Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Increasing Instructional Time

In Massachusetts and across the country there is a growing movement to increase the amount of instructional time students receive by lengthening the school day or school year. While this is not a mainstream practice yet, "The Expanded Learning Time Initiative" is starting to gain some serious traction. Approximately 15 schools in Massachusetts received multiple year grants to cover the cost associated with longer school days and years. This is still a relatively new experiment but early data seems to suggest positive results such as better attendance and less tardiness in schools with increased instructional time.

What do you think?



TNMomof5 said...

Absolutely AGAINST it. Take out all the JUNK they do in school and they will have plenty of time for learning. Sounds like another attempt to rob our children of their childhood (sorry, I have strong feelings on this).

WorksForMom said...

I know this isn't going to be a popular response, but I think I'm against it. My son is only 1, so I'm not fully emerged in this debate - but I just think kids just need some time to be kids. Plain and simple.

I know some of my friends feel adamantly against this since learning is faster in the younger years and American kids are behind "other kids" in studies.

Good question Trish.

Pam said...

I don't know if this will be the popular opinion- but I am against it. Being an educator, the kids are working hard enough and in school long enough already. Can I get everything done everyday? No, of course not. Do I wish I could teach them more or practice more skills with them? Yes. But I also do not believe it is the fault of the children that we are required to do so much with the curriculum. The kids are working hard and let's not forget that they are kids...they need time to be "free" and to be part of other things beyond the school day. They need time off just like all of us.

I didn't read the other comments yet...I posted mine first. So if I restated some of what others said, sorry.

MilitaryMom said...

I cannot say whether I am for or against extended school but I can comment based on my sister's situation. She lives in Newton County Georgia and they have gone to year round school. What this means is that they go all year, but have longer breaks during holidays and a small break in the summer (like 2 weeks or something). She thinks its harder on the kids because they don't get a real summer break, and it is also harder on her to find day care during the many breaks throughout the year. I know basing your opinion on child care is not great (because we know teachers are not day care providers), but it is a real issue when you are a working Mom. Great topic today!

Dana said...

I am going to go against the mainstream here and say that I would be for it. (Of course, I am also all for school uniforms but I am wierd that way.) Every year when my kids start back to school, they spend the first few weeks reviewing what they learned the previous year. If they didn't have the 3 months off during the summer, they could spend much less time on that.

As far as extending the school day, I would have to oppose that. Kids can only soak up so much information at once so by adding additional time each day, they would basically be doing "filler" activities.