This week’s #PTchat – Longer School Days

Guest Post by Joe Mazza

You may have heard the news that 5 states have approved adding 300 hours to school days in an effort to close achievement gaps and re-imagine the school day. Below is a video from @CNNschools which Sam Chaltain (@SamChaltain) talks about impacts on both sides from these changes to the school day.

This week, Melissa Taylor (@MelissaWrites) from Parenting Magazine (@Parenting) will join us to dig deeper on this topic. Melissa is an award-winning educational blogger at ImaginationSoup, an award-winning teacher with a M.A. in Education, and a mom of two children, ages 6 and 9. You can follow her on Twitter or find her on FacebookMelissa wrote a piece last week on the efforts that Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York & Tennessee will put in place for 20,000 of their students in which she shared some pros and cons from her parenting lens:

Pros

  • More time for enrichment activities and instruction. (If everything goes as planned.)
  • Easier for working parents.         

Cons

  • Not supported by research or anecdotal evidence. For example, South Korea, Finland and Japan perform better than American students and already spend less time in school than we do.
  • Teachers unions don’t want to work longer hours. Convincing them otherwise will be challenging.
  • Funding is an issue. The 5 states in this 3–year trial are getting money from federal, state, and district funds plus funding from the Ford Foundation and the National Center on Time and Learning.               

What do you think? Can we really add more time to school days without maximizing what happens within the time already allotted? Are we asking students to spend more time within a broken system? Join us this Wednesday, 12/12 at 9PM EDT for Parent-Teacher Chat (#ptchat)

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