In the latest Democratic Presidential candidates debate, the candidates were asked whether they supported a longer school day. Ed Sector parses their answers.
Williams asked: Do you believe we in this country need to extend the school day and/or extend the school year? And will you commit to it?Some excerpts from their 30-second responses included:
Kucinich saying there’s a statue above the House of Reps entitled “Peace Protecting Genius”, that there’s a connection b/w global warring and global warming, and that pre-k and college should be free to all. I’m not getting the connection to school time but maybe it’s got something to do with more bake sales and books?
Richardson saying he’ll commit to “it” by hiring 100,000 new science and math teachers, getting rid of NCLB, and integrating civics, language and art back into the curriculum. The last point tangentially hits the problem of a narrowing curriculum, which more school time could address, so he’s ahead so far.
Obama saying we need more instruction in the classroom, and more money for math and science research. Talking about “more” in general I guess means he’s good with the “more school” thing too.
Clinton saying “a family is a child’s first school” and that we need to support “it” through “nurse visitation or social work or child care” and that we need pre-k and an “innovation agenda”. Also, something about Sputnik and more math and science. She gets a demerit just for bringing up Sputnik.
Edwards saying we still have two public school systems, we need pre-k, better nutrition, a national teaching university, incentive pay, and second-chance schools for dropouts. A lot of interesting education ideas, pre-k the only one that hits on extending school time and even that is not really what the extended school debate is about at this point.
Dodd saying how proud he was to be Head Start’s Senator of the Decade, says the feds need to be a better partner with locals, and that community colleges should be tuition-free. Again, invoking head starters and then maybe something meaningful is hidden in his comment about fed-local supports?
And there was Biden saying: Yes. We should go to school longer, we should have a minimum of 16 years of education, and we should focus these efforts on the poorest kids.