American children are not spending enough time in school, therefore, putting them at a disadvantage compared to students in other countries. Because of this, the government may have to pack on school days in order to keep our country up to par.
According to the U.S. Board of Education, the average amount of school-days in a year is 180, while students in Thailand, Scotland and the Netherlands adhere to a 200-day schedule. Even adding another twenty days to the American schedule wouldn’t put the U.S. in the rankings with students in Isreal, South Korea and Japan, who are attending school a 243 days a year.
The reason for the lack of American schooling is based on history. When the American’s schooling schedule was created, the U.S. was made up of mostly farmers, who needed their children home to plow the fields, not spending extra time in school.
But according CNN, Obama thinks this schedule is outdated. “That calendar may have once made sense, but today, it puts us at a competitive disadvantage. Our children spend over a month less in school than children in South Korea. That is no way to prepare them for a 21st century economy.”
Obama has two proposed solutions to this problem, keeping students in school longer and shortening summer vacations, and keeping students in school longer each day.
Although keeping student’s in school longer may appear necessary, many students beg to differ.
“I think that whole idea is completely whack. We’ve been fine for forever with school being how it is, I don’t see why Obama wants to change stuff now. The whole thing is just stupid,” said Sarah Leitner, junior.
At a September press conference in Washington, Obama stated, “Now, I know longer school days and school years are not wildly popular ideas, not with Malia and Sasha, not in my family, and probably not in yours. But the challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom.”
But despite dislike from students, more schooling will most likely be needed, and Leesville Civics teacher Nancy Mosley, has her own opinion on the topic.
“We probably will need to add more instruction time to the schedule eventually, and I believe that more instruction time would be extremely beneficial,” said Mosley, “but despite this I don’t think that we’ll be adding anymore school days anytime soon. With tourism being such an enormous industry, taking days of off summer break just isn’t an option.”
The only way to fix this economic problem is to do it gradually. “It’s a very unpopular policy, so it’d have to take action slowly,” said Mosley, “maybe adding half an hour to each school day, or a few more days to the year, would be a good start, and not too drastic.”
Katy has been on staff since her sophomore year, starting as a staff writer. With hard work and diligence, she earned a junior editor position and ultimately became Editor-in-Chief her senior year. She will pursue a degree in journalism in college.