« Unqualified (Again) | Main | McGrades »

8-Hour School Days

| 12 Comments

A boost in Massachusetts students’ MCAS scores has many speculating that a longer school day may be the key ingredient for improved student performance. Scores increased across all grade levels in math, English, and science, according to The Boston Globe.

Last fall, public schools in mostly low-income and low-performing districts extended the school day by one or two hours. According to state educators, the longer days afford students more time to focus on weak subject areas, hands-on instruction and participation in extracurricular activities. In turn, teachers can cover material more thoroughly, have more planning time, and receive extra training.

Other states are considering replicating the model. Massachusetts is the first state to adopt and fund such an experiment. But the state Board of Education cautions that the model may not remedy all struggling schools. “More time is a bit like more money, it doesn’t have inherent value; it depends on how you use it,” said state education board chairman Paul Reville. The state Education Department is currently conducting a separate three-year evaluation on the effectiveness of extending the school day, and will present a preliminary report in January.


12 Comments

More and more gets put on my plate as a teacher. As a result, my students are expected to learn more and do more. I believe that the additional time would be very beneficial.

More kids do sports and other activaties after school. Eight hours would interfear with their scedual. If you look at a regular day its already alot to a child. 180 days is alot too. Just maybe make the lessons longer and drop un-needed things.

More kids do sports and other activaties after school. Eight hours would interfear with their scedual. If you look at a regular day its already alot to a child. 180 days is alot too. Just maybe make the lessons longer and drop un-needed things.

YO NO MORE SCHOOL YEAHHHHH

The reality is that kids fill their time after school with myriad activities leaving little time for school work. I believe a longer school day is not just benificial but imperitive.

Perhaps if I had a longer school day I could have learned to type beneficial and imperative correctly.

More time in school only makes sense to this parent if part of that time would revert to homework. Already, our middle and high school students have barely enough time to get seven hours of sleep, often due to having "just a little" homework, but in seven different subject areas. Block schedule was abandoned to save money, so it's every class, every night, homework. I find that I weigh whether to ask a kid to take out the trash or clean their room against the loss of a few minutes to just be a kid at 13. When we have a snow day, our kids often do very creative things or read for pleasure. What is remarkable about it is that we notice it, because it is "unusual".
Young people are being briefly exposed to far more content now, but I believe I reflected more as a teen, while walking to and from school, no time for that "wasted time" now. I believe kids need down time, and more time for their parents to have experiences with them as a family. The breakfast hour is gone. Elementary, middle and high school start times are all different and span two hours. Dinner time is gone. Events and sports start and end straight through the evening. There is no longer a "lull" between 5:30 and 6:30PM out of respect for "family bonding". To add insult to injury, parents are then denigrated for not making the effort to stay connected to their kids, talk with them, know what they are doing. I often wonder WHEN is this supposed to happen?
MORE is not always BETTER. A longer school day should include SUPPORTED in school homework time with highly skilled remedial teachers engaged full bore. It should NOT mean even more classes and push even more homework to the all-too-brief evening adding more stress on students and further smothering their family life.

I agree wholeheartedly with Nancy. I don't have enough time with my daughters as it is, and adding more time to their school day would definitely cut into our family time.

Let's teach smarter, not longer.

I also agree with Nancy.
Our legislators have no clue about how to improve results and their confused minds cannot distinguish between minutes of instruction and quality of the instructional time.
While we as teachers have breaks during our workday our students work solid from bell to bell. We are stealing their childhood and their opportunity of making friends and have a social life. Of course, later we complain about our youth not being able to communicate in a civilized manner or about teens being excessively violent. Our students are stressed; over tested and cannot talk to parents or teachers because there is no time for talks.
I was fortunate of going to school in a time and in a country when we had time for recess, learning, making friends and get to know our teachers.
I guess the education back then was not so bad because I passed all my Praxis exams with the highest score that you can get.

I do not see the point of more school time when most people feel that it should be "homework" time, or as we used to call it study hall. That is where little studying actually was done if I remember correctly. Homework is meant for the home, not for in class time. We have more than enough time in the classroom as is, lets use that time more wisely. In addition many students now have a ridiculous after school schedule that leaves them little to no time to do anything, that is a travesty. Kids need time to be kids, not have a litany of pre-programed activities to fill every waking minute of the day. When did it become bad to be a kid and play?

So when the eight hour day is over at 5 pm... teachers will then be expected to stay another hour or two to get ready for the next day and do paperwork? I can barely make it through a 7 hour day without a bathroom break now. Yet another way to drive good teachers away.
And...when the eight hour day proves to be ineffective what then?... a ten hour day? I believe that could be interpreted as an educational "sweat shop"!

That was a great post. "So when the eight hour day is over at 5 pm... teachers will then be expected to stay another hour or two...could be interpreted as an educational "sweat shop"!" Are you kidding me? Welcome to the real world.

Comments are now closed for this post.

Advertisement

Recent Comments

  • SJ: That was a great post. "So when the eight hour read more
  • Becky: So when the eight hour day is over at 5 read more
  • Anonymous: I do not see the point of more school time read more
  • Rossana Jonson: I also agree with Nancy. Our legislators have no clue read more
  • Diane: I agree wholeheartedly with Nancy. I don't have enough time read more

Archives

Categories

Technorati

Technorati search

» Blogs that link here