School Climate & Safety

Obama: School Year Should Be Longer

By Mary-Ellen Phelps Deily — September 27, 2010 1 min read
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Did you see President Obama on the “Today” show this morning? If so, you already know that he made clear his support for a longer school year.

“The idea of a longer school year, I think, makes sense,” the president told NBC’s Matt Lauer. Obama sat down for a live 30-minute interview on the state of education as part of the network’s two-day Education Nation summit. As part of the interview, Obama also answered questions from viewers. His comments on the length of the school year came in response to a question from students in “Mr. Cohen’s class” at Roll Hill Elementary in Cincinnati.

You can read an Associated Press article about the Obama interview here, or check out the “Today” show’s coverage here.

Mr. Obama sounds like he’s been reading research on extended learning time and summer learning loss. He told Lauer that American schoolchildren spend about a month less time in school than children in many other nations:

That month makes a difference. It means students are losing a lot of what they learn during the school year during the summer. ... The idea of a longer school year, I think, makes sense," the president said. "Now, that's going to cost some money ..., but I think that would be money well spent."

(Hat tip to the National Summer Learning Association for highlighting the president’s remarks on summer learning. By the way, the association’s chief executive officer, Ron Fairchild, is scheduled to participate in the Education Nation panel on leveling the education playing field, set to convene at 4:45 p.m. today.)

The president didn’t share details of how or how much he would extend the school year, but his administration was already on record in support of the concept of longer school days and years.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Beyond School blog.