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Should the school day be extended?

D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) will introduce a bill Tuesday to extend the school day for 45,000 District public school students by at least a half hour, an effort to give kids more classroom instructional time.

The bill, set to be introduced at the council's regularly scheduled meeting, would extend the school day from the current 6.5 hours to at least seven hours, Cheh said Monday. Currently, the school day at many District schools begins at 8:45 a.m. and concludes at 3:15 p.m.

By Abha Bhattarai  |  October 5, 2010; 3:45 PM ET  | Category:  Local Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Seven hours is fine; anything beyond that probably will result in diminishing returns.

Posted by: AxelDC | October 5, 2010 4:39 PM

They will at least be off the street. Maybe it was the weather this summer, but I've never seen so many packs of bored, directionless kids wandering around just breaking stuff for something to do. When a bunch of 12 year olds spend over an hour utterly destroying a freshly planted tree, you have a problem.

Posted by: weetabixjihad | October 6, 2010 12:57 AM

Yes, and perhaps part of the problem is people who will stand by for an hour watching such activity *while doing nothing about it*.

Posted by: Nymous | October 6, 2010 5:14 AM

It's the quality of the instruction that matters, not the length of time in the classroom.

Posted by: lavorels | October 6, 2010 5:58 AM

I don't think teachers could stand working more than six hours per day.

Posted by: cpameetingbook | October 6, 2010 6:22 AM

My kids were in DCPS from pre-k through 6th grade. A lot of busywork, shockingly low standards - an appalling lack of rigor and quality instruction by most of the teachers. They are now in private school, where they have fewer hours in school overall, but learn much, much more.

It's not the hours. It's the quality of the curriculum and instruction that matters.

Posted by: trace1 | October 6, 2010 7:02 AM

My kids were in DCPS from pre-k through 6th grade. A lot of busywork, shockingly low standards - an appalling lack of rigor and quality instruction by most of the teachers. They are now in private school, where they have fewer hours in school overall, but learn much, much more.

It's not the hours. It's the quality of the curriculum and instruction that matters.

Posted by: trace1 | October 6, 2010 7:02 AM

I generally agree but I think that more hours of quality instruction should be our goal. Ultimately I believe that a longer school year would provide a greater benefit.

Posted by: redclaws | October 6, 2010 7:39 AM

Even more important than a longer school day, the school year should be year round with appropriate breaks in between. I think continuity of learning is more important than length of learning. I agree with Traci1 that quality of the curriculum and instruction is more important than the hours being spent.

Posted by: StockHR | October 6, 2010 7:48 AM

If the school is known for students dropping out...a longer day with the same bad instruction and the same poor teacher morale with the same unenlightened administration will just encourage students to drop out earlier in the year. Many students need to start school in the morning and work in the afternoon or vice versa...many young boys need to start learning job skills during part of the school day.I remember the Rat Patrol in the old Shaw Junior High. The boys started work during the afternoon and they loved their jobs! Yes, this was part of Pride with Marion Barry. Even when other kids made fun of them...they were proud to be working!

Posted by: judithclaire1939 | October 6, 2010 7:50 AM

If the school is known for students dropping out...a longer day with the same bad instruction and the same poor teacher morale with the same unenlightened administration will just encourage students to drop out earlier in the year. Many students need to start school in the morning and work in the afternoon or vice versa...many young boys need to start learning job skills during part of the school day.I remember the Rat Patrol in the old Shaw Junior High. The boys started work during the afternoon and they loved their jobs! Yes, this was part of Pride with Marion Barry. Even when other kids made fun of them...they were proud to be working!

Posted by: judithclaire1939 | October 6, 2010 7:52 AM

Trace1 said it perfectly. I understand that women have to right to have ambitions, and some mothers have to work, but I am horrified at children being in care from birth until they are 18.
I now view public schools as horrible places for anyone to spend time in.
Students go though and get a diploma and can't find America on a map. How credible is that diploma?
How many people really care about anything other than going to work, getting the paycheck, coming home and getting drunk and watching tv?
America has as many tribal cultures as Africa and Central Asia. This makes school more difficult.

Posted by: leslieswearingen | October 6, 2010 12:03 PM

Having year around school would be a better option.

Kids forget half of what they learned during the 9 month school year.

Posted by: tinkabell1 | October 6, 2010 5:07 PM

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