Longer school days mean better grades, studies say

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  • Dmark Logan, UT
    May 27, 2014 10:11 a.m.

    The school system has unique problems to solve that homeschooling families most often don't need to address. A homeschooling day can be 3 hours and still be effective because of fewer students, usually a dedicated parent at home, and giving our children the chance , after completing the basics, to learn things they choose and are interested in. These options are not available to public school kids. What pub school teachers do is often heroic.. It's tough. Sending kids there isn't mandatory just because the teachers are heroes. It's about providing the best educational option for our kids given all the options and individual family capacity.

    The longer day is just saying that their system may need more time to achieve acceptable results. It probably does in some cases. If we don't like it, we don't have to send our kids there. Isn't that so?

  • ALar Sugar City, ID
    May 27, 2014 12:05 a.m.

    These "studies" are misleading and deceiving. I agree with Hamath's assessment concerning low-income families, but it frustrates me to no end the way society is trying to take responsibility away from parents. I cannot count the times my 5 children have come home from school literally in tears because of the serious waste of time in the classroom. If the hours were to increase, I think I would have to homeschool to save my childrens' sanity. (I have considered it many times.)

    I don't even believe preschools or kindergarten are effective or necessary. I have taken education very seriously and have taught all my children to read by age 2...and not all of my children are brilliant. People generally underestimate toddlers' ability to grasp concepts. One child now attends MIT and another is a 4.0 high school student graduating early. Most of their learning has taken place in our home. While they have had a small handful of teachers from whom they have actually learned, for the most part they have simply tolerated public school.

    For the record, I am low-income (not by choice), but my children are my highest priority so they don't notice.

  • optic yellow Ogden, UT
    May 26, 2014 6:04 p.m.

    Easiest fix for the troubled education system:

    Hold kids back until they actually have the skills prescribed for that grade level.

    We could have shorter and more effective days if teachers could focus on the acquisition of current curriculum and not have to go back and fill in potholes all of the time.

    Imagine teaching a high school math class (this situation is intensified by common core) where 10% are well beyond the material, 20% are achieving with little effort, 20% are at the right level - working hard, struggling and discovering. Then there is the 30% who did not get the skills from the last two years and need significant assistance, and then the 20% who still struggle working with fractions, times tables and order of operations.

    If you can't read, calculate, reason at the appropriate level, lets provide you with the opportunity to do so, before pushing you on. Teachers can teach more effectively, and students of all levels receive more focused and appropriate instruction. (This is what can make homeschooling so effective a class of 1)

    I don't think we should kick you out, or move you to a "non-academic" school like so many of the countries we are compared with.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    May 26, 2014 11:53 a.m.

    In many schools, students are constantly watched by camera, and must sign a form just to use the restroom.

    They are put into uniforms, fed, held accountable, and scored to a set of state mandates.

    Longer days of this is un-American, and abusive.

    We forget these students are children, and people! They need independent time to develop their own curiousity, and creativity.

  • Chuck E. Racer Lehi, UT
    May 26, 2014 7:40 a.m.

    In general lower income parents do less parenting. Lengthening the day would give short-term improvements as the state takes over more of the parenting for kids, just as providing meals for kids did. What is not stated is that as the state starts to pick up the slack of some parents, more begin to slack off, expecting the state to pick it up too. It becomes a bottomless pit for funding, and in the end provides a much inferior product as it pushes family out of the way.

    In the end, this would only aide the continuing slide in the moral fiber of the country, which would further repress education.

  • Rural sport fan DUCHESNE, UT
    May 26, 2014 6:30 a.m.

    Wait...more time studying leads to higher scores? Stop the presses, this is news! Of course, once upon a time, parents led that extra time, we used to call it homework, in those countries that beat us on the test scores, it's still the norm.

    For some reason in America, we've lost that. Kids tell mom they have no homework, and mommy believes it, or parents aren't there to help, or can't help or won't help, and some even go so far as to tell us their kid has more important things to do, so please give less homework; and now we are saying let the school do your job, parents.

    Wow, is our society in trouble.

  • Oak Highland, UT
    May 26, 2014 6:19 a.m.

    Here's a couple proponents of extending the school day:

    “Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American public school is a school of Humanism. What can the theistic Sunday-schools, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?”
    -Charles Potter, co-signer with John Dewey of the Humanist Manifesto, “Humanism: a New Religion”, pg. 128

    “Every child in America entering school at the age of five is insane because he comes to school with certain allegiances to our founding fathers, toward our elected officials, toward his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural being, and toward the sovereignty of this nation as a separate entity. It’s up to you as teachers to make all these sick children well – by creating the international child of the future.”
    -Dr. Chester M. Pierce, Harvard Professor of Education and Psychiatry, in an address to the Childhood International Education Seminar in 1973

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    May 25, 2014 11:36 p.m.

    First post by Hamath is on to something. It would probably help at risk students but not make much difference for those other students. Worf is right as well though I don't exactly look at schools as prisons per se, I think valuable learning can take place outside of the classroom. Laura Ann is also right. Not much money exists to pay teachers decently in our state now.

  • Laura Ann Layton, UT
    May 25, 2014 2:27 p.m.

    Regardless of the right or wrong of this study, where is the money from it going to come from?

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    May 25, 2014 1:35 p.m.

    These studies are crazy.

    Making prisoners of our students is not right.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    May 25, 2014 9:36 a.m.

    Longer school hours alone would merely mean students spend more time in a lack luster educational system. Improve the curriculum.

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    May 25, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    We homeschool our children. My oldest son is now 15. His school day including parental instruction and self-study never exceeded 3 hours per day. He is now a sophomore at BYU majoring in applied math with computational emphasis on an academic full tuition scholarship. It is not about the quantity, but rather the quality of instruction as well as parental involvement teaching the kids what it takes to achieve.

  • Kabul Kabul, Afghanistan
    May 25, 2014 7:23 a.m.

    Great news. So, will we see school held from March through November, and three months off for winter vacation?

  • Hamath Omaha, NE
    May 25, 2014 7:18 a.m.

    I suspect this is because unstructured time at home with low income families have become increasingly troublesome times. Kids sit around "hanging out", playing video games, etc. Because mom and dad are either (A) working a job from 3PM-9PM, (B) not around for various reasons: divorce, prison, etc. and/or (C) not engaged with their children for various reasons: drugs, partying, TV addiction, Internet addiction, low self esteem. Failures of the family are leading the state to think they've got to replace the family. In terms of improving education and improving economic health of the nation in the short-term, this type of argument looks right.