More instructional time is crucial
By Raymond Lo
Currently, many students dislike the school day as it is and wish for it to be shortened. However, this change would only cause students to fall behind due to an insufficient amount of instructional time in school.
Extending school hours would improve the quality of education that schools can provide because it would give teachers more time to teach.
Currently, teachers do not have sufficient time to cover the entire curriculum of their respective subjects. As a result, they have to prioritize certain concepts and cannot devote equal attention to all topics.
One problem students struggle with is falling behind in class due to an inability to comprehend concepts in a limited amount of time. Extra hours would not only allow more time for teachers to instruct with clarity at a slower pace, but also for students to ask questions and thoroughly understand ideas.
Opponents argue that students already do not have enough time for hobbies and extracurriculars given the current school schedule. However, learning to balance extracurriculars and academics can teach students valuable time management skills.
Wasatch Academy, a college prepatory boarding school in Utah, stated that, “the ability to prioritize time will translate to future success.”
Hechinger Report, an organization that focuses on advancing education, examines how increasing the current school hours in America will help the nation catch up with other countries and improve in global competitiveness.
According to the Pew Research Center, as of February 2017, the United States was 38th in math and 24th in science in a study comparing over 70 countries.
Diane Ravitch, former Assistant Secretary of Education, stated in The Saturday Evening Post that in China, students succeed due to increased school hours while students in the U.S. spend more time watching television and browsing the web. Changing the habits of Ameri- can students could combat the nation’s decline in international competition.
According to Scholastic, more than 700 schools in the U.S. have extended their school hours to improve students’ educational environment.
“We have had a lot of positive response because of the added 30 minutes, especially from teachers who feel they get more instructional time for remediation and enrichment activities,” Superintendent of Avery County David Burleson said.
While extending the school day may seem extreme, the U.S. should consider reforming the American education system to ex- tend the length of the standard school day.
The combined benefits for both teachers and students would help advance the nation’s position in worldwide education, and enable youth to cultivate their intellect and utilize their skills to better the world.