Do students need more classroom time?

In an article in today’s N&O was this statement:

North Carolina’s school year, at 180 days, is one of the shortest in the industrial world. The average for industrialized countries is 210 days.

I don’t know what the average for the U. S. alone is, but it does raise questions.  Some of our local candidates were commenting on just such and other issues surrounding our situation in NC.  Would our students benefit from more time in the classroom?  I don’t have the answer.  I could use more time.  I’ve been told that the program we use at our school takes away 40 hours of teaching time.  I could use that.  I’m absolutely sure others feel the same.  Sometimes I feel we’re asked to tackle the same amount of material, squeezing it into a shorter time frame or, just teach less material. I wonder why.  Either way, I feel like the student may become less competent and the teacher less effective ( or thorough).  Also, I wonder where this “other” time is being spent and who benefits from it?

Well, I just have a lot of quetions and what I teach is hardly important (some tell me), it has no relevance.  OK, it doesn’t so, maybe I shouldn’t even think about these things.  But, I have classrooms with real live kids, who actually receive credit for what I teach and I’m expected to jump through certain “hoops” to teach them (even though, actually, I’m not recognized in the system).  So, I can’t help but think about it.  Not to mention that half my first level class is failing and that’s a whole different discussion.

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