Are longer school days beneficial for students

Are longer school days beneficial for students

Ali Richardson, Reporter

On average, students in the United States (U.S.) spend approximately 6.6 hours a day in school. Given the fact that most schools in the U.S. are behind other countries in test scores, this begs the question: are longer school days better for students? Although this may seem like a simple, closed-answer  question, there are several pros and cons of having longer school days. (Walden University)

One of the biggest pros of longer school days would be that more hours would allow students extra time for instruction in core subjects or classes where the students need more direction. Being able to get more instruction in classes should directly  help students to get better test scores and help their grades.

School ending later in the afternoon can also be beneficial to working parents. Later dismissal allows parents that work to be able to pick up their children from school and not have to pay for childcare after school. (Walker)

While most people may think that having more hours in a school day will definitely lead   to higher grades, there is no direct correlation between longer school days and higher academic achievement. There are many other factors that contribute to  the success of students other than longer school days. Things such as  the quality of instruction and classroom environment are more likely to play a bigger impact in the improvement of scores. 

A con to this concept is that increasing hours in the school day reduces the amount of time that students have for extracurricular activities and school sports that are necessary to learn new life skills and to have fun. More hours dedicated to the classroom would also decrease the free time that students need for homework and other activities. 

Perhaps the biggest con of longer school days would be the effect on the students. More hours in the school day could possibly increase stress and pressure on the students due to increased workload and lack of time outside of class to complete work.  These factors combined  could affect their mental health in a negative way. 

Overall, the question of how long a school day should be is not a simple answer. Although longer school days could possibly increase test scores and grades, which would lead to better education and jobs, the longer hours may not be best for students, parents, or educators.