The numbers of the week are ...
... 180 and 6.5.
Former Florida Gov. Bob Graham wants more civics taught in school. Gov. Charlie Crist wants more PE. Meanwhile, thousands of students are taking double-doses of basic math and reading because they're so far behind. Is there enough time to teach everything in 180 days, 6.5 hours a day?
Instructional time isn't much of an issue in Florida, but nationally there is a growing debate about whether the school day and the school year are long enough to meet demands for excellence and equity. Several new reports offer a fresh look at time and learning.
"The idea of expanding the time for learning as we raise standards and expectations for students deserves more attention in high school reform debates," writes the Center for American Progress, "especially for students in low-performing schools."
"Unless we profoundly change our thinking and policies about when, where and how children learn and develop, our steady progress as an economy and as a society will end," says the Time, Learning and Afterschool Task Force.
"The logic of time reform is simple – more time in school should result in more learning and better student performance," says Education Sector. "But this seemingly straightforward calculation is more complex than it appears."
- Ron Matus, state education reporter