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5 states to increase class time in some schools

A three-year pilot program will add 300 hours of learning time to help boost achievement.

By Charyn Pfeuffer - MSN Living Editor Dec 3, 2012 8:04PM

In an effort to step up student achievement, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Tennessee announced today a three-year pilot program that will affect nearly 20,000 students reports Newser. Initially, the program will roll out in 35 schools, which will extend both the school day and the school year during the 2013-14 academic year, The New York Times reports.

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The 300 extra hours of classroom time is meant to help underperforming students stay globally competitive on standardized tests and allow more access to enrichment activities like art and music, reports The Associated Press. Already, more than 1,000 U.S. schools operate on expanded schedules, an increase of 53 percent over 2009, reports the AP.

Increased classroom time has been a long-time priority for Education Secretary Arne Duncan. “Whether educators have more time to enrich instruction or students have more time to learn how to play an instrument and write computer code, adding meaningful in-school hours is a critical investment that better prepares children to be successful in the 21st century,” Duncan was quoted in a statement to the AP.

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The programs will be run by state education officials and subsidized with federal, state, and district funds as well as resources from the National Center on Time & Learning and the Ford Foundation, which is committing $3 million a year in grants over the next three years.

According to the AP, not everyone is convinced about this extension in class time. A report last year from the National School Boards Association's Center for Public Education pointed out that a number of nations that are out-educating the United States - Finland, Japan and South Korea, for example - actually spend fewer hours in school than most U.S. students.

So, if extra learning time is the not the solution, how do we celebrate great teachers, strengthen the educational system and give students the tools they need to succeed in the 21st century? Discuss with others on our Facebook page...

Read the fully story at The New York Times.

Bing: The argument for an extended school day

Photo: Image Source/Getty Images

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Dec 3, 2012 9:41PM

So where my kids now get about 2 hours of homework each night.....does this mean no homework??


Also, is more better. It seems like as you back in time we spent less time in school and the kids scored better on tests.....so why do they all do so badly today.


Maybe we should quit socializing them, baby sitting them and brain washing them about all the social ills and green solutions and actually get back to basics.


Maybe kids should spend some time playing out in the yard, instead of inside doing homework and video games.

Dec 3, 2012 9:41PM
Sounds like more state control of our young minds.
Dec 3, 2012 9:37PM
How can students get the most out of their education if the budget for education is always on the chopping block? There's a lack of teachers, space, and resources. Perhaps the countries that have excelled past the U.S. recognize that education is vital enough to put money into, not take money out of.
Dec 3, 2012 9:36PM
Its not the time in class its whose teaching.. and parent involvement.. However, dont be that teacher who front loads the kid with homework and has to have the parents assist with the work for 3 hours a night (thereby shirking their teaching responsibilities)
Dec 3, 2012 9:34PM
And at what price for the unionized parasites to get paid for "teaching" more hours?
Dec 3, 2012 9:33PM
Did they ask the tax payers who will be footing the bill?
Dec 3, 2012 9:30PM

Terrific, subsidized (free) day care. Just what American families need. Now taxpayers not only pay for their college, they pay for their babysitters til they get to college.


Liberal educational dynamics from liberal states. Nanny states at their worst.

Dec 3, 2012 9:29PM
They don't need to extend the school day - they need to make better use of the time they are there now.
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