I used to think a longer school day was ideal in improving scores and getting everything done that needs to be done curriculum wise, but now after some time working I've changed my mind. In my highly subjective viewpoint, I feel like the longer the kids are in school the more they 'drift off' - maybe it's just me, but the last class of the day is less attentive and thinking less clearly than classes early on (naturally, this may depend on the student). As for teachers, by the end of the day, most want to just go home and are tired of repeating the same lesson for the umpteenth time.
As I always say, results are results, and if it could work I'm for it. But I have a feeling that the kids I know in the area I work in would probably stage a revolt if they had to stay in school much later, regardless of whether there are "fun activities" like kite flying or book jacket design or watercolor class. They'd still come in late and try to sneak out early. It takes more than pep rallies and vacant diversions to motivate.
Read the article about eight-hour school days in Massachusetts and the nationwide debate that inspired Mr. Lawrence’s ruminations.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.