school should be shorter
Debate Rounds (5)
Students in St. Paul, for example, spend 390 minutes a day in school for 175 days, said Peter Christensen, executive director of high school education for Saint Paul public schools.
The state sets education guidelines that each student is required to meet, and 390 minutes is what the St. Paul school district believes is the least amount of time needed to reach those standards, Christensen said.
The individual school districts and school boards decide the length of a school day, as there is no state regulation as to how long the day must be.
In general, urban districts tend to have a shorter school day than suburban districts and rural schools tend to have the longest days.
The school board in your district also decides the number of days you go to school each year. However, Minnesota has one law that says schools may not set the length of the school year less than it was in the 96-97 school year.
The legislature has attempted to lengthen the school year before by three days, but it was never passed as a law.
Many students think the school day and the school year is already too long, so they may groan when they find out that educators want them in school even longer.
"There"s a real concern that the day, in fact, is not long enough, nor is the school year long enough," Christensen said. "There is a move to look very carefully at how we could increase the school day to 420 minutes."
That"s an extra half an hour of school a day.
While it would affect students, it would mainly serve as a way to close the achievement gap between students by allowing teachers to talk to each other about students they share. That way they wouldn"t have to wait until after school, when teachers may be tired or in a rush.
In comparison to other countries, students in the United States spend much less time in school.
In Europe, the average school-year length is 190 days. In Asia it"s 210 days and in China 230 days. Minnesotan students are in school only 75 percent of the time students in India spend behind a desk
Minnesota schools used to start after Labor Day because of the students who worked on the family farm for the growing season, said Denise Quinlan, executive director of middle grades education St. Paul.
"In St. Paul specifically, we start after Labor Day due to the fact our transportation (school bus company) is located close to the State Fair," she said.
Busing students to school not only affects when the school year starts, but when the school day starts as well, Christensen said.
"We transport more students per capita than any other large urban district in the country," Christensen said.
Per capita is a percentage that compares the amount of kids bussed to school to the population of the city.
As a means of saving money, schools start at different times so one bus can make more than one trip.
There is no better feeling for a student than the last day of school before summer break.
The last day of school in St. Paul this year is June 9. The main reason it"s not later is due to lack of funding, said Quinlan.
The federal government has given Minnesota "skimpy funding," said Charlie Kyte, director of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators.
Kyte"s group, which is made up of administrators and principals, has been working to make the school year 210 days long. That would get Minnesota students in school as long as students in Asia, but still less than in China.
Representatives have introduced bills to do so the past two years, but the legislature refuses to look at it because of the costs it would bring, Kyte said. (??)
Charlie Kyte"s organization wants "Minnesota schools to be world-class schools," Kyte said.
To do this, the legislation must be passed, he said. If the legislature continues to shoot down their proposals because of costs, Minnesota will always have a shorter school year compared to most.
This legislation would have put kids in kindergarten all day versus half days, added more after-school programs, and made school year-round, with the current three months of summer vacation split up throughout the year.
Coincidentally, all countries that have year-round school or almost year-round school all have higher test scores than the United States.
While many believe the school day and the school year need to be longer, no one can agree on how to do it, said Christensen. As long as this continues, the school day and the school year will remain the same.
P.S: I mean no offense when I say this, but it seems too me that in your second round discussion, you seem to be arguing for the idea that changing the time students are in school would be difficult, not that shortening the time students are in school is a good idea, please explain to me what your point is if possible. Thanks in advance, and good luck Pro.
Could you please go into what financial concerns would merit the shortening of the school day?
"However, there are advantages and disadvantages associated with shortening the school day that should be considered before sweeping action is taken to alter the traditional school day. The financial savings for the district and more time for productive activities after school are two major advantages."
What could possibly be more productive for the student then learning how the world works and how to compete in the job market? I feel as though a good education system is worth any tax dollars that the American people have to pay.
"However, those advantages might be offset by a reduction in instructional time and the possibility of attending school more days of the year."
Are you proposing to lower the amount of time students spend in class, but raise the amount of days they spend in school to counterbalance this? This seems rather unnecessary, please elaborate on why this would be better.
Long school hours put much pressure on students. We may tend to slack off which could be harmful for their education in the long run. In classes now, the lesson usually doesn"t start until about ten minutes into the period, once the students have settled into their places. This is also because students feel that if they are late to class, the time would go by faster. If about ten minutes were cut from each class, the time would add up. The students would most likely go to their classes on time, because the class would overall be shorter and able for them to handle. A shorter day would leave more time for us to enjoy their lives and not have to rush through activities or assignments. We would be able to do everything at a slower and calmer pace rather than rushing. By cutting time out of the school day, the students" education level would not be hurt. The students would be able to retain the same information whether it was taught within an hour or half an hour.
Many people could say that since work hours are long, that school hours should be long as well. This view is not necessarily true. We starts out in school and then work our way up to a steady job as we get older. Therefore, at one point everyone will be working long hours. Students should not have to work as long as some adults do. Also, some jobs do not require work to be done after work hours. We the students, on the other hand, have to continue working by completing their homework assignments.
If a student truly wanted to completely focus on their education, and knew that they could not finish their homework (due to time constraints) while still doing extra curricular activity, then they would not take this extra curricular activity. But I know this is not the case, as I have had communication with several students (3 in college, 2 in high school) regarding this matter. All of these students take part in at least 2 extra curricular activities, yet have no trouble completing their homework to it's full extent each night, while still studying for upcoming exams. So although it can be difficult to fit work, extra curricular activity, entertainment, family time, etc., into the amount of time that you have after school, it almost never becomes so hard that it is impossible.
" Instead, we result to quickly completing our homework and we do not receive any educational value from it. Also, we may not have time to study at all, which would result in failing grades."
If a student were to rush their homework, then it is true that the would not get much educational value from it. But from me and the aforementioned student's experiences, it is very rare that a student will be so pressed for time (for reasons that they could have prevented) that they are forced to slack off on their homework and studying. I will admit that when I slacked off on my assignments, it was never because I was forced to do so by the situation I found myself in, it was almost always due to the fact that I was simply being lazy.
"Long school hours put much pressure on students. We may tend to slack off which could be harmful for their education in the long run. In classes now, the lesson usually doesn"t start until about ten minutes into the period, once the students have settled into their places."
I have yet to have ever heard of this phenomenon that the first 10 minutes of class are simply spent milling about, are you sure that this is not just an issue that affects only your school?
"This is also because students feel that if they are late to class, the time would go by faster. If about ten minutes were cut from each class, the time would add up. The students would most likely go to their classes on time, because the class would overall be shorter and able for them to handle. A shorter day would leave more time for us to enjoy their lives and not have to rush through activities or assignments. We would be able to do everything at a slower and calmer pace rather than rushing. "
It seems to me that you are implying that students will stop being deliberately late to class if these periods are shortened (I apologize in advance if I am wrong about this). This assertion is simply wrong, as a student who will willingly surrender their education for momentary pleasure is not likely to stop this behavior once classes are shortened.
"By cutting time out of the school day, the students" education level would not be hurt. The students would be able to retain the same information whether it was taught within an hour or half an hour."
This is simply a fraudulent statement. Although a student can pay attention just as well in a half hour class as in a full hour class, they are learning half the stuff! By the logic of this statement, the best way to have schools run is to have students simply walk in and out of every room in the building, then go home, as apparently they will be able to "retain the same information."
"Many people could say that since work hours are long, that school hours should be long as well. This view is not necessarily true. We starts out in school and then work our way up to a steady job as we get older. Therefore, at one point everyone will be working long hours. Students should not have to work as long as some adults do. Also, some jobs do not require work to be done after work hours. We the students, on the other hand, have to continue working by completing their homework assignments."
I agree with you on this matter. The argument that many adults have to work long periods of time, therefore students must also work a long time is a very bad argument for why school days should be longer. I also do not recall ever making this argument.
In conclusion, it is very important to the collective well-being of all people in the USA that time not be taken away from education, and therefore, shortening the school days would be a detriment to society. I would like to thank Pro for the interesting debate, and wish him good luck in all future debates.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by salam.morcos 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: The arguments were weak. Pro didn't provide evidence that "shortening the school time" would be beneficial, but suggested some potential benefits (e.g. more time for kids to do their assignments). Pro should have mentioned that BoP is shared. Con took the position of rebuttal only, and didn't provide much evidence that shortening the school time or year would be detremental. Con stated that the US's performance in education is lacking, but didn't provide evidence that shortening school would be more detremental. I voted Pro because his rebuttal was good and argued every point that Pro made. I vote con.
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