MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

December 11, 2012

Expanding time in class worth a look


— A plan to expand hours in schools in five states bears watching.

Public school students in Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee are expected to add 300 hours of learning time starting as early as 2013.

The schools are taking part in an initiative intended to boost student achievement and make schools in the United States more competitive.

The three-year program will affect nearly 20,000 students in 40 schools.

School districts, parents and teachers will help determine if school days or hours or a combination of the two will grow.

The program could be expanded — especially to those schools that serve low-income communities.

Schools districts throughout the states should keep a close eye over the next three years to see if grades go up.

There is some research to suggest students who spend more time in the classroom will learn more.

Some disagree.

But that’s the point of this program.

Let’s let the program run its course and monitor the outcomes to determine whether more time in class results in higher achievement.

The U.S. has tried so many programs, including No Child Left Behind, but we are still floundering while some nations are thriving.

The U.S. needs to fix the problems in schools in order to capture the top spot in education throughout the world.

A quality education means the world to students.

Students who learn more, earn more.

They also have a greater chance at becoming leaders.

Right now school districts throughout the nation are struggling to find answers.

This five-state program might provide some interesting answers.

It is time to find out if more class time will result in a better education.