Push for a Longer School Day

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Students in the United States typically attend school for about six and a half hours a day for one hundred and eighty days. Many experts in the educational field believe that, right now, there is simply not enough time during the school day for children to learn the necessary curriculum. Many other countries spend more time at the school during the day but is the United States ready for that commitment? Today’s teachers and schools are under pressure to improve students’ learning because of both state and national requirements. A federal law passed in 2002 called No Child Left Behind requires annual standardized testing in schools to measure students’ progress and knowledge. Therefore states are requiring students and schools to pass standardized tests in order to graduate. In accordance with these standardizes test states have made standards and frameworks to ensure that students learn exactly what they are suppose to within a grade level. If the tests results are not on par from one year to the next, schools could lose federal funding, and might even be forced to close. This added pressure has increased the curriculum that teachers are required to teach and many believe that the need for a longer school day will decrease this pressure. Christopher Gabrieli, a member of Massachusetts 2020, a nonprofit education organization that supports longer school day, stated that, “When you start realizing that we're really having a hard time raising kids to standards, you see you need more time to teach them”. Currently teachers feel the pressure to teach to the test. If a longer school day was in effect, teachers could once again be creative with their teaching. This would allow teachers time for more instruction in different ways so that all types of learners would fully understand the required curriculum. Some successful charter schools such as Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) schools suggest that by “increasing instructional time will yield high achievement,...
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