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Education Official Skeptical About Effectiveness of Longer School Days

Education Official Skeptical About Effectiveness of Longer School Days

The Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, Carmen Fariña, recently visited two charter schools in the city that use longer classroom hours to improve learning and dismissed the practice.

“'I think it’s all about the quality. It’s not about how many days or how many hours ... It is really about what we do with the time we have in school,' Fariña said after touring Girls Preparatory School in the Bronx, which opened 10 days ahead of regular public schools," according to The New York Post.

Instead, Farina believes a successfully-run school comes down to three essential qualities: "having an effective principal, retaining teachers, and making good use of time," said The New York Chalkbeat.

Despite not agreeing with the longer school hours at the prep school (it has 8 hours in its school day versus the average 6.5), Farina praised the school for its ability to retain teachers. "[S]he was particularly impressed that 15 of the 23 teachers who started in Girls Prep’s first year in 2009 remain at the school," the article said.

Since the year-and-a-half she's been in her position, Farina has made it a point to tour the city's charter schools to assess what is being done right and wrong as charter schools receive public funding but aren't required to follow state or federal regulation.

Indeed, charter schools serve a large percentage of New York City students.

"Charter schools will enroll about 97,000 New York City students this year, or close to 10 percent of the city’s public-school students, up from just 2,400 students in 2003," The Chalkbeat said.

Farina will continue her tour of charter schools throughout the school year.

Read the full article here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

09/01/2015

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