President Obama Angers School Kids

I suppose I would be irate too if was a school-hating 10-year-old who just learned that the President of the United States was trying to institute a law that would essentially eliminate summer vacation.

Forget about three months of free time to swim and snooze in the sun. According to reports, President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan want longer school days and a move toward a “balanced” or year round calendar for school kids.

Translation: If Obama gets his way, summer vacation would be dramatically reduced and endless nights of firefly catching and smore making will be a thing of the past.

According to President Obama, American kids spend too little time in school, which puts them at a disadvantage with other students around the globe.

Despite his legitimate reasons for wanting to amend the school calendar, the dad of a sixth-grader and a third-grader realizes his proposal is not going to sit well with everyone.

“Now, I know longer school days and school years are not wildly popular ideas,” the president said earlier this year. “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.”

The president’s proposal includes having schools add time to classes (roughly three hours per day to eliminate the number of latchkey kids running around) and letting kids in on weekends so they have a safe place to go.

“Our school calendar is based upon the agrarian economy and not too many of our kids are working the fields today,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a recent interview. “Young people in other countries are going to school 25, 30 percent longer than our students here, and I want to just level the playing field.”

There are strong arguments for adding time to the school day, but they’re not coming from students.

In fact, the same students who helped Obama win school-sponsored mock presidential elections last fall are the very ones who are now bemoaning the president’s proposal.

Ah, irony at its best… or worst.

What do you think of Obama’s push for year round school and longer days in class? It’s not the first time the idea has been tossed around, but this time it could become reality.

Related Articles:

Unexpected School: A Student’s Worst Nightmare

How Long is Too Long for Kindergarten?

Teachers Speak Out About Obama Inauguration

This entry was posted in Issues in Education and tagged , , , by Michele Cheplic. Bookmark the permalink.
Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.