300 Hours

What is 300 hours? That is the amount of time that will be added to the current school year in a trial effort to improve education in the USA.  A report yesterday written by Josh Lederman of the Associated Press titled “5 States, Including New York, To Add Hours At Some Schools” explored the plan. Five states stated that they will add at least 300 hours of learning time to their academic calendar in some schools starting in 2013. The states involved include Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee.  The increase in hours is intended to boost student achievement, allow time for the arts and music and make U.S. schools more competitive on a global level.

The three-year pilot program will affect almost 20,000 students in 40 schools, with long-term hopes of expanding the program to include additional schools — especially those that serve low-income communities. School officials working with district officials, parents and teachers, will decide whether to make the school day longer, add more days to the school year or both. Education officials expect the change to provide approximately 6 million more student learning hours in the 2013/2014 school year. In New York State one of the program sites will be the Rochester City district which has had it’s share of issue in recent years.

In the Lederman article USA Education Secretary Arne Duncan stated “I’m convinced the kind of results we’ll see over the next couple of years I think will compel the country to act in a very different way.” Personally I think some increase is good, but some of Duncan’s ideas like having school 6 to 7 days a week are a bit too much. What do you think?


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