National

Sep 28, 2009 5:54 PM by Associated Press

Obama wants longer school day, shorter summer break

President Barack Obama is among those making the case that American kids aren't spending enough time in school.

The president says that puts them at a disadvantage compared to other students around the globe. He's pushing for schools to add time to classes, to stay open later and to let kids in on weekends so they have a safe place to go.

And he's not the only one for it. His education secretary, Arne Duncan, notes that the American school calendar is based on the agrarian economy, and as he puts it, "not too many of our kids are working the fields today."

While it's true that kids in many other countries have more school days, it's not true they all spend more time in school. In fact, U.S. kids spend more hours in school than do kids in the Asian countries that persistently outscore the U.S. on math and science tests.

As for adding to the school year, Obama admits that may not be a "wildly popular" idea, even with his two school-aged daughters.

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