The ‘new day’ is two hours longer

Successful schools are Expanding School Time to Expand School Learning, write Christopher Gabrieli and Warren Goldstein of WestEd. The “new day” typically is two hours longer, giving time “to raise students’ core academic skills and ensure a truly well-rounded education.”

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  1. Two questions. Does it improve performance for all students? And, is it fair to high-achieving students to sentence them to more time in school, when they don’t need the extra time?

  2. Parent2…the high achieving students can use the extra time to tutor the other kids. /Sarcasm off/

    Seriously, there is a HUGE amount of time wasting going on right now for high kids in heterogenous classrooms. While it might be nice to have free day care, it is important to if this improves performance for all students and if ALL students get access to material they don’t already know.

  3. Mostly, though, it punishes poor students by making it harder for them to earn money after school.

  4. Students barely have the attention span to make it through the days now. Until school becomes a video game, I’m not sure if a longer day can be effective.

    Hall Monitor

  5. I do agree with Stephen. There doesn’t seem to be an appreciation on the part of those pushing this plan, that the students and families might have better things to do with this time.

    The movement is too young to have any data to show that increasing time improves scores. You can’t cite KIPP, because their whole model is so distinctly different from the public schools’ approach.

    If implemented on a grand scale, it is certain to increase the cost of schooling. It will also tie up traffic at rush hour even further. It may also increase rates of childhood obesity.

  6. One of the best performing schools in our area (it is a charter school) actually uses an accelerated day (8:30AM to 1:30PM). The school is designed to serve the needs of children with a highly demanding outside interest (gymnastics, skating, swimming, etc) but knew a family whose child attended there who didn’t have a huge outside interest but they thought the school was excellent. As the school requires that the students participate in some athletic or fine arts pursuit outside of school requiring at least 5 hours a week (for 3rd through 8th grade — less for younger students)they found outside activities.

    Needless to say most of the kids at this school are highly motivated with highly motivated parents. However forcing these kids into a longer school day would not deliver any better results and might even deliver worse results as the kids would have less time to recharge or re-energize. Or might even lose motivation if the longer day forced them to drop their outside (motivating) interest.

    Certainly longer school days would benefit some kids — particularly if the day was well-structured but it is not a panacea.

  7. I’d rather see them make better use of existing time.