President's proposal isn't realistic say East Texas teachers

By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

LINDALE, TX (KLTV) - A shorter summer break and longer school days. That's what President Barack Obama is proposing, even though he acknowledges it isn't a popular idea. The president says kids don't spend enough time in school and that puts them at a disadvantage with students in other countries. But, teachers, parents, and kids doubt more hours would equal higher grades.

Earlier this month, President Obama stressed the importance of education directly to students. Now, the president says more hours in the classroom is exactly what the doctor ordered to help kids succeed. That would mean shorter summers, longer school days, and even open-up weekends so students have a safe place to go.

"I would not like it," said one young student.

At Lindale High School, the hot topic met strong opposition.

Teachers like Janice Caldwell and Mikyela Tedder say the president's proposal isn't realistic.

"Just where are you going to get the people to be able to do that?" asked Caldwell. "Because teachers go to school in the summer and students work in the summer."

"That's going to be more salaries, more overhead costs and that money is going to be something I don't think taxpayers want to give up," said Tedder.

Students in Asian countries outscore the U.S. on math and science tests, they don't spend as many hours in the classroom. They do, however, have longer school years.

"They also have higher suicide rates," said Caldwell. "We did a study on this in my debate class and their suicides rates are so much higher, their burnout rates are so much higher."

The president's education secretary points out our calendar is still based on an agrarian economy indicating it's outdated.

"But, we still have some students whose families live on farms and even if they don't work on a farm they may have to work to help bring in income for their families, especially with our economy the way it is," said Tedder.

It seems the White House may have to do more homework before everyone is convinced.

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