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While U.S. Schools cut back to Four Days…Chinese School are Six days a week…..


[ Students in China, where schools give 30% more hours of instruction than in the U.S., take a college entrance exam. ]

In a country that prides itself on its smarts and resislance…we seem to be going backwards on educating our children…..

While I’m really not for steady six days a week schools….there has to be something wrong where we…. in this country… are going to four-day weeks for schools ….while Asian schools regularly send their student’s to school more hours and have better grades than our students…..

Our country which prides itself on individualism….is racing to fall behind in education, healthcare and well being while spending money on frivolous unneeded things while important things beg for money….

And it doesn’t seem that things are going to get better anytime soon…..

“He who labors diligently need never despair, for all things are accomplished by diligence and labor.” —Menander

How many days a year did the future Alexander the Great study with Aristotle? Did Socrates teach Plato on Saturdays as well as weekdays? During summer’s heat and winter’s chill?

Though such details remain shrouded in mystery, historians have unearthed some information about education in ancient times. Spartans famously put their children through a rigorous public education system, although the focus was on military training rather than reading and writing. Students in Mesopotamia attended their schools from sunrise to sunset.

In the face of budget shortfalls, school districts in many parts of the United States today are moving toward four-day weeks. This is despite evidence that longer school weeks and years can improve academic performance. Schoolchildren in China attend school 41 days a year more than most young Americans—and receive 30% more hours of instruction. Schools in Singapore operate 40 weeks a year. Saturday classes are the norm in Korea and other Asian countries—and Japanese authorities are having second thoughts about their 1998 decision to cease Saturday-morning instruction. This additional time spent learning is one big reason that youngsters from many Asian nations routinely out-score their American counterparts on international tests of science and math.

Some U.S. schools have figured this out. Those that boast extraordinary success with poor and minority youngsters typically surround them, like Mesopotamians, with learning from dawn to dusk. The celebrated Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), a network of over 80 charter schools around the country, subjects its middle-schoolers to 60% more instructional time than the typical public school—including eight-to 10-hour days, Saturday morning classes and abbreviated summer breaks.


“Summer learning loss” is no joke. When they return to school in late August or early September, many children, especially the least advantaged among them, have shed a sizable portion of what they had learned by May—a full month’s worth, by most estimates, adding up to 1.3 school years by the end of high school.

March 21, 2010 Posted by | Counterpoints, Education, Government, Home, Law, Media, Other Things, The Economy, Updates | , , , , | 4 Comments