from marks. They just began to demand easy marks and school officials pressured teachers into compliance with mark inflation.
      Grades now have little to do with learning. They are all about class averages, graduation numbers, teacher evaluation by comparison to others teachers on the basis of averages. So higher class averages mean better teachers! Admin could not see grade inflation., or that a lower class average might mean that a teacher's expectations and emphases on learning were higher, but teachers have hounded into conformity and grade matching, a race to the bottom.
      School admin are no longer in education, but in the BUSINESS of education. There is a distinction. The paycheque and egotistical power trip is the norm. The cliques are even worse. Fads come and go schools have to be about edu-tainement.

      December 6, 2012 at 4:22 am |
    • Kam

      Totally can lead a horse to water.........

      December 6, 2012 at 9:40 am |
  78. MashaSobaka

    I'm just waiting for the day when they announce the end of useless standardized tests. The "find the best answer out of the four that are already provided for you" system is an insult to education. It does not teach the student anything, it does not measure progress, and it is robbing an entire generation of their capacity for critical and complex thought. Educators know it. Time for administrators and politicians to drop the failed project and let teachers actually *teach*. Otherwise we will soon have a workforce and government that are helpless to solve problems if they don't have someone else giving them four or five solutions from which to choose. I teach composition to college freshman – a skill that actually requires formulating your own argument while taking other arguments into account – and these kids are totally helpless if they don't have a "right answer" to find. It's rather heartbreaking, to be honest – and a bit terrifying when I realize that these kids are, apparently, our future.

    December 6, 2012 at 1:36 am |
    • EQ8Rhomes

      In a 14 week course, my students wrote 7 – 9 essays, which I had to mark. I found short answer tests to be the best, but students could not write them effectively, being unable to use appropriate diction or compose literate sentences. I gave up on the short answer, but began to use M/Choice.
      There, believe me, were none of your multiple guess tests. My m/c tests were finely constructed and demanding. Though it never happened, a kid could just fill all "a's" and get 25%, but never more, because he would be failing all other evaluations.
      Teachers who did not know how to construct M/C tests have been the problem. I have met them.

      December 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  79. nobodytrickedme

    Right now students are in class 160-170 days because Standardized testing takes 2-4 weeks to complete. Return to the every few years standardized tests of the pre-NCLB era and the school calendar gains 10-20 school days. Decrease the poverty rate and watch students get better instantly. Finland is currently ranked #1 in the world; their child poverty rate is 5% nationally here in the US it's 20-25% and thats an average. Good schools/wealthy districts its in the single digits like Finland, in struggling/failing districts it can be anywhere from 50-100%

    December 6, 2012 at 1:14 am |
  80. Justin

    Hours in the classroom mean nothing if the child isn't learning. You can't force kids to pay attention/ Want to make a real difference, reduce class sizes and the student to teacher ratio. You can't expect 30 kids with one adult to excel when all it takes is a single student to cause disruptions. Behavior has gotten worse and parental support, too.

    I don't see what they hope to accomplish. Good luck but I'm guessing this pilot fails miserably.

    December 6, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • Gord

      Consider a one hour long class in a high school - say math as an example. 30 kids in the class and 60 minutes in the hour. Consider that the teacher will teach the whole class (or re-teach or expand) some math concept in the curriculum for 15 minutes per class and then move to help individual students with their related problems to understand the concept of this particular lesson. Now add 5 minutes to settle the class and take attendance at the beginning of the class. This leaves 40 minutes to work with individual students. Now do the math 40 minutes divided by 30 students equals 1.33 minutes per child if each child needs help. Now subtract the time to move between students (yep, its only seconds but they all add up) and add the time it takes to find out what each student's concern/issue/problem is and you're down to about one minute or less for the teacher to address the actual problem - again if each child needs help.

      Adding hours to the school day might help, but increasing the number of teachers and reducing class size would reduce the wait time for students who need the teacher's help so that they can move forward. That wait time is the real problem in most cases. Adding ten minutes or more to the school day does not really address this in any significant way.

      December 6, 2012 at 1:53 am |
  81. A student's perspective

    Well if they're really so concerned about our education since many are failing, maybe if they even do the extra time, then how about they focus on things that are really important. They said that the extra time could be used for extra curriculum activites, like athletics. Well last I checked, being better at athletics or other curricular activites was not going to help you pass other classes, or get you a good job. Yeah, sure you're good at athletics, but unless you're extreme, that's not going to pay your bills. I think (especially in my school) that way too many kids are focusing on these other things and that's taking away from they're study time. They're putting too much time into the extras that they're not really getting down to the basics of what will get them through college and get them a job. And I agree with what some of the others are saying that instead of an extra hour and a half, maybe an extra 10 minutes would be good. So if they did that and then used that extra time for things that are really important then maybe our school system would be a little better. Now I haven't studied economy or education policies but this does seem like a good idea from a student's perspective.

    December 6, 2012 at 1:02 am |
  82. Jeffrey

    This will do nothing. This is the desperate attempt fix an issue that has nothing to do with the length of school days. The failure of children in schools has more to do with the influx of cultures who lack virtue. It has to do with immigrants who bring nothing but a single generation of hard labor followed by several generations of broken homes, apathy and incuriosity. When Duncan sees the results in a couple years he and the president will understand that the failure of our children in urban schools has little to do with the teachers and all to do with the children and their ignorant parents. Then he can go on to pay teachers without holding them to the standard of making miracles out of these children. Then folks in this country will either have to accept the disparities or decide that if they don't like them, that stricter immigration requirements should be imposed on people interested in coming to this country.
    But people in this country insist on thinking its like magic, that if you talk about education, fund it and that if you get people excited about it, good things come. It comes down to parents making their children stay home long enough to study and do their homework. If Duncan wants to get these kids to test higher, he'll turn these longer hours into after school mandatory tutoring hours where educators can do the job these kids parents should be doing.

    December 6, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • tony kariuki

      Its unfortunate that you are rearing the ugly side of America that is very evident to people from the rest of the world. To give you ignorant self a quick lesson on how the rest of the world even Africa is out performing schools in the US, but yet again you are narrow minded and may not be able to comprehends. The ills in the American society is brought about by the culture here of racism and discrimination based on race and ethnicity. There is a general assumption in the general public, that foreigners are stupid and uneducated. I came here with a degree from Africa, outperformed, everyone in all my classes to the dismay of the professor, who expected me to struggle in class. Just open your eyes and you will realize how advanced education wise the rest of the world is compared to the US. Its thru' being inclusive, treating ever student equally, and stretched out semesters. Most countries have 3 semesters per yr with 1 month breaks in between. If you just shed your ignorance, and seek information, instead of letting Rush limbaugh inform you of whats going on you might JUST catch up with the rest of the World. Peace! Love! Unity!.

      December 6, 2012 at 1:13 am |
    • Justin

      The only way you're going to help students in the inner city is to reduce class sizes and make smaller student to teacher ratios. Middle and Upper Income schools suffer the same problem, but since parental support is often superior, the disparities are less noticeable. Parents in affluent households typically hold a higher level of education and expect success. Not all but a large majority. Therefore, when their child comes home, an expectation exists to complete homework. It's not to say these districts are perfect. By no means. Parents can become over involved and often EXPECT teachers to cater.

      On the flip side, Urban districts are littered with children from broken homes and parents that possess little to no education. School is seen as babysitting and homework optional. Aspirations and role models are often negative. Teachers in these districts are often blamed for societal failures. The only way to overcome the problem is to get to the root. Start shrinking class sizes down and you'll cut out the behavior. 10 to 1 Max. While you can't control what happens at home, schools can while children attend to some degree. Take out the distractions and give the child the tools, and you might get success.

      Longer school days mean nothing. Kids check out now so a longer day just means they'll be less attentive.

      December 6, 2012 at 1:14 am |
  83. Joshua

    Honestly, I'm totally for it, I think that it might not actually be a bad thing. It could give students who are behind in grade's to bring their own grades up, and it also gives students a chance to do fun school activities like art or drama. besides, an extra hour and a half a day won't harm anyone, I'm sure that everyone will be just fine.

    December 5, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
  84. hannah

    I do not think this is a good idea. Adding more hours to a school day is not going to make kids smarter or want to do better in school. This is going to upset them, and what do most teenagers do when something upsets them? Well, they rebel and throw fits. This will just make it so that more wasted time is spent in school instead of allowing the kids to be at home with their families where they belong those hours. This is just ridiculous. Go America.

    December 5, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • craig

      U.S. students spend less hours in school each year than any other developed country. And we are the dumbest. Look up our ranking.

      December 6, 2012 at 12:47 am |
      • Michelle

        Craig, you are wrong. Kids in Finland spend the least amount of time in the classroom & their education system is ranked #1 in the world. Do some research before making a statement like that. Time spent in the classroom is not the problem with our schools. Standardized testing & the entire teaching model that goes along with it is ruining our kids.

        December 6, 2012 at 1:08 am |
  85. tracy m

    Longer hours added to the school curriculms will improve students grades and communities. In addition,students would be apt to excel in a global economy.

    December 5, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Rock

      We cannot assume that longer hours automatically means more productivity. Of course some students would excel in this case, but others would struggle. Are people who work longer hours more productive at their jobs than people who work shorter hours? There is a point of diminishing returns and with the current schedule we are flirting with that line. Adding another class or two onto an already long day is going to be overwhelming for a majority of these kids.

      We need more teachers and more resources...adding more time is not going to do it. If this would really work why it makes students go to school u til the 14 th grade or even the 16th just doesn't work.

      December 5, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
  86. Jaylene

    No. Kids wont want to be after school every day, Maybe once in a wile would be o.k.

    December 5, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
  87. Philip Dailey

    More of what already doesn't wok isn't the answer. If students can't fail, then education in America will always be slack.

    December 5, 2012 at 8:32 pm |

    why just these states arent schools universally trying to edge up the smarter image w smarter carriculums grades pre k-–>SENIOR HIGH?

    December 5, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Been there done that

      "Senses" please spell correctly!

      December 12, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  89. Ian

    In my life, I've seen HUGE changes in education throughout my own. Up to 5th grade, I had 1 class – 1 teacher. 6/7th grades – 6 teachers (each class was 70 minutes long, 30 minute lunch). 8th-12th grade – 8 classes, 2 passing periods, and a 45 minute lunch. All in the same 8 hour time frame.

    Cut back on the "elective" crap in schools. Give the students more time on core curriculum subjects that they WILL use in life. Reading comprehension, basic math and geometry, and writing skills.

    I taught at the highschool level for while and saw so many students taking 'easy' and 'fun' classes because they didn't have to work to pass the class, and they needed an elective credit to graduate. Rather than focus on the core classes they needed, they focused more on entertainment.

    When I graduated highschool, I needed math, science, english, reading, "fine arts", and elective credits (for 48 credits total to graduate). The same highschool 12 years later now requires additional "technology", "business", and "online learning" areas as well, and still only 48 credits to graduate. Unfortunately, any given class will only qualify for 1 of those subject areas under the school district rules, so students are forced to take multiple unrelated courses to graduate without being able to focus more than just passing.

    Students dont need more time added to their days, they need more time on their classes and fewer fluff classes. It is for this reason that I am highly in favor of year-round schooling and block scheduling. Many charter and private schools use this format to great results, and the public schools I've seen use it do as well.

    Teach students dedication and quality to their work – that's what I want to see in a business person, whether they work with me, for me, or they're someone I'm doing business with as a personal consumer or a business client.

    December 5, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Allison

      There's more to life than reading and math. Students need the "elective crap" in order to become well rounded individuals and pursue/discover academic interests. If anything, students need more electives that can simultaneously help them think critically and creatively. Social sciences, physical sciences, art, music, physical activity, are all important and in many ways interconnect. Denying students this would cripple them.

      December 6, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • ohioan

      School days in Ohio are roughly 7 hours long. The kids get to school around 7:30am and are released at 2:35pm. My high school student has a block schedule where he has 4 90 min classes per day, alternating days, with all 8 in shorter 45 min periods on Fridays. If an extra hour was added, or hour and a half, they'd be able to add another class or two, Kids have so many required classes to graduate, they can't take the fun ones like band, choir, art, home ec, or archaeology.

      December 6, 2012 at 7:29 am |
  90. skipro

    It has been a long time since high school for me. I know that I spent at least that much extra time at school, attending extra credit classes, clubs, sports, and student government. In schools where the teachers leave at the first bell with the students I can see how these resources do not exist. So if creating a longer "school day" is a way of achieving the same same environment I was exposed to, then it sounds reasonable to me.

    December 5, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
  91. a student

    I think that there are advantages and disadvantages of adding school hours. Everyday I can hear my classmates hoping for less school, and wishing that breaks would come up sooner. If we would not add hours, teenagers and young people would not get jobs and this would hurt everybody. But if we do, like what CNN Student News said, more kids will be likely to drop out and not even get an education. I have personal activities like sports and hobbies so I wouldn't have time to do what I'd like because of the longer school days. But I really think that we shouldn't add more school time. Schools could put time in for internships, music, etc.

    December 5, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  92. Really?

    So let me get this straight, if this was my home school district, kids would arrive at 7:45 and leave at 4:20. That doesn't include bus rides. By the time the kids actually get home and eat, they would be getting ready for bed in an hour or two. Maybe I'm missing the point, but America needs more family values. Schools shouldn't be required to teach everything to students. Unlike many people in our society, I enjoy spending time with my child, both academically and socially, after school hours.

    December 5, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • craig

      Parents are the key ...

      December 6, 2012 at 12:49 am |
    • Mom of 2

      I couldn't agree more. The problem is that schools are no longer about education and they have become the vehicle for dealing with every issue a child has–social, learning, behavioral, family–our society has deemed that the schools will provide resources for all of those things, and will serve the parental function for those families who have decided not to step up to the plate. Just look at some of the articles on why this extended day is a good idea. Comments and optinions " the kids are shuttled to daycare anyways" to" the neighborhoods the kids return to aren't safe, so school is a better option," to "it keeps the kids engaged instead of hanging out at home" o indicate that this is not just about education. In

      December 7, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  93. Tristen

    I don't think these kids need more school. My mom was workig with her child patients an actually found out that kids seem more stressed with the school hours that they have now. Scientific reasearch has been proven that children with more time to just relax tends to get better grades. I really do think that they don't need longer school days.

    December 5, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  94. Portland tony

    Why not do a social experiment with a year round school. Let the government select a few large school the faculty and administrators accordingly, have a liberal absentee policy (for family vacations) and encourage all extra curricular activities that have gone away because of funding issues. Do this for say six years and monitor everybody especially the students for a generation and set some decent benchmarks for education of our children
    Kids don't bring in the summer farm crops any
    longer. So let's harvest some smart kids instead!

    December 5, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Teacher

      Yes, yes, and yes!!! I would be more than willing to try this, even without the extra pay.

      December 5, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
      • Teacher 2

        Sorry for taking someone else's name. My comment is above.

        December 5, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Good Idea!

      Excellent suggestion! I thought I read something along these lines many years ago, but I don't think anything came out of it. If memory does not fail me, they were going to try this in Los Angeles, using school buildings year long instead of building new ones that remain mostly empty four months out of the year.

      December 6, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • Mom of 2

      Some areas, I believe in NC, are doing this system already.

      December 7, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  95. KJC

    Some statistics or data about how longer school days have worked elsewhere would be helpful. Based on my knowledge of school systems in other countries, I intuitively believe what the article states about more hours improving scores, but I think it needs to be more explicitly demonstrated for the general public to get on board.

    December 5, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  96. teacher

    Why not go to year round schooling. This way the students are getting more time to learn and they will not regress over the summer break.

    December 5, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  97. Mom of 2

    Ludicrous. They don't need to add hours–they need to better use the hours the kids are there. When kids can be homeschooled for 4 hrs a day and do the same amount of work as 6-8 hrs at a typical school, it shows how bad our system has become. Schools need to get focused on the basics again, and leave the fundraising, social work, and extracurricular programming to after school hours.

    December 5, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Portland tony

      Ah, if it were just that easy. Schools not only teach the rudimentary 3 "R"s, they also encourage kids to become social beings. To learn how to interact and work with others. This is an essential part of post school college or the workplace. There is nothing wrong with a concentrated home study program as long as the kids interact socially with peers of their same age.

      December 5, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
      • Mom of 2

        Yes, there is a social aspect to school. My point is that the curriculum is too "dumbed down" so it can ensure students of all levels pass their tests.

        December 7, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • citizen

      Parents of home schooled kids are more involved with their kid's education and obviously the student-teacher ratio is great for home schooled. This does not mean the public schools are doing it wrong. They are just teaching to more kids at a time and they are teaching to a very diverse group of kids at one time. They do not have the luxury of giving each kid a tailor made education the way a home schooling teacher can.

      December 5, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
      • Mom of 2

        So, keeping the children in a dysfunction educational environment for an extra 1.5 hrs is a good solution? Our system is broken, but adding more time in a broken system won't fix the problem.

        December 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
      • Mom of 2

        Public schools are doing it wrong. This is why so many people have turned to on-line or home school education. Unfortunately, I am not financially able to stay home and do either with my 1st grader. They make individualized plans for special needs, but no such resource is availalble for advanced students. Seriously, I was told by the teacher and vice principal at our elementary school (after asking when my son was actually going to learn something last year) that "the first six weeks of kindergarten reall;y isn't's about getting the kids to adjust to being in school." Seriously–the entire first grading period? My son's introduction to school was that it was boring and unchallenging.

        December 7, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • craig

      Every study will show you... if the parents are involved the kids do better regardless of race, income, etc. THAT is why home schooling is pretty successful. Plus, the child gets one-on-one instruction, not 35 or 40 to one. The better charter schools succeed because they mandate that parents are involved. The same with most private schools... parents are mandated to put in minimum time. Public schools can't force parents to participate. Or even make their kids do their homework.

      December 6, 2012 at 12:54 am |
      • EQ8Rhomes

        Except that parent participation for SOME means interference with teachers. There is no real moderator. only about 30% of the parents some to interviews. Even some university graduates were either too busy, unable, or simply unwilling to tutor their own kids.
        The admin just wanted higher marks and higher averages even by decree and compared teachers against each other and some teachers competed by not cooperating. They took help from others but never shared their own - either from meanness or fear of revealing incompetence.

        December 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  98. msp

    It will be a lot more helpful to add a few more days of school than extending the existing school day. After a while the kids have enough and more instruction just produce deminishing return. 10 extra minutes is unless in a day. Now a few extra days of lessons serves 2 purposes, more instructions and less days spent hanging out at home with the wrong crowd.

    "If it's more of the same, if we continue to focus on just on reading and math scores, we'll be successful. We'll raise those scores, and we'll also increase the student dropout rates." If the students don't understand that they can only be successful if they master reading. writing and Math, keeping them at school and reducing dropout rate is not helping much. The purpose of school is to teach them, not baby sitting and entertaining.

    December 5, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  99. Kerry

    I think this is a great start to an ongoing problem in national education. Is there a list of schools that this will apply to available?

    December 5, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  100. Molly

    My school day was extended an extra 10 minutes. I don't know how many hours that adds to the school year though. I think that if you add a couple extra minutes to the school day, that can't hurt.

    December 5, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • jomartin

      Hi Molly,
      For a school with 180 days, about 30 hours. This proposal would add more than an hour and a half to each day. I'll add that to the article to add some perspective.

      December 5, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Teacher 2

      Our school also added an extra 10 minutes to the day. Everyone adjusted very well.

      December 5, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Farfora27

      Yeah, 10 minutes is fine, but a whole hour and a half is a different story

      December 6, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
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