It Had To Happen

The law of averages said that it had to happen and it has; I agree with President Obama on something he wants to and with the stated reasons for his wanting to do it.

From the McClatchy Washington Bureau:

President Barack Obama said Tuesday that American children should go to school longer – either stay later in the day or into the summer – if they’re going to have any chance of competing for jobs and paychecks against foreign kids.

“We can no longer afford an academic calendar designed when America was a nation of farmers who needed their children at home plowing the land at the end of each day,” Obama said, adding U.S. education to his already crowded list of top priorities.

“That calendar may have once made sense, but today, it puts us at a competitive disadvantage. Our children spend over a month less in school than children in South Korea. That is no way to prepare them for a 21st century economy.”

He urged administrators to “rethink the school day” to add more class time.

“I know longer school days and school years are not wildly popular ideas,” he said. “Not in my family, and probably not in yours. But the challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom. If they can do that in South Korea, we can do it right here in the United States of America.”

This is an attitude and a desire for “change” that I can fully endorse. America’s government run school system is flagging and failing. Overall the students are not provided with an education that will serve them as well later in life as it should. Extending the school day and /or the school year is a means – though not the only needed means – of addressing this critical failing.

Related Reading:

Society: The Basics (12th Edition)
Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama
Reaching and Teaching Students in Poverty: Strategies for Erasing the Opportunity Gap (Multicultural Education Series)
Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters
Politics (Dover Thrift Editions)

Tags: | | | |

3 Responses to “It Had To Happen”

  1. Josh Brandt Says:

    As a high schooler (going to a college prep. school) I respectfully disagree. More hours means more money to pay teachers (not that they don’t deserve it) and in the public school system that would mean we have to pay more taxes. Neither I nor my my two sisters, go to public school, and my parents still have to pay taxes on it. That would mean that my parents would have to pay more for others education, when they already pay for us to go to private school.

  2. Susanne Says:

    While I understand your point and agree that we need to be more educated and competitive, I think this

    “America’s government run school system is flagging and failing. Overall the students are not provided with an education that will serve them as well later in life as it should.”

    sums up why I think extending the current status quo is not going to work. Teachers are already frustrated with undisciplined students. Why would they want longer days or years? Sorry if I have lost faith in the government-run school systems. They seem bloated and inefficient. Extending the day and year – to me – equals funding more of the same ol’ mess. Maybe serious students getting funds for specialized schooling would be better than throwing money at a system that seems unable already to do a good job.

  3. jonolan Says:


    Very true – but the increased unfair tax burden on families not using public education could be solved easily with the School Voucher program.

    Of course the voucher program – in order to be beneficial – would require an overhaul of the school funding process in order to bring its reality into compliance with its officially cited methodology for allocating funds.


    You bring up very valid points. That’s why I said that the extending the school day / school year was only one of the things that needs to be done to salvage the wreckage that masquerades as a public school system in America.

    Like anything dealing with fixing something as large and complex as our schools, no single action will generate much success on its own. This would be a start though.

Leave a Reply