If feedback from Patch readers is any indication a proposal by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to extend the school day to improve educational programs will hit a high brick wall built by both parents and educators as many don’t think a longer school year or longer class day is a path to better education.
In fact, a good majority of Patch readers sharing feedback on Patch's Facebook page seem to rebut Cuomo’s suggestion with one of their own: that New York state needs to solve some bigger pressing issues such as improving the current quality of education, assessing whether state tests are effective and reducing teachers’ time spent on what some consider to be parenting responsibilities.
“How about spending more of the school day they have now focused on real subject matter and less on B.S. like conflict resolution, anti-bullying, and similar crap. Get rid of the useless school social workers, and either save the money, hire another teacher, or get better food,” writes Glenn Rothburd.
Tina Valetutti-Kraemer believes extended days are not the solution as well.
“Stop teaching for all these standardized tests. And we need quality teachers. Do Catholic schools and private schools need to take state test?,” she wonders.
Jennifer Weber Salke, who indicates she’s in teaching profession, believes the issue has to do with how school day time is being spent.
“If I did less parenting in school and more teaching there'd be no need to extend the day,” she writes.
Kerri Haughey Connestro’s take is that the school day is long enough when times for homework is included in the equation.
“The existing school day plus all that homework makes the day long enough as it is. More quality time, not a longer day!,” she writes.
Gregory Gunder’s feedback echoes the concerns of quality versus quantity in regards to classroom hours.
“China, Japan and many European countries only test their AP/honorstudents. Not everyone gets to go to secondary school in those countries . Change is necessary but not longer hours. Better hours would be a better answer,” states Gunder.
Many readers questioned how a longer school day would be funded, and even if the cost didn’t fall to local district taxpayers, whether educators should even get more compensation for a longer day given the number of days now worked in a school year for what many believe is a high-end salary.
“This only means that teachers salaries would go up along with my taxes. Forget it!” writes Catherine Toka Calame.