Obama in favor of longer days and academic years

President Obama has outlined an ambitious education agenda stating, “The challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom.”

He highlights that this reform correlates with the economic crisis and says that a well-educated workforce will improve the nation’s future prosperity.

The President wants to see changes — which translate into longer school days and more days of the year in classrooms — in early childhood education. He says he will pledge new grants to states for programs to help children prepare for kindergarten.

He discussed a longer school calendar in the US, noting that children in America spent a month less in school than their South Korean counterparts.

Obama broadened his views on the topic too, saying he  hopes to see improvements in K-12 including less difference between the 50 states when it comes to “benchmarks for academic success.” He explains the goal of the No Child Left Behind Act is higher standards and hopes to see reach these goals through the help of the Act.

He also wants to recruit and retain better teachers. Obama advocated merit pay for teachers, despite the opposition from allies in the teachers union and Democratic Party. He also said states and school districts should work to eliminate low quality teachers from the classrooms.

In addition, Obama proposed increases in Pell grants to keep up with inflation rates.

I like the education reform that Obama outlined. Most of the ideas he’s pressing would do a lot of good for US students and beyond, especially when it comes to classroom time.

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