Obama and Duncan say kids in the United States need more school because kids in other nations have more school.While I agree there are changes that should be made to the American education system-like improving the quality of teachers we are turning out, improving the educational materials used, dumping No Child Left Behind (replacing it with a real program, that actually helps kids) and developing good programs to identify and help kids that are struggling due to educational or social circumstances-all excellent ideas.
"Young people in other countries are going to school 25, 30 percent longer than our students here," Duncan told the AP. "I want to just level the playing field."
While it is true that kids in many other countries have more school days, it's not true they all spend more time in school.
Kids in the U.S. spend more hours in school (1,146 instructional hours per year) than do kids in the Asian countries that persistently outscore the U.S. on math and science tests — Singapore (903), Taiwan (1,050), Japan (1,005) and Hong Kong (1,013). That is despite the fact that Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong have longer school years (190 to 201 days) than does the U.S. (180 days).
Extending the school day? Just another example of applying to wrong fix to a real issue.