An MSNBC article today highlighted the Center’s Time in School report that examined whether U.S. students spend less time in school than their peers in other countries, particularly higher performing countries such as India, China, Japan, and Korea.
As I stated in the article, most U.S. students spend as much or more time in school each year as students in other countries, even those that outperform us. So simply increasing the time students are in school will not bolt the U.S. to the top of the international rankings.
However, this doesn’t mean increasing time cannot be a powerful tool for increasing student achievement, especially if targeted to those students that would benefit the most and if the additional time is used effectively. This is what the article says is being proposed in Chicago where a large number of students perform below grade level. Using time well can help get those students to grade level and beyond, as we discuss in another Center report, Making Time. However, if the same content will be taught in the same way but in more time then increasing time would just be a waste of time and money. — Jim Hull