Obama: more school, less time for summer vacations

This is beyond ridiculous, a proposal from someone who doesn’t understand quality over quantity. President Obama and others are urging for more, longer, school days.

The president, who has a sixth-grader and a third-grader, wants schools to add time to classes, to stay open late and to let kids in on weekends so they have a safe place to go.

Will that be funded by the stimulus – or when can we expect the tax increases to offset this proposal? It’s going to cost. Educational spending (i.e. cost to taxpayers) has  increased dramatically over the years.


Obama and Duncan say kids in the United States need more school because kids in other nations have more school.

“Young people in other countries are going to school 25, 30 percent longer than our students here,” Duncan told the AP. “I want to just level the playing field.”

While it is true that kids in many other countries have more school days, it’s not true they all spend more time in school.

Kids in the U.S. spend more hours in school (1,146 instructional hours per year) than do kids in the Asian countries that persistently outscore the U.S. on math and science tests — Singapore (903), Taiwan (1,050), Japan (1,005) and Hong Kong (1,013). That is despite the fact that Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong have longer school years (190 to 201 days) than does the U.S. (180 days). [my emphasis]

I’m going to invoke my mother here and ask the President if all the other countries jumped off a bridge would he expect the United States to do so as well?

Their entire argument seems based on what other countries are doing, except other countries aren’t doing it. This illustrates the problem with education: they think more time, more bureaucracy and more taxpayer money is the panacea to our educational woes. We spend more on education than anyone, so our spending couldn’t be the problem. Our kids go to school longer than most kids in other countries, so that doesn’t seem to be the problem, either. No, I would say that the problem is teachers’ inability to have a truly effective impact because the educational hierarchy and the politicization of learning institutions are crippling teachers’ abilities in the classroom. Until the NEA and the Department of Education acknowledge that, nothing will work.

We spend more on education than most anything else – and more on education than defense spending.



Interestingly enough, homeschoolers spend LESS per student than state-controlled schools and homeschoolers typically outperform their state-educated counterparts.

Picture 14From Time Magazine

The push for more school is amusing, this coming from someone who created a controversy when he bypassed protocol to broadcast a ho-hum speech about staying in school, blah blah to kids.

Lack of money isn’t the problem; if it were then all other educational alternatives would be suffering, not thriving. The educational system itself is the problem; lack of parental involvement is the problem.