Students need more time in school!

Shortchanged by the Bell  is a must-read op-ed in today’s New York Times.  Luis A. Ubiñas, the president of the Ford Foundation, and Chris Gabarieli, the chairman of the National Center on Time and Learning, said that our school calendar, with its six-and-a-half-hour day and 180–day year, was designed for yesterday’s farm economy, not today’s high-tech one.

They note that some districts have even shorter hours. They didn’t include mention of Fairfax County’s inadequate elementary school schedule–averaged over a 5-day week, the time amounts to a paltry 6 hours and 10 minutes per day. This is the problem. What is the plan for reform?

Citizens of Fairfax, be sure to ask all the school board candidates whether they want to maintain this inadequate schedule or to make plans to give students more time in school. It is time for Fairfax County to stop dismissing elementary school students two hours early every Monday.  Ending early dismissals should be a key issue in the school board elections in November.

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