Last week, Associated Press reported Obama mentioning a plan to extend the school day to nine hours and shortening summer vacation. The idea isn’t anything new, as I remember the subject of longer school days being brought up when I was attending high school. But it seems now the idea is starting to catch on and may even happen sometime in the future.
Though there are Charter schools in the country that are already doing longer school days, it is about time that the U.S. is starting to do the same with its public schools and play catch up with countries who have had longer school days for years now. Not that longer school days necessarily mean that students will have better test scores, but I do think many children need access to a program in the school that can help them excel with subjects they are having a hard time with.
Meanwhile, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is starting a program, as a part of their “Any Given Child” project, to start up art education with schools that have cut budgets. You can read about it here. Though it has been started in areas in Virginia, D.C., and Maryland, the center plans on trying out a more affordable way to handle arts education by working with districts and art groups.
As a former art student, I agree that there needs to be more arts in school. While subjects such as math, science, and English are important subjects for students to grasp, it also helps when you have an outlet to express yourself. Plus, going on field trips to places such as museums or theater performances breaks up the monotony of sitting in a classroom all day. I just hope this program gets off on a strong start in California and gains support in other states as well.