Last week it was said again: American students need a longer school year.
Washington -- Barely into the new school year, President Barack Obama issued a tough-love message to students and teachers on Monday: Their year in the classroom should be longer, and poorly performing teachers should get out.This is not a new idea from the President. He said the same thing last year at this time. What will be interesting is to see how much traction it gets during an election year, or if we'll see some action on it during the winter months when schools are far from everyone's minds again.
American students are falling behind their foreign counterparts, especially in math and science, and that's got to change, Obama said. Seeking to revive a sense of urgency that education reform may have lost amid the recession's focus on the economy, Obama declared that the future of the country is at stake.
U.S. schools through high school offer an average of 180 instruction days per year, according to the Education Commission of the States, compared to an average of 197 days for lower grades and 196 days for upper grades in countries with the best student achievement levels, including Japan, South Korea, Germany and New Zealand.
"That month makes a difference," the president said.