Obama Proposes Longer School Days, Extended School Year

president barack obamaFor this generation of students to remain competitive with their international peers as adults, they need to start spending more time in school. This week President Obama proposed that American school children extend their time in class, either by lengthening the school day, or spending less time on summer vacation.

“We can no longer afford an academic calendar designed when America was a nation of farmers who needed their children at home plowing the land at the end of each day,” Obama said. He continued to say “That calendar may have once made sense, but today, it puts us at a competitive disadvantage. Our children spend over a month less in school than children in South Korea. That is no way to prepare them for a 21st century economy.”

In fact, American children spend the least amount time in the classroom when compared to other countries. Currently, the school year length in the States is 180 days. Advocates are pushing further toward a 200-day school year, which would align with Thailand, Scotland and the Netherlands, and leave us a close second with Israel, South Korea and Japan, who leads with a 243-day school year.

via MSN Encarta

via MSN Encarta

This comes as Obama makes it very clear that education is on his hot-list of priorities. He admits the notion of spending more time in school is not “wildly popular”, but necessary.

He was applauded for his breadth of knowledge regarding the public education system in the U.S. He cited that one-third of the 13- and 14-year-olds in our country cannot read at an appropriate level for their age, and that the eighth grade curriculum is two years behind competing nations. He says the part of the problem is our “race to the bottom” mindset, wherein states are comfortable with lower standards for students.

Obama and his Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are truly advocates for a superior education system than that we’ve previously and currently known. It’s imperative that states use the stimulus package money to rebuild curriculum, increase teacher pay, improve school conditions, offer newer technologies to students and even extend the school year to ensure that this generation can not only keep up with their international peers, but even surpass them in the professional environment of the coming decades.

Also Read:

Obama Continues to Support Year-Round School [Video]

627 Responses to “Obama Proposes Longer School Days, Extended School Year”

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  2. Cecil Kelm says:

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  5. Alana says:

    Hi i’m not here to start a drama.Just to let you all know Obama is right and if you that he is trying to make you pay more you need a fact that proves you right btw.About 50% of students are highly educated in there studies and classes taken because of shorter understanding in their school work.If us students were to be provided with longer school days then about 80.5% of students are highly educated.Dear Obama, it be such a pleaser to have a nice chat from face to face taking about longer school days for the next president too because you’re right that there should be longer days to.President Obama,if you were to see this please hold your thought about extending the school day because it may influence a lot of students to become one of the greatest person.Thank you for letting me leave a comment.Sincerely yours, a student from a school.

  6. jasmine nicole senters says:

    the only thing i love about school, is my loving teacher mrs.sara province!!!!
    i’m in 7th grade, and she’s my english/reading teacher, and, she’s like an angel
    that fell from the sky to save my life!!!! she’s a heart-blessing teacher!!!! she’s
    a blessing teacher to have in this school!!!! she’s the only thing i come to school to see everyday!!!! and without her, i don’t know how my life would be in
    school without her!!!!

    jasmine nicole senters, 13 years old, altamont, illionois

  7. jasmine nicole senters says:

    the only thing i really like about school is that everyday i get to see my favorite
    teacher, mrs. sara province, without her, i don’t know how my life would be.
    she’s my english/reading teacher, and i LOVE HER SOOOO MUCH!!!!
    she’s the only thing i come to school everyday to see, she’s like an angel that
    fell from the sky to save my life, she’s the only thing that makes school FUN!!!!

  8. jasmine nicole senters says:

    i think tres extending the school day is de la not so smart, zey already have
    7-8 hours in za school day so not tres chic!!!!

  9. cody bushue says:

    my girlfriend, jasmine nicole senters is right!!!! i stand on her side!!!!

  10. jasmine nicole senters says:

    extending the school hours seems wrong, i mean, there’s already, like,
    7-8 hours in a school day. besides, it will make students tired, and teachers
    stressed out. I REJECT!!!!

  11. William says:

    Does all our president care is other countries. America sould be a leader not follower of Japan and India. We sould have a 150 day school year to lead the other countries. Also my kid said “it feels like I am in school year round with all this summer reading and having to do 20 hours of math online”. If kids want longer days of school wait for college or go to a private school. Plus the school lunches, I ask my kid what he said pasta. But he comes home and eats have of our kitchen. The student sould be able to choose how much they want.

  12. Wendell Black says:

    Wow, two years of reaction to Obama’s ideas to read in your comments. Have views changed since he first suggested the idea? I get the impression it is a resounding “No”

  13. David Bradley says:

    Surely it not how much time students spend at school but what the students do in lessons. I tend to pick up students at 10th and 11th grade to teach them math. After years at school I am still surprised how little some of them know – even the bright ones. If you think about it. Every student has different natural skills and talents. They are better at some subjects than others. So why is it they all take their final examinations roughly at the same time.

    Perhaps Obama should read “Four Hour Working Week” by Tim Ferriss and think about shortening the school day. That way the education budget would be smaller and students may focus more on their studies.

  14. PAs cher Serrure says:

    My cousin only comes up from Texas in the summer. What? Do I not get to see her and hang out with her and have FAMILY time anymore?!

    Thanks for ruining my youth.

  15. Cindy says:

    Maybe adding days would work. I had no idea that schools in the US had so few school days compared to other countries.

  16. Joseph Smith says:

    I Agree and Disagree. Many school districts are cutting back on school because it cost them money. A lot of students are falling behind in subjects, and need extra help with those subjects. Extending the school year helps them master those subjects, and when high school graduation comes, they will be more prepared mentally and academically for college. I also advocate sports that don’t cut and after-school activities, but that depends on the economy of the area.

  17. Coach says:

    Everyone that is making fun of the mispellings and typos doesn’t understand what a true problem us teachers are having. In the national curriculum today English is barely even considered a core curriculum. Science and Math have been at the top of the testing poles. I am a Middle schoole aide that is consistently shocked at the reading levels of upcoming 6th graders.
    Every since no child left behind the teachers are forced to have learning disabled students in the regular classrooms. This slows the curriculum speeds down and bores most students. I have a learning disabled child that went through school pre-Bush NCLB, she is productive and doing great. Mainly due to the one on one time. My current child is bullied and constantly feeling stupid becuase he is forced into a regular classroom.

    Reading and writing can allow anyone to get educated, we need to put more interest in getting it back into the classroom. More one on one time with disabled learners as well.

  18. john says:

    This president is an idiot! You need to work smarter not necessarily harder! Same for school! Get better quality education not more of the same stupid shit! If you think the time frame of old is stupid then cut out the subjects of old as well. For God sake they are wasting time learning subjects they likely will never put to use. Consider the classes that should be taught and quit dwelling on classes that are not longer useful anymore. Cut out the art, cut out PE ( do that shit on your own time) , cut out foreign language ( no one speaks after two years of very limited class time only foreign language, a complete and utter waste of time) , cut out stupid electives like psychology. Concentrate on English, reading and writing, spelling ( hope I don’t miss any here 🙂 ) , math, science, add in an economics class ( we need that in this country, especially Obama!) , health education ( a must in today’s world) , make a medical class ( that would great) , classes that go over real life job preparatory work, social interaction classes that promote public speaking and working well in groups. Less history ( yes some level is needed but not to the extent they do now). Give kids options, if they aren’t the science and math type give alternatives ! You are wasting their time cramming things down their throats they simply are not geared to do. Have a least one class that helps them figure what they may be best at doing!

  19. Pete says:

    Dumb … Dumb … Dumb.

    Anybody’s who’s a parent with kids in school these days – already knows that our schools beat up our kids. Homework is humungous. Expectations are high, the cirriculum is stupid, and the kids are tested to death. Tested to DEATH.

    It’s bad. If I was a kid today … I would probably get so fed up with school that I would just drop out. And guess what – I have 4 college degrees.

    We to get all of these “specialists”, “experts”, and “overachievers” out of the planning process for the US education system. They are brilliant morons. And they are ruining our kids!!!

    Pete, Los Angeles

  20. islam says:

    I agree with longer school years, but I question the longer day. With most families working full time, how are families supposed to spend more time together with longer school days. I work then pick my daughter up from school, make dinner while she does homework (help when she needs it) we eat, and by then it’s almost time for bed. The day is already long enough.

  21. jagjivan says:

    i am a student my self in 4th grade and i agree that we should add days to our school, but no more than 20 days. I’m fine with but if it is only 20 days. Expanding the time will just make kids bored at school. thank you for my comment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Natalie C says:

    I learned more at home than I did in public school, and I’m a teacher! Just saying we need to focus on WHAT we are actually teaching our youth. The drone mentality isn’t paying off, people. Our society is so messed-up it would take a revolution for things to change, seriously. More school days would be worse for my own children, who I would like to teach biology, zoology, geography, art, religion, electricity and mechanics this summer. Oh I forgot one more, COMMON SENSE. These are subjects that are not taught in American schools. Think outside the box.

  23. Lisa says:

    As a future teacher in the US. I think that the majority of the learning problems is the state curriculum that we are told to teach our students on top of the standardized testing. The curriculum versus the standardized testing materials are totally different. Longer days and a lesser summer break will only frustrate us all the more.

  24. charlie chavez says:

    i think that longer school days is a STUPID idea. longer school days give a lot of kids stress and headaches then companies that make asprin and crap will get a lot of money, then pay taxes, and the government gets about one billion dollars a year.

  25. Franklinco says:

    “I am a teacher in a northern First Nations school in Canada and our school day has been extended this year by 3/4 hour per day. The students are tired and hungry and completely unfocussed by the end of the day.”
    Thank You Maria Williams – I couldn’t have said it better myself. Our public school students in the U.S. are being taught less and less factual truths, and more useless information (like St. Patrick’s day is all about magic rainbows & leprechauns) – that’s why they can’t compete globally.
    If the young people can’t read on grade level – than the teachers/curriculum are failing them. Subjecting the kids to More time with failing teachers is not going to improve anything.

  26. Teddy says:

    As a student myself, I could agree and understand adding some days to the calender.(Looking at some of these comments, certain people could use it) However, instead of adding more days, take off some of the pointless holidays.
    Why, even today was a half day. I asked five teachers, all who said they had no idea why. (Also, extended days DON’T WORK.) Now, with so many people without a job, we don’t need to be focusing on making the US looked good through additional school days. I bet if your employer told you you’ll have to work double shift to “compete with japan” you would be pretty upset.

  27. cameron says:

    kids will not forget what they learned if we have no summer vacation so they will get a better education. more kids will participate in activities to waste bordem. but i dont like obama so whatever.

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