There has been a lot of argument about whether we should extend the school year and day. This is a controversial topic. Some experts believe that it is the quality of time that is important rather than quantity of time. Others believe that if the school day or year is increased, extra syllabus can be covered and give the opportunity for more knowledge. According to President Obama, kids should attend school even in the summer to increase their potential.
Know the Facts
Before we reach to any conclusion, there are few facts to be known.
First do we know how much time an average school gives for students in America? There are around 180 days of school in a year with each day comprising of around six hours a day. If we compare this with other countries like England where a typical day consist of eight hours a day with around 220 days of school a year, we find that America really has less days of schooling.
Secondly we have to know if lengthening the day or year will have any effect on student achievement. It will surely have if the time is allotted properly. Schools need to plan in such a way that they can divide the extended time for three things – proper allotment of time for instruction, time for instructional activities and time to complete those instructional activities.
Understand the Arguments
There are many arguments related to lengthening the school year.
- Many researchers find that with new technology coming day by day, for students to maintain the pace an extra effort is needed and this can happen only if schools increase their curriculum. However, to cope with new and extra curriculum more days of schooling will be required.
- Some teachers believe that if they are given more time they can cover their syllabus in a better and more appropriate way. With more time they can give students additional projects and keep a check on individual students.
- Another argument that teachers generally give is that it can also be beneficial for working mothers. By extending the school day their child will spend more time in school and can join electives like computers, remedial labs, gymnastics, piano lessons, dance programs and art programs.
- An argument that doesn’t favor the lengthening of school is the budget. If we plan to extend school days to eight hours a day and the school year to around 200 days a year, it will increase the annual budget to around twenty billion dollars. This is a time of recession where cost cutting is going on everywhere. So don’t you think it will be hard for school districts to increase their budget to this level?