EdNext Reader Poll: Extending the School Year?

By 08/10/2012

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On Sunday the New York Times discussed how some schools are choosing to extend their academic calendar by adding extra school days. Right now the standard is 180 days. Some school districts are increasing them to 200 days.

What do you think? Should we increase the number of days in the academic calendar?

Read more on adding instructional days in this Education Next article: “Time for School” (Winter 2010).

-Education Next

Comment on this article
  • Isabel Tweedsmuir says:

    The US very definitely should increase its number of school days, if American students are going to compete academically with first world industrialised nations. The current 180 day academic year is still based on a calendar of planting and harvesting which is now applicable to about 4 US students.
    The US also needs to decide what it is going to do:
    put education totally in the hands of the government ( like the academically high flying nations) OR in the hands of the individual states .

  • jeffreymiller says:

    Is it really about the amount of time spent in the classroom? Humans learn things all the time, every day, 24/7/365. It’s what we are hard-wired to do with our large brain. Even when we sleep we seem to be processing waking experience. Some of the time we spend reinforcing previously-learned stuff and some of the time, we try to fit new stuff in with the old. Formal schooling might seem to be more about the latter but we do want to make sure what has been learned in school is not lost.

    So let’s talk instead about what we want our young humans’ big brains to do while they are in formal schooling. It has been shown that kids in other countries learn more in less time than American kids–so it’s not about time. What is it about?

  • Kathleen Lincoln says:

    In my opinion it is not about more time in the physical classroom. Continuing to educate students the way we have been will not improve student learning. Engaging students in a cross-curricular manner on tasks that are relevant to them and rigorous in nature is what needs to change. This is a change in pedagogy around what constitutes teaching and learning. Student learning must promote problem solving and creative thinking, both in and out of the classroom. More now than ever, students must be prepared to enter a job that may not even exist yet. Better yet, we must begin to support student learning in a manner that prepares them to create the jobs of the future.

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