News: Longer US School Hours Enjoyed

Plans to extend the school day continue to cause resistance among professionals who feel that they already work long hours before and after the school day, however various USA districts are experimenting with longer classroom hours—and surprisingly, students and teachers seem to love it, reports The Atlantic News.

Some of the youngest children at Nashville Classical charter school spend eight hours a day within the school setting, with the school director maintaining,

“I think it’s important to think about all of the things you want to accomplish in a school day, and then make sure that you have the time to accomplish all of those things. We didn’t start by saying we have to have an extended day, and we didn’t start by saying we have to end at 4:00 p.m.”

With debates in the USA focusing on the attainment levels of disadvantaged background children, charter networks and districts have turned to extended learning time as a pragmatic reform. Although many disadvantaged schools are considering a longer day, there are a lot of unanswered questions: How does this affect students? How can districts cover the increased costs? And perhaps most importantly, does this extra time in the classroom actually make low-income students more competitive with their peers?

The reaction of (un-named teachers) appears to be positive, if the time is used efficiently, “Teachers are totally on board – Teachers love having that designated time [after school] to be with students, and it does free up their time during the other parts of the school day, and parents love it—especially at the high school level.”

The implications are still to be scrutinised, however The Atlantic notes various unanswered questions: How does this affect students? How can districts cover the increased costs? And perhaps most importantly, does this extra time in the classroom actually make low-income students more competitive with their peers?

Read the full article via The Atlantic News Site.

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