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Can you rel8 to this?

When I was in college, I looked forward to the summer break.  I knew this was a time when I could let my hair down (if I hadn’t already chopped it off) and unwind from a grueling semester of GE’s, prerequisites and step shows (did I say that – lol).  The problem for me was the length of the vacation.  At some point I got bored and the summer felt stale.  I didn’t feel the educational stimulation and my mind began to drift into unknown places.  It was clear that it was time to return to school.  Yes…I hate to admit it but, I was over the whole summer thing.  I was ready to get back on campus to do what I did best…complain about the long semester while struggling to stay awake in classes like: statistics (yuck) and geology (whoa).  Why did I need that?  I digress!  Anywho…I just learned that President Obama wants to take students like I once was – out of their misery by ending the long drawn out summer break and lengthening the class day.  Some of you might be thinking, ‘Is this man crazy?’  And your answer may be, “Yes!” But its will all good intention – I believe.

According to the Associated Press, Obama says American kids spend too little time in school, putting them at a disadvantage with other students around the globe.  “Now, I know longer school days and school years are not wildly popular ideas,” the president said earlier this year. “Not with Malia and Sasha, not in my family, and probably not in yours. But the challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom.”

The president, who has a sixth-grader and a third-grader, wants schools to add time to classes, to stay open late and to let kids in on weekends so they have a safe place to go.  I like that.  Especially the latter.  “Our [current] school calendar is based upon the agrarian economy and not too many of our kids are working the fields today,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a recent interview with The Associated Press.  For those who don’t know…the agrarian economy was established in the 1800’s when wealth was generated generally through farming and agriculture.  Most Agrarian economies disappeared after the Industrial Revolution (the spread of new industries in a particular country).  Well…that is NOT a problem that we are faced with today in 2009.  We have great access to resources and such now, so I think it IS time to change to course of our school calendar to suit the times we live in.  Obama  say kids in the United States need more school because kids in other nations have more school.   “Young people in other countries are going to school 25, 30 percent longer than our students here,” Duncan told the AP. “I want to just level the playing field.”

I like the idea of a leveled playing field.  I like the idea that our President is concerned about the educational system – enough that he would want to change the calendar so that we are as prepared as those in other countries.  Because here’s the reality – many people in the United States complain about the level of discipline that some other countries possess as it relates to their studies, dress and overall academia, but we are often not willing to put in the work it requires to obtain the rewards that we see.  Call it what you want, but if we are going to live in this country that is supposed to be filled with such greatness…wouldn’t it be nice to be equipped?  I think it’s time to put up or shut up! Let’s figure out what we really do want and stick to it.  If we want better schools and school systems where the kids aren’t sitting on top of desks because of the 50 to 1 ratio…if we want health care reform because the system as we know it now is broken…we’re going to have to conclude at some point that we might actually have someone on our team who wants those things for us as well.  It might not be easy, but it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks.  Check out this video from out President.

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