I am truly concerned about and vehemently oppose any lengthening of the school day and/or year [Obama Details Plan for Overhauling Education, usnews.com]. As it is now, families are finding it hard to find the time that is necessary to fashion a family or life. Learning is a process that takes place everywhere. President Obama's plan, for me, sends mixed messages. On the one hand he advocates for education to be from "cradle to career," adding more time and more programs to the school day, yet he calls for more parental responsibility. As I see it, if children are away from their families more, his plan is abdicating the responsibility he calls for and that is so desperately needed. In my opinion, we could shorten the time, as other countries have successfully done. We also need to clearly define if we want schools to be places of learning or about "competing."
Comment by Karen of CT
Obama is correct [about] more years, a longer school year, and charter schools that can accept students from many states. I have taught science in public schools and private schools; chemistry for an inner-city Philadelphia public high school; computer science for a private inner-city school (7th, 8th grade); and chemistry for a suburban high school. Here are my thoughts. Add one more month and more parental involvement. The teacher unions are primarily interested in protecting the salaries and positions of senior teachers, not the new teachers who need the most support.
Comment by Cliff Rainey of PA
As a father I am troubled by the current education standards and results. In my hometown I watch too many kids drop out of school because of having a disability like dyslexia. Why? Because schools use a cookie-cutter type of set-up and if you do not fit, then you're out. Therefore, I support reforming our educational system. I support longer school days like year round schools but I am alarmed by the idea of having school six days a week. This would deny divorced moms/dads from seeing their kids. Most parenting plans allow non-custodial parents every other weekend visitation. Therefore, this would create a wedge furthering the divide between loving parents and their kids.
Comment by Jeff Parrack of OR
How can we add to something that is currently broken? It needs to be fixed first before we pile more on. Schools are worn thin with the resources they have now. How would they support longer days in their current state? He wants more students to go to college but how is that going to happen if students are failed by the system every day? Also, college costs are rising and the amount of debt acquired to obtain a college degree is often too much for someone to pay off. How does that help the economy? There are too many issues with our education system starting from kindergarten all the way through college. I wonder how many more students would go to college if they got the proper guidance in high school. Fix what we have now, and then maybe all of his ideas would make sense.
Comment by Lee Anne H. of MA
I am the mother of three children and by the end of the school day and with the tons of homework, my children are burned out. Are my kids the only ones? I can't imagine that making the school day longer and the year longer help in any way. All I can see is that my kids would become even more lethargic toward going to school. When would they have time to have fun and be "kids"? Has Obama said exactly what kind of hours and school year these young ones would be facing? I just don't feel that kids are the problem. It is incompetent adults who have made America what it is today. Am I wrong in wanting my children to have free time to enjoy their childhood?
Comment by Mary of PA