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Obama Wants to Ruin Summer Vacation

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The President proposes increasing school days and cutting summer vacations to improve education. Will it work?

Barack Obama and school campus

When it comes to education, the U.S. is always embarrassingly far down on the list of academic achievement. Now President Obama has a plan that could help improve U.S. test scores by increasing the amount of time kids spend in school -- with a longer school year, extended class time, keeping schools open later, and letting kids have access to school over the weekend if they need a safe haven from their home life.

"Our school calendar is based upon the agrarian economy, and not too many of our kids are working the fields today," Education Secretary Arne Duncan told the AP. Obama admits his plan probably won't be very popular with kids, even his own. Some parents who already believe their children are over-scheduled are rallying against the plan. Then, of course, there are the parents who, in trying to make ends meet, get to spend very little time with their kids as it is -- and must continue to work through all school scheduled vacations

Duncan explains the thought behind the proposal: "Young people in other countries are going to school 25, 30 percent longer than our students here. I want to just level the playing field."

What do you think of Obama's new plan?

next: Mom Goes Blind So Her Kids Can See
50 comments so far | Post a comment now
Unknown September 28, 2009, 2:06 PM

yous……….crazzzzzzzyyyyyy sonnnnn WHAT ARE YOU DOINGGGGGGGGGG!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

jessica September 28, 2009, 2:35 PM

STUPID. Your intentions are good, Obama. But kids are people too, and we need a break, just like adults do from work days. We already go 8 hours a day, extending that any further & adding on saturday, like i have heard you’ve been talking about would be ridiculous & i can guaruntee to you that teen suicide rates would go out and attendance rates would just go down. Ultimately it should be the parent’s choice and should be adjusted to specific children’s and families schedules and needs, IF AT ALL. But frankly i think you have other more important issues to look at and this not one of them.

Roschelle September 28, 2009, 2:57 PM

I think it’s a brilliant idea. The United States of America - the greatest country in the world. Have you looked at how our kids compare to other countries out there? We have dropped the ball on education and if it takes a few more weeks of school to regain that edge I’m all for it. Other countries are already in school longer than we are and their academic prowess over us shows that it can’t be too bad of an idea…

Anthony September 28, 2009, 3:07 PM

Stupid idea that won’t work; what are the teachers’ unions going to say? Next to Soros and prepaid credit cards, they’re his biggest support.

Kristen September 28, 2009, 3:09 PM

This makes me so sad, why not spend the extra money on more teachers so that class sizes go down A LOT, then the teachers can use the extra time better. The education they would be recieving would also go up dramatically. Look at homeschooled kids, they score on average 2yrs above grade level BECAUSE of the 1 to 1 attention and the education they are recieving is geard towards them…..things like that could occur in public school IF class sizes go DOWN!!! Obama plan makes me sad, I actually think it would cause MORE dropouts. I am thankful we homeschool.

Mike September 28, 2009, 3:10 PM

When I was living in Arizona my son was already going to a school that had a so-called “modified year-round schedule”. Instead of a 3 month summer break, they got about a month, and then had 2 weeks off every couple months. It seemed to work out great for the kids, and as a parent saved me money on daycare during summer months.

MotherNature September 28, 2009, 3:11 PM

I don’t think the problem lies in how many days our kids spend in school, it lies with the inadequate teaching they receive while they are there. For example, out of the three children I personally have had in school, one teacher was continuously distraught and verbally abusive towards the kids because she was dating and things weren’t working out. The kids were well aware of the problem since her boyfriend was sending apology flowers to school and she was sharing her “personal life” details. Another teacher was the most extreme case of drama queen any of you could dare have nightmares about! She thrashes about, grabbing her face and head, and storms out of the room screaming “I can’t deal with this!” any time she is faced with a problem. Then we have the teacher who encouraged children to ridicule one another, causing a child severe emotional distress. And these examples are more the norm than the exception. Our schools need to dismiss all of this tenure nonsense and hold teachers, faculty and staff accountable for their actions and ability to actually teach! Furthermore, the principals and administrative office staff need a reduction in salaries to help balance the financial crisis so many schools are facing today. Put the money BACK into the schools, not the superintendent’s mortgage or car loans!

Jenny September 28, 2009, 4:22 PM

I don’t have a problem with the kids only getting one month off during the summer and then getting 2 week breaks here and there throughout the year. I think that would be a great plan but what I read is that the president is also thinking of extending the school day for a couple more hours which I don’t agree with.

chris September 28, 2009, 4:56 PM

I also don’t have a problem w/it being extended through out the year but I don’t like the longer days option. I also think the teachers are not as professional as they could be and aren’t teaching our children as they should. Just like “Mothernature” my daughter 2nd grade teacher was planning her wedding almnost the entire school years and all of her students knew EVERY detail from the church to the flowers to the bridemaid dresses to the reception and finally where they were honeymooning at. She talked about it non stop all year long. Cute and exciting to a 2nd grader but not so much to me.

chris September 28, 2009, 5:05 PM

I also don’t have a problem w/it being extended through out the year but I don’t like the longer days option. I also think the teachers are not as professional as they could be and aren’t teaching our children as they should. Just like “Mothernature” my daughter 2nd grade teacher was planning her wedding almnost the entire school years and all of her students knew EVERY detail from the church to the flowers to the bridemaid dresses to the reception and finally where they were honeymooning at. She talked about it non stop all year long. Cute and exciting to a 2nd grader but not so much to me.

smoore September 28, 2009, 6:15 PM

As a teacher I have found the earlier you get them(age)and the longer you keep them(time) the better they do.

A lot of children only get the attention, love, food,etc… they need at school. You would be surprised what some children go home to/or don’t go home to. I would rather they be at school with me than with some of the sorry people they call “mama”.

Jenny September 29, 2009, 4:47 AM


There are a lot of parents who are waiting at home for their kids and WANT to see them and spend time with them. I don’t think that school being the mandated babysitter is okay. If kids need a place to go then make before/after school care free but don’t mandate my child to go to school longer hours just because someone else doesn’t want to parent their child. We only get so little time with them until they leave home, call me selfish but I don’t want the government taking away more time.

mystikfairy September 29, 2009, 5:11 AM

I agree with Jenny. It’s ridiculous to take time away from parents to be with their children. I’m tired of the government and what they are doing. If you read the article, more time doesn’t signify better scores in school. We have a crappy education system, and that’s what needs to be fixed. My child is in a private pre-K and is learning at a 1st grader level. I’m scared of my child going to public school, b/c he’s just going to be dummed down to match with everyone else. I believe a good private school or homeschooling is the way to go!! Also, it sounds like what Obama wants to do is a free babysitting service for kids that have no where to go. Ok, where is the money coming from to pay for this????? Again, another horrible idea from the government, boy, they just keep throwing these at us at lightning speed.

Betty September 29, 2009, 5:38 AM

We were stationed overseas while in the military and loved our 2 yr experience with british public schooling. If the child was in school, it was a full 8 hr day set on a college term type yearround schedule. The 8 hr day minimized need and expense of before/after care and really teachers took responsibility for educating the child. Independent work (homework) was accomplished in school and there was no confusion with parents doing the homework for the child. because the school year was organized into terms, a child could easily move up to the next level early or stay where they were for an extra term without the social trauma. Those kids understood it reflected how they were applying themselves rather then how old they were.
We were also in Korea and Turkey and those kids also were in school longer hours without the long summer break, parents were not involved in homework like we are.

Anonymous September 29, 2009, 5:48 AM

As a teacher, I love your kids, well most of them, but to be honest, I don’t want to spend that long of a day with them. I get tired too and I want to go home and hug my own babies, watch my son play baseball, and see my daughter’s drama performances. I want to take walks with my kids while the sun is still shining and read with them and watch them grow. I know I would get so tired of spending such long hours in the school system that I probably would end up seeking a different form of employment. The world is not going to fall apart and collapse if our kids get a bit of time to be kids and play. They may just become happier, less stressed out adults. I say a little happiness is good for the soul.

geewhiz September 29, 2009, 9:20 AM

I think longer days is not agood thing, but year-round school with spaced breaks instead of three months at a time.

Robin September 29, 2009, 11:16 AM

The problem isn’t that our educational system has failed. It’s that our families have failed. Our kids are doing bad because there’s no support at home. Or worse… home is dangerous for kids.
Obama made the point himself. Stating that schools would be open on the weekends as a “safe haven.” Our schools aren’t letting our kids down. Parents are letting our kids down.

Mic September 29, 2009, 11:58 AM

If they are going to make the days longer, they need to have study hall, where the children go to do their homework & have the help there. I can’t help my child with his homework. Mostly his math. He is in 5th grade & it is too much. We were also taught a different way to do the work & it is very different now. I am just so sick & tired of all the stress on these kids. I am tired of the pissed off teachers, I have just not enjoyed any aspect of school except freaking Kindergarten for my kids. No holiday parties, no running at recess, however, 50% of the kids are ADHD &/or fat. duh. depressed elementary age kids due to the ridiculous amt they need to know. ugh. I hate it.

Anonymous September 29, 2009, 12:47 PM

Again, let’s put a band-aid on the problem. Our kids aren’t as smart because teachers have gotten lazy in teaching them. I have no problem with year round school but adding 3 hours to each day is not going to help. Most kids will be so tired that they won’t be able to learn. And who is going to pay teachers to work 14 hour days and pay to keep the school up and running that long? Trust me you and I will! I’m sorry that some children have a bad home life but I don’t think this is a solution for all children. Why not open more community centers that provide after care and summer care for the children that need it. I’m a stay at home mom and I actually like having my kids home with me.

jene September 29, 2009, 2:21 PM

what will this man think of next he is losing his popularity so try something else he and michelle take their vacations whenever like this denmark you know what that cost the taxpayers and then he will talk about low paid teachers!!!! don;t be decived by this president!!!

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