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President Obama Wants Kids to Stay in School Longer

President Obama may be leading our nation, but he's just dad to his daughters, Malia and Sasha. And, his new idea to have longer school days and years is none too popular with them. In addition to adding class time, the commander in chief wants schools to be safe places for children to go in the afternoons and on weekends. According to one report, American students spend less days in the classroom but not less hours. It said:

Kids in the US spend more hours in school (1,146 instructional hours per year) than do kids in the Asian countries that persistently outscore the US 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 United States (180 days).

Many American parents feel their children have too much academic pressure and are over-scheduled already. What's your take on this educational initiative?

Join The Conversation
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
I don't agree at ALL. The budget just isn't in there. Most schools have virutally no after school activities as it is, how exactly are they going to deal with longer hours and less summer time off? If they are going to change anything, a change to year round would be better in my opinion, as well as making our community areas safer. I'm looking forward to moving because our local parks, the 3 near us, have taken a drastic turn for the worse in the last few months. Constantly dirty, and with large amounts of lurking men and gang banger types. I watched a blatant drug exchange twice the other day at the park, it was ridiculous. They used to have police drive up and down the neighborhoods, but i haven't seen one in ages. I attended a year round school several times in elementery and we actually REALLY loved it. You didn't care about a shorter summer becuase you got entire months off a couple times a year. It was spectacular. We were even happier to land on the right track to have the entire month of December off each time we were in year round, in snowy climates, so we spent the whole month playing in the snow, visiting the mountains, celebrating christmas early - making xmas presents, home made decorations, tons of baking. The month off is long enough to really have good downtime, but not long enough to start feeling rusty when you go back.
dani17731 dani17731 7 years
As a student teacher, I have gotten scared and almost turned off of the profession. If not for the connections I have with my students, I would run the other way back to Library Science. Most students can barely pay attention for the time they're in class, why add more? However, I do think that children could benefit from enrichment programs after school, on weekends, and in the summer. There is so much loss of information retention that we're spending almost the whole first semester on review (of last year).
jenni5 jenni5 7 years
Agree Finn! As for schools being open on weekends so kids have a safe place? I think some parents will start dumping off their kids for the free babysitting service.
leabythesea leabythesea 7 years
Finn put it perfectly. :medal:
CoconutPie CoconutPie 7 years
What works in one country will not necessarily work in another. All the examples used are Asian countries where the cultural differences with the USA are huge. And if they want to look at statistics, why not look at the country that ranks first year after year on the PISA tests? Kids in Finland start primary school at the age of 7, with only a very light schedule in the first years. I don't think more hours in school will make the kids more educated. They should focus on the quality of the education rather than on the quantity.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 7 years
LOL Anon. I don't think this is a good idea either. I have no problem with children learning, but I'd much rather see quality learning than quantity. Schools are losing funding for things every day, two of our children's schools have lost 3 teaching positions each this year alone. Also the idea of schools being opened on the weekends so children have safe places to go, would cause more problems than solutions.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 7 years
I am definitely against this. For one, where is the money going to come from? Public schools aren't exactly rolling in the dough as is, and I can't imagine how they would manage to pay for all of the extra days. I also think that adding more classroom time doesn't necessarily mean that students will learn more. Kids need time off to decompress in order to keep learning! We don't need burnt out 4th graders.
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