Comments about ‘Learning takes time: Growing movement seeks to expand length of school day’

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Published: Sunday, May 5 2013 3:30 p.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

I remember being exhausted at the end of the school day when I was a grade schooler.

Flexible programs, maybe, but what I don't understand is why every industry in our society is more efficient, but schools are less? Why don't we shoot for efficiency and worry about child care for those who don't have a parent waiting for them separately.

MiddleofNowhere, Utah

All this sounds like is more of parents trying to pawn off their children to schools for free day care. They don't want the responsibility of being an active part of their children's life or stimulating their growth, they want tax money to substitute for the supervision of their children.

@Obama 10, there are SOME lazy teachers, but that's a pathetic excuse for the PLETHORA of lazy parents out there.

Steven S Jarvis
Orem, UT

Did people read the same article I did?

The added school time was used as a period of enrichment. It was also a time when kids could work on their homework, engage in the arts or do what others would consider after school activities. It was not time given to additional instruction on the primary subjects of reading, writing and arithmetic. When kids did the three Rs, it was through tutoring.

Our Charter school would appreciate an extra two hours each day as there isn't enough time to fit in all the activities to make learning more memorable. If we had the funding we would make sure every child had music, PE and art daily for one of those hours, and another hour with activities centered around what we are learning in History and Science. We always end the year wishing we had had more time to cover everything.

Centerville, UT

Sure, I believe that learning takes time, but quality time not time wasted. If we concentrate on effective teaching, students would be fine with 6 hours of schooling, like they do in Germany and other parts of Europe. Last time I checked, their students are not undereducated.
Whenever I hear calls for longer school hours and more school days, I can't help but think that a lot of these demands are not actually motivated by creating a better learning situation but simply to keep kids busy because more and more parents are working and students would go home to an empty house.
The problem with that is, that those kids who have parents who look forward when their precious children finally come home from school will be either punished or disinfranchised by a system that caters to keep kids busy.
The solution as I see it is to focus on teaching during regular school hours and make social events optional after hours.

BYUtah Fan
Herriman, UT

Standard government response - "The program is failing, so let's do more of it."

Salt Lake City, Utah

There are couple of simple solutions to the so called education problem.

Number one quit trying to make schools everything for everyone. Our state legislators every single year submit over 200 bills related to education and pass at least 100 of them. Lets return our schools to educational institutions not political footballs.

Second hold parents accountable. Sorry but it is not the minority of parents, or only the parents in low socio-economic areas that want the schools to do everything, it is the majority of the parents in this supposed family first state. Parents need to have some responsibility for their children beyond conception and birthing.

Third make the students accountable for their own education. Currently students have no accountability whatsoever for their own education. If they misbehave in class their needs to be a consequence, if they don't come to class their needs to be a consequence. If they don't learn their is a consequence and it needs to become theirs, not the teachers.

Fourth, how about we try the old approach to education that worked fifty years ago, let the educators (the experts) determine what needs to be taught and how it needs to be taught.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

Mr. Jarvis, I believe arts, music and P.E. need to be part of the regular day. If this program is implemented I see these things becoming enrichment activities. I see these things as important, nearly as much as reading at the elementary age level. We have a country full of obese people watching Duck Dynasty thinking this is culture. Reading is only good if there is meaningful things to read. The problem with the NCLB Act and test score emphasis is that three subjects (Math, Science and English) are dominating the curriculum, to the detriment of other things. I think these other things are important (because I hear the cry now that the three R's is all that schools should be doing), but study after study has shown that music, art and even physical exercise helps students learn the three R's better. Music and math go together well. But what I fear again is that the regular school day just becomes three subjects and everything else gets relegated to the longer school day "enrichment time." I think this would be a detriment. Plus as I said before, I want to spend more time with my children!

Spanish Fork, UT

Instead of tacking on more hours, which would mean less time outdoors playing and learning from other activities, let's get rid of "early out days", useless activities, making teachers teach to the test and teach all the crap they have to teach to be politically correct. If we went back to the basics and gave teachers the time to teach and trained children to be respectful students, a lot more learning would happen!!! As a preschool teacher, I have parents who want a 5 day preschool program. Absolutely not-children need time to be children. We have a 3 day or 2 day 2 1/2 hour program and we manage to teach them a lot. Probably because we are a private preschool and we do not have to jump through the government hoops. I say a big NO to longer school days.

Mcallen, TX


Our children today are living with surveillance, accountability, and having someone plan their daily lives. It amazes me how people except this.

Clearfield, UT

Why not make the schools go standard 8 hr. day, 5 days per week, and year round, with an option for 3 weeks vacation to be scheduled by parents/guardians. Seems like that solves the problems of: 1) time to cover all the materials needed; 2) increased employment opportunities by providing someone besides teachers to have summer part-time jobs; 3)eliminating mishchief laden idleness by providing youth with something to do in the summertime since jobs at their age are scarce or non-existant; and 4) helping parents cope by providing a state funded baby sitting service for those 2 working parents that seem to be disengaged from the educational system anyway.

orem, UT

As a parent and a public school teacher I believe we need to take great care in requiring more time from children of strong families and good parents. Sometimes it seems healthy families are at the mercy of those families that need extra efforts by public schools to fill in the gaps weather socially or academically. Competent or not, parents are ultimately responsible for their kids education and work in partnership with school teachers. If this were not the case teachers could decide what kids should be on medication or tested for Special Education.

I believe public education can and should help those children from struggling families, but not at the expense of functioning ones.

John C. C.
Payson, UT

How could this ever happen in Utah without more funding for schools? We aren't yet funding the current system properly. Most of our legislators equate funding with "throwing more money at it." Perhaps they would rather call volunteer missionaries to teach our children instead of professionally trained and certified college graduates.

Go Utes, CA

There is already an enormous amount of wasted time in the school day. The proposal to extend school days is simply an attempt by some parents to get more free day care while they are at work. Perhaps also an effort by teachers' unions to increase their influence. Adding hours to the school day will not make our kids smarter, but it will reduce their availability to explore and learn in non-school ways. For kids who have a parent that does not work (or works a short day), adding hours to the school day will take away from valuable time that kid could be spending with a parent.

Orem, UT

Wow. Everyone has their own educational agenda. There are some simple facts that we all need to consider:

1. Quality AND quantity of teaching needs to go up. At my level, quality has increased. We have had remarkable training on helping us be more effective teachers, and it's made a big difference in my classroom.
2. Time matters. Those who say a longer school day won't make any difference give no support. Proficiency goes up ANY time you spend longer at a task. The idea that kids are spent by noon does them a disservice. Yes, it is easier for them to focus in the mornings, but American kids are used to being entertained and coddled. If school is rigorous and interesting, students will adapt and learn more.
3. "Homework" (personal study) skills are dismal. Many of my students come regularly unprepared. They don't practice their skills. They think as long as you show-up in school most of the time, that's good enough. They're in for a tough road ahead. Parents MUST support personal study at home.

  • 7:44 a.m. May 13, 2013
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Ephraim, UT

I teach. And, I value all of your comments and insight. There's some valuable stuff here! For children of dead beat parents (Yes they exist) additional positive time at school would be valuable IMO. But, until we have the guts to step in and evaluate the situation at home, to distinguish between homes where good things are happening and homes where kids are wasting their brains in front of a TV/cellphone/ipad/xbox, this conversation will only cause a reduction of rights to those parents/children who are doing positive things outside of school.
If government wants to get involved and create environments whereby youth gain skills, elliminate the restrictive child labor laws!!! The knowledge and skills I gained working after school throughout my youth far surpassed what I learned in the classroom. The current system in this nation/state takes these opportunities away from our children. My advice is for parents to do all they can to create those same opportunities at home for their children.... Have your children raise livestock.. start a business... mow lawns... get out and learn how to make ends meet.....survive...compete.

Pleasant Grove, UT

This is an exceedingly bad idea. Let's be honest with ourselves for a moment: Just how many *adults* could keep up a grueling schedule of 8 to 9.5 hours of study nine months of the year for twelve consecutive years? We call those who can "doctors," and there's a very good reason there are so few of them. This is overkill. I was educated in 6.5 hours/day, and my kids can be educated in the same amount of time.

Layton, UT

my kids do very well in school. They don't need more time in school, however to learn, they need to be encouraged to do independent learning--to be learning people. They do a lot of extra work, because I encourage them to discover things they are interested in outside of the need for approval from school teachers.

Lengthier school days only means more exposure to a whole range of students--many of whom simply have no interst in learning and drag the whole class down. If the kids are getting their work done, what should it matter the length of the school day?

Still a Mormon
Greenfield, IN

Life is a way way way better teacher than any mortal imposter could ever try yo be. Quite frankly it is just unnatural. Everybody knows that school is a joke when you get out into the real world.

Also I think that there is a secular elite in this nation that wants us and our kids to think like they do. The Public Education system is their tool. The Political Correctness movement is great evidence for it.

If I were supreme dictator I would teach the basics and in a practical matter.

How would cut the trim on an obtuse outside corner? (Math)

What Principles require a ventilation stack for your homes plumbing? (Science)

How do you run a business plan or budget?(Finance)

How should you deal with a co-worker who is simply incompetent, should you call him out talk to a superior etc? (English)

Also I know many Individuals who are well educated but who did really make it if you know what I mean. I also know many Individuals who never went to college but did make it.

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