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» A Culture that Engages Every Family, Steven M. Constantino, Ed.D.

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This Week's #PTChat: Pros & Cons of Longer School Days

By Joe Mazza

You may have heard the news that 5 states have approved adding 300 hours to school days in an effort to close achievement gaps and re-imagine the school day. Below is a video from @CNNschools which Sam Chaltain (@SamChaltain) talks about impacts on both sides from these changes to the school day.

Mellisa-TaylorThis week, Melissa Taylor (@MelissaWrites) from Parenting Magazine (@Parenting) will join us to dig deeper on this topic. Melissa is an award-winning educational blogger at ImaginationSoup, an award-winning teacher with a M.A. in Education, and a mom of two children, ages 6 and 9. You can follow her on Twitter or find her on Facebook. Melissa wrote a piece last week on the efforts that Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York & Tennessee will put in place for 20,000 of their students in which she shared some pros and cons from her parenting lens:



  • More time for enrichment activities and instruction. (If everything goes as planned.)
  • Easier for working parents.         


  • Not supported by research or anecdotal evidence. For example, South Korea, Finland and Japan perform better than American students and already spend less time in school than we do.
  • Teachers unions don’t want to work longer hours. Convincing them otherwise will be challenging.
  • Funding is an issue. The 5 states in this 3–year trial are getting money from federal, state, and district funds plus funding from the Ford Foundation and the National Center on Time and Learning.               

What do you think? Can we really add more time to school days without maximizing what happens within the time already allotted? Are we asking students to spend more time within a broken system? Join us this Wednesday, 12/12 at 9PM EDT for Parent-Teacher Chat (#ptchat)


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Posted on December 9, 2012 by Joe Mazza

Joe Mazza (@Joe_Mazza) is lead learner at Knapp Elementary School in suburban Philadelphia. He is also a doctoral learner at the University of Pennsylvania studying social media’s impact on home-school partnerships. Participate in a weekly #PTchat (Parent-Teacher Chat) that he hosts on Wednesdays at 9 pm. Eastern. He writes a blog aimed to share innovative family engagement ideas for schools called eFACE Today

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Tags: #PTChat, *Educational Policy, *Out-of-School Time, *School-Family Partnership, Ed Reform, Facebook, Low-income/ At risk, NCLB, Social Media, Theory-Research, Twitter

Posted December 26, 2012 by Seamus [Impetus Engagement]
This is interesting. Haven't actually heard of this yet. I am glad to see that education is being taken seriously.

The first con is interesting to me. Mostly because in the Asian countries cited, children are in school MUCH longer. Their days are shorter, but they have two additional months of instruction (60 days). http://sitemaker.umich.edu/arun.356/structural_differences

Also, it is important to note psychological differences. The Japanese system is high pressure. Depression and suicide are problems due to the system's rigor. I think something could be said for teaching children a healthy life balance.

Honestly, I think completely rethinking the entire system is required. With all the advances in technology and psychology, we are still maintaining what is essentially an 18th century system.

New York seems to be doing lots of experiments in the best ways to educate. Their KIPP program is wonderful, but the one that really has my attention is Quest 2 Learn. http://sitemaker.umich.edu/arun.356/structural_differences

They essentially turned school in to a giant game. Most importantly, they removed the obstacles of success (grades).  


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