AP high school students

Janet Mertz mertz at ONCOLOGY.WISC.EDU
Mon Dec 1 17:43:36 EST 1997

Mary Ann Sesma said:
>" My best shot is that public schools go to 200 days rather than 163 
or 180
> days and increase the hours within the school day, and then perhaps  then
> we can make sense of public education."

	I strongly agree that the school year and day in the U.S. need to be 
longer as they are in most of the developed world. The very long 
summer vacations (e.g., 12 1/2 weeks in Madison, WI) and short school 
days (i.e., 6-7 hours including lunchtime) are a remnant of a largely 
agrarian society that no longer exists in the U.S. The kids forget 
significant amounts of knowledge over the summer vacation and working 
parents have to find constructive, alternative, supervised activities 
for the kids both after school and during the summers. Unfortunately, 
it will never happen as long as the teachers have strong unions and 
the schools are funded largely by local property tax payers (a 
majority of whom don't have school-age children).
	Janet Mertz

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