Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

There are three reasons why it has been hard for reform-driven policymakers to fix school time.

*Research showing achievement gains due to more time in school are sparse; those few studies most often cited are contested.

*In narrowing the multiple goals Americans expect of their public schools to preparing workers for a globally competitive economy, current policymakers, have seriously underestimated the powerful tug that other non-economic goals (e.g. civic action, socializing children ) have on taxpayers and voters.

*Decision-makers advance proposals to fix time in school to show voters that they are solving economic problems of declining global competitiveness by lengthening the school calendar and hours of instruction in U.S. schools.

SO LITTLE RELIABLE RESEARCH

The few changes in lengthening the school year, day, and schedule that did occur in the past quarter-century did so seldom because research showed strong academic gains or cost savings resulting from more time in…

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