Barista Kids Poll: Are You in Favor or Against a Longer School Day and School Year?

BY  |  Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (11)

Longer School Day and School YearIn addition to briefly discussing “Bridgegate” and other proposals in his State of the State speech yesterday, Governor Chris Christie proposed a longer school day and school year for New Jersey students.

Christie began talking about “some great progress” in education in the past four years and listed “a record amount of school aid, long-overdue reform of our system of teacher tenure, the high school graduation rate increased by a full percentage point, to 87.5%—t, to name a few. But then he went on to discuss what he believes is key to improving our schools:

I believe we need to take bigger and broader steps to adjust our approach to K-12 education to address the new competitive world we live in. Our school calendar is antiquated both educationally and culturally. Life in 2014 demands something more for our students. It is time to lengthen both the school day and school year in New Jersey.

If student achievement is lagging at the exact moment when we need improvement more than ever in order to compete in the world economy, we should take these steps – every possible step – to boost student achievement.

And one key step is to lengthen the school day and the school year. So, working with Commissioner Cerf, I will present to you shortly a proposal to increase the length of both the school day and the school year in New Jersey. This is a key step to improve student outcomes and boost our competitiveness. We should do it now.

Many of our new initiatives recognize a core feature of modern American life: that the quality of education and the quality of life in our communities are inextricably intertwined.

That is why this year, we need to be more aggressive, and bolder, in fixing our failing schools – and delivering a choice to those for whom today the only option is a bad option: a failing school.

This is a moral obligation. We must give every New Jersey child the chance to graduate from high school, to be ready for college and to prepare for a career. If we fail to meet this obligation, we compromise the life of that child, and we hurt the quality of life in our communities and in New Jersey. So failure is not an option.

What do you think? Are you in favor or against a longer day and school year? Take our poll:


  1. POSTED BY nycmontclair  |  January 15, 2014 @ 8:22 am

    The NJDOE data shows no correlation between longer school days and performance. It does however show a correlation between poverty and success. Children deserve a childhood. They need time to play, relax, be with friends and family time.

  2. POSTED BY danahawkinssimons  |  January 15, 2014 @ 9:09 am

    If they lengthen the day, they would need to cut back on homework.

  3. POSTED BY cspn55  |  January 15, 2014 @ 10:09 am

    would a lengthened day help with the poverty problem? When kids are in school poor parents don’t have to pay for child care, their kids get fed through school meal programs and the kids can be learning things and otherwise gainfully occupoied. When poverty stricken kids are home, the parent(s) can’t or sometimes won’t provide instruction, food and nurturing guidance to their children. While I agree that children deserve a childhood – for poor kids having that childhood at the school may be better than having it in a home that can’t afford to care for them or doesn’t give much effort to caring for them. The wealthier among us should be against this – middle class and up kids typically have their parents helping them, go on vacations and to camps in the summer and have other after school activities. The poor should be welcoming this initiative.

  4. POSTED BY cspn55  |  January 15, 2014 @ 10:11 am

    agree on that Dan – if they lengthen the school day and year, they should be able to wrap in much of what now is homework – maybe through supervised study hall type programs where the kids can work on their homework and projects so that when they do come home, they can be with their families and participate in their activities and play without having more homework piled on them.

  5. POSTED BY arch  |  January 15, 2014 @ 11:21 am

    a longer day seems possible. but only if they add quality not quantity. bring back foreign language in grade school. Add music, dance and art – classical composition relates to math. Ban movies during school (why were my kids ever watching Harry Potter in school?).
    From a practical stand point, most existing school buildings don’t have AC to handle school during the summer. Can the state can find $ to upgrade electric systems to handle AC? Furthermore, my kids don’t seem to do much academic work after the standardized tests in May so I can’t imagine what they’d do with an even longer school year.

  6. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  January 15, 2014 @ 3:13 pm

    Play and relax? Many kids are over-booked as it is. And when they do decide to chill out LOOK OUT– adults get on them: STOP playing video games, DON’T go outside (they might be stolen, you know), READ a book, DO SOMETHING!!! But for God’s sake, DON’T DAYDREAM or HANG OUT!!!

    For far too many, the lazy days of childhood are but a thing of the past.

    That said, cspn55 is right on the money with how wealth plays into this.

    But nycmontclair, one of your links continues with this myth of underfunded schools. Rarely is it mentioned that Newark per pupil spending is over 23 THOUSAND DOLLARS PER PUPIL (

    Still, get ready for the Teacher’s Union to tell us how this is the end of public education: LONGER HOURS & LONGER DAYS NEVER!!!

  7. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  January 15, 2014 @ 3:16 pm

    (I should have made it very clear that the longer day is a great idea for those kids at or near poverty as the pressure of what to do with a kid from 2:30-6 is debilitating for those of lesser means. And if a longer day- staffed not just by teachers, but perhaps like our Great YMCA After-Care system helps ease this pressure for those families, that would certainly be a welcome addition.)

  8. POSTED BY nycmontclair  |  January 15, 2014 @ 6:52 pm

    I agree with would certainly be in favor of an optional program that would provide for families in need, such as the professor describes. I absolutely agree that would be a blessing to a lot of people in economic need.

    Professor, curious about your finding stat for Newark. Does that number apply to both traditional public schools and charter schools? The reason I ask is I spoke to a teacher who works in a Newark Public School and she explained to me that her students had no text books as well as other essential materials and that she would go to BOE meeting after BOE meeting and they would ignore her requests. She also described the school conditions and they weren’t very favorable. But in comparison the charter schools seem to get what the students need. So was wondering how the numbers compared.

  9. POSTED BY bebopgun  |  January 15, 2014 @ 7:31 pm

    This idea is going nowhere. Schools would need to have air conditioning installed, not to mention teachers would need to be paid more–and there aint no cash for any of that unless perhaps they were to give up the overly expensive testing regime.

  10. POSTED BY complainerpuss  |  January 16, 2014 @ 12:07 am

    I’m with Christie on this one. With all these unforeseen traffic jams keeping our kids from getting to school on time, we’ll now have the extra school hours to make up for the lost time stuck in traffic.

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