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David Levine

Research Scientist, University of Tennessee

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The typical number of days in school in the USA is 180 (much lower than most countries). Should we go to year round schools?

http://norberthaupt.com/2012/04/20/school-days-around-the-world/
The long break in the summer sets us back. Testing in August/September shows how much students lose during this excessive break. If the USA wants to compete academically should we go to year round schools?

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    Jan 24 2014: Yes, and while we are at it, let's use the additional time to bring back physical education, some of the fine arts.
    Lets take the additional time to better evaluate each child and help them find a career path that will give them a satisfying adult life. And we must not forget the information for them to become responsible adults. Some will be destined for advanced studies. But let's not dismiss those students who do not. We need every skill to make life all it can be. As my father said "You don't need a rocket scientist, when the toilet is not working." While we are at it, let's take time to teach them critical thinking. We have lost that ability, it seems. I agree, we need to have our children spend more days in school. I can also see shorter school days..Like bankers, start at nine and leave at three. After all too much of a good thing...
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      Jan 24 2014: I agree with everything you said and would add just 1 thing. Reading seems to be overlooked these days (and I can't just blame the kids). With hundred's of channels of TV, Netflix, etc. why read? Reading improves concentration, imagination, vocabulary, empathy, etc. I have to force my kids to read more but it also improves their writing skills tremendously.
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        Jan 24 2014: Thank you, David.
        Yes, I did forget about reading. You are entirely correct about the ability to read. I am a book nut, I still have college texts from 50 odd years ago, including those on computer science,
        They are a little outdated, but I can't get rid of them.
        Also let's add practical arithmetic. People going into trades need math that is functionally focused. Calculus is fine, but let's teach trig that applies to roof trusses and stair risers.
        You are correct, I left out a dozen things.
      • Jan 27 2014: David,

        Agree reading is very important but writing and speaking are equally important. Several high school students asked for my suggestion for a school and I suggested a good liberal arts school or a tech school with a major emphasis on liberal arts. They were majoring in Comp Sci. One went to McGill and now is making a fortune on Wall Street (think he would prefer being in Montreal)

        I find too many engineers can not write or speak well.
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        Jan 27 2014: Reading is very important. But don't forget that it is even more important to understand what we read, draw conclusions from what we have read. I learned to read when I was 4, from then I read hundreds of books until I went to the University, but I think I really didn't know how to read. After at the University, a professor of Philosophy taught us all how to read really. I have not forgotten him, half a century later. My gratitude to him and to all the teachers that do care about how to raise and change kids into truly People, not only statistical numbers or something so.
        Your profession is very important to society, it's much needed for all of us, I sincerely think it's beautiful; but it also generates a great responsibility when not properly exercised. Everybody who teach ought to love their task. Thank you very much, anyway.

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