In December, five states announced that about 40 schools in 2013 would add 300 hours of learning time to their school calendar:  New York, Colorado, Tennessee, Massachusetts and Connecticut.  The goal is to make schools in the United States more competitive globally.  Nearly 20,000 students will participate in the three-year pilot program.

On January 9th, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed grants to NY school districts to extend the school year and education hours as well as funding for full day, pre-Kindergarten programs in low-income districts.  The Governor proposes that 90% of revenues earned by three new casinos to be built in NY could pay for the educational programs.

“We need more learning time, my friends, if we really are serious about improving education,” Cuomo said to applause during his annual State of the State speech in Albany.

Will longer school days and an extended school year help the kids learn more and become more competitive, or will it stress them out and cause more long-term problems? I think it depends on what they do with the extra time – are they just going to try and advance through curriculum faster to get more information in, or will they build in time for tutoring and exploring topics at deeper levels?

What do you think about longer school days?