Sunday, September 27, 2009

Obama Wants To Extend School Year

By GARY BAUMGARTEN
Paltalk News Network

If President Obama has his way, the lyrics of the songs "School's Out" and "See You In September" may have to be revised to, "Schools Out for July" and "See You In August."

The president believes that the school year must be increased, that schools need to be open longer each day and that they should be open on weekends for activities so that children have a safe place to go.
Plan to fill halls more often: http://bit.ly/3XV4MUPlan to fill halls more often: http://bit.ly/3XV4MU
Obama acknowledges that his suggestion isn't widely popular - not even with his own children. But he says the change must be made in order to make the United States more competitive.

I've long been an advocate of keeping schools open late so that children and even others in the community could have a safe place to go for structured activity. There are far too many latchkey children running around unsupervised in our nation's cities and towns. But budgetary concerns have made keeping schools open for non-educational activities less than appealing to school districts.

Then there's the issue of teacher contracts. This latest proposal to change the status quo in the country may run contrary to contracts - and may upset the very teacher's unions that supported him in his bid for the presidency.

It's a noble goal but one that will likely create even more opposition like that we've seen over Obama's health reform proposal.

Obama is far from an unintelligent man. Perhaps he feels that because there are no guarantees of a second term that he must push an agenda that challenges business as usual in the United States. If nothing else, he's raising awareness and sparking debate. And maybe opening minds to the possibility of the kind of change he pledged during his campaign.

4 comments:

WorthyOfUrAttn said...

This country is in a state of emergency; why is the President acting idle minded? President Obama is behaving like a prospective Nazi tyrant! It's my country and I can do what I want and everyone in it are my toys! Listen. These children don't need extended months of school. These children need to have the required materials such as BOOKS, computers, and teachers to dedicate their work hours to teaching for nine months and parents should get involved and spend more time on their child's studies. We have inner city school as well as abroad that are not equipped, for educating. SAT scores have hit record lows and its NOT b/c they don't get ENOUGH school, they don't have materials. How about this.... replenish these school districts with the needed materials for 9 months or we're going to have a delapated and unbalanced institution for the next four years. Children will become bitter and they will rebel as well as parents and teachers. Students will burn out and the drop out rate will become higher. Home schooling will become even more popular which isn't so bad. I home schooled my son using my own curriculum his last two years and graduated him with physics, business math and computer science. He's still in college today and owns his own business and lives in a suite as well at the age of 20. When caring parents get sick and tired enough of the educational institution ripping us off of our tax payer dollars while not meeting their standard expectations, they will pull their children out and home school them as well. Students will beg for home schooling. All we need are materials and dicipline. Obama is only extending the time line with the same problems. The concept of extending the school year will not make us a more competitive nation. This is a ploy to jack up school taxes.

dannyjpage said...

While funding schools is important, studies show that increased funding does no real help. If it's under funded, then yes it can be difficult. However, those same studies show schools that are under-funded doing better than well funded counterparts.

More time in school, giving more flexible for work and play to avoid burnout will only help our students. The comment about parents participating is a nice thought but the reality is that parents don't. Living in a fantasy land talking about what parents should be doing isn't going to change the reality of the situation.

I am a product of public education. I come from a relatively poor school. However, I was an honor student in high school, Deans honor in college, and now going for my masters. I have had no family support. My parents didn't sit at home with me doing homework. Obama's speach not too long ago was about people just like me. Those who do not subscribe to the standards of those around me who expect either failure or for people to change that just aren't going to change (primarily themselves.)

But here is a question for you. Since you believe your child has fared better than others; how many hours a day did your child spend in "school" with you? 4 hours? 6? 8? Do you know how many hours a public school student is?

WorthyOfUrAttn said...

The options were 180 days of documented education or over 1000 + hours of work when I home schooled my son. You are not living in a reality. I don't know when you graduated times do change and it will not matter. The truth is, parents today do not spend the time with their children as they should or as much as they should making sure they get their education. What was good for you in your way, obama and his extended education starting at 4 am, myself a college graduate of computer sciences or my son who was home schooled, the education system is in a crisis and our children's SAT scores hit a record low collectively, in this country, books or no books. SOMEONE is not doing their job and others aren't minding the store. Great YOU turned out ok as well as my son and myself. Selfish of you to think that the reality is that all students can. They aren't. There is a failure somewhere starting with neglect.

shannonryan said...

I feel as though you are missing the point that President Obama and dannyjpage are trying to make. The changes in the school system are not being made for you or your son. Yes, I understand that you home schooled your child and he flourished in that environment. That is wonderful, but not at all surprising. Children will always benefit from one on one instruction from a motivated parent that is involved in, and prioritizes their child’s education. President Obama is trying to create change for the students who do not have the same opportunities that your son had, i.e, involved parents, extra-curricular activities, a stable family foundation, a safe learning environment, etc. So you see, it is about more than just having money and school supplies. The problem America is having with it’s public schools runs so much deeper than simply providing students with the required materials or telling parents that they should spend more time with their children. Simply throwing money at the problem will not help things. Who is being unrealistic now? Whether you agree with it or not, some people are not fit to be parents, but are and do the best that they can. Not everyone values education. Some parents are just trying to get by, doing everything they can to provide their children with more than what they had. This often means working 2 or 3 jobs and sacrificing the time that they have with their children to be able to put food on the table, or pay rent or the hydro bill. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have the means or ability to home school their children – even if they would like to.

Studies have shown that wealthy or middle class students benefit from longer breaks in the school year because they continue learning from the experiences they acquire over this time period. The “hands-on” learning that they are exposed to over the summer months (such as family vacations, day trips to museums or galleries, nature walks, and involvement in community events) are simply an extension of their education. Poorer students are at a disadvantage in that their education often declines over the longer breaks, as they do not receive the same amount of stimulation. President Obama is looking out for these students. If the school year were longer, by let’s say even a month, these students would come back to school in August at less of a disadvantage. The playing field would be leveled to some extent, giving poorer students the opportunity and advantage to learn as much as their wealthier counterparts. Unfortunately, this is the reality.