Valley Reaction to Obama's Proposal of More School Time

September 28, 2009 11:29:02 PM PDT
The fiery controversy over keeping kids in school longer has been rekindled. Earlier this year President Obama said in order for American students to compete in a global market, school days or the school year should be longer.In March President Obama urged school administrators to rethink the school day in order to add more class time or shorten summer break.

In an interview with the Associated Press last week, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said he supports the president's idea. Duncan said quote, "Our school calendar is based upon the agrarian economy and not too many of our kids are working the fields today."

In most Valley schools students already spend nearly seven hours at school. Greg Gadams with the Fresno Teachers Association says teachers work nearly 10 hours a day, if class time is extended where would they get the time or money? He said, "I don't know many teachers who would say I want to add all this extra time for free."

Some California lawmakers say changes to school calendars should not be made in Washington.

ACEL Charter High School Principal Dave Childers says a longer school day may not be necessary. Instead ... he says a longer school year could help. He said, "We do see a lot of slippage when students have been away from school for two and a half months and then come back."

We asked ACEL students if they would be willing to spend more time in the classroom. Students say as long as they get some benefit out of it, they don't mind putting in the extra work.

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