Yesterday, the city of Chicago announced a pilot program to introduce extended school days at 15 elementary schools over the coming school year. In total, 90 minutes would be added in the form of 35 minutes of online reading courses, 35 minutes of online math courses, and 20 minutes of free time—for a grand total of 70 extra minutes of actual learning. During that period of time the children will be supervised by adults not affiliated with those pesky teachers' unions.
If you're anything like most Americans, you associate the summer with feelings of creativity and liberation and the school year with misery and hard work. And its precisely the "school is work, summer is play" philosophy that's gotten our kids into trouble, according to this week's Time.
Whereas many of the world's children attend school for far longer (by as much as four weeks in some places), ours sit idle lounging poolside—or, more likely, perched in front of a screen for vast swaths of the three-month holiday. Called the summer slide, while all kids lose some of what they acquired during the school year, it's especially perilous for poor kids, who often lack the resources to afford expensive enrichment activities.