Obama and Newt agree on something?
A growing number of politicians from both sides of the aisle are waking up to the problem. Barack Obama has urged school administrators to “rethink the school day”, arguing that “we can no longer afford an academic calendar designed for when America was a nation of farmers who needed their children at home ploughing the land at the end of each day.” Newt Gingrich has trumpeted a documentary arguing that Chinese and Indian children are much more academic than American ones.
These politicians have no shortage of evidence that America’s poor educational performance is weakening its economy. A recent report from McKinsey, a management consultancy, argues that the lagging performance of the country’s school pupils, particularly its poor and minority children, has wreaked more devastation on the economy than the current recession. [More]
About now many households are considering longer school days and calendars much more favorably. It was interesting to note how our current schedule - with a long summer vacation - essentially arose from the need for labor in the summer on farms.
Jan and I have harrumphed about the amount of time actually spent in class for our children and now grandchildren. But more appalling to me is how little time college students spend actually, you know, going to college.