As much as I can champion education reform so our students come out of high school better prepared and as competitive as eastern counterparts, I don't think a longer school year is the best approach.
American students are "at a competitive disadvantage" because the United States has shorter school years than other countries such as India and China.Having free days in the summer is not what is keeping us at a disadvantage Mr. Secretary. Curriculum, and curriculum enforcement is. Unfortunately longer academic year, will keep us at the same education levels, with schools from better districts offering better education than those in inner cities or poorer districts. It will only keep students there longer; oh yes and teachers too whom I'm sure will want hire pay for the added obligatory days.
"It doesn't matter how poor, how tough the family background, socioeconomic challenges," Duncan said. "Where students have longer days, longer weeks, longer years -- that's making a difference."
If we truly want our children to be more competitive, start by overhauling the curriculum and making sure it is taught AND learned.
Every day I find more and more reasons, not only to send my kids to private school but even to start considering home schooling.