"I fundamentally think that our school day is too short, our school week is too short and our school year is too short. You're competing for jobs with kids from India and China. I think schools should be open six, seven days a week; eleven, twelve months a year,"
was because it's such a... well.. "boring" prospect.
Why in the world do we continue to think that if we just keep kids in classrooms longer that they are going to learn more?
Mr. Duncan, you are familiar with Sisyphus, I presume.
If we want kids engaged in learning year-round, why not take a new approach? I'm just brainstorming here. How about rather than send kids to the classrooms, how about sending teachers to the kids?
We could send teacher teams and current college tech students into the neighborhoods where the kids live. Whether we're talking about an urban block or a suburban cul-de-sac, we could run in wire and set up street-by-street Wi-Fi service. Then start community organized tech centers exclusively set up for project-based learning. We'd teach math and computer science in context as students work on neighborhood history projects -- researching, recording, and archiving their locale's history and voices in online interactive databases. As students interact with folks, they'd extend tech-ed outreach to people in need of new skills for a new economy.
We'd do all of this during the period we now call 'summer vacation', which really to a lot of kids ain't much of a 'vacation' anyway. And for kids who need time to work through the summer, we'd offer grants for them to do service projects instead. It'd be a lot cheaper than keeping school buildings open all summer.
Just an idea. Teaching content and tech as students engage in a connected and personalized project-based historical research project with community outreach and service requirements.
Step away from the rock, Sisyphus.