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September 21, 2011

Adding an Extra Hour to the School Day

by The Centinal

By Andrew Warner  Staff Writer

We’ve all experienced those days that seem to drag on forever, and by last hour, all of our time is focused on the clock counting down the minutes until we are released. Its days like those where all you want to do is be home and on the couch watching TV. Well imagine taking away an extra hour or so from your relaxation time, and piling on more work. The thought of that is awful to not only the students, but teachers as well. This is precisely why the proposition of extending our school day makes close to no sense. Boredom is not the only factor that plays into this either. Money, productivity and the correlation of the two are even bigger factors that need to be considered.

Everything in the world revolves around money. People wouldn’t work if they were not getting paid and people would not pay if their workers weren’t working.  This is the exact trend that could possibly come along with the extension of a school day. An extra hour a day sure doesn’t seem all that crazy, but looking at the logistics, it doesn’t make any sense at all. More time spent at school means more money the teachers would need to be paid. Well that sounds fine and all, but where would that money be coming from? Just this past year two million dollars were cut from the budget and in the next school year, 2012-2013, Illinois administration is suggesting another two million, if not more, to be cut. This doesn’t bode well with teachers’ salaries, which are already too low.

Even if we did have enough money, it would not be put to effective use. Productivity is the main goal of the schools, and by extending the school day, they can kiss that goodbye. For every hour of class, students are supposed to have an hour of homework. By adding an extra hour to the day, that means that students will be up later doing the extra hour of homework and teachers will be up later grading the homework. Teenagers already do not get the suggested amount of sleep they are supposed to, and then an extra hour of school would just add to that problem.

It is when we start to look at the connection between the teachers’ salaries and the productivity of the students, that we start to see the most problems. The less the teachers are getting paid, the less incentive they have to be a better teacher. With this, teachers will start assigning busy work and focusing more on meeting the standards rather than exceeding them. Also, when students realize that the teachers are slacking, that gives them no drive to care either. It turns into an endless downward spin.

Not only is the thought of an extra hour of school discerning, but it is also unreasonable and practically impossible. Maybe once the school can pull together and think of more effective ways of budgeting and give more incentive to students to put forth more effort, can we see this in the future. But, if that does get accomplished, then there really should be no reason for the extra school time anyway!

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