School officials argue that more classroom time will result in giving students a more well-rounded curriculum which will allow students greater access to the arts and music, and also allow for more individualized assistance for those students struggling with math and science skills.
Arne Duncan, the United States Education Secretary, said that, "Whether educators have more time to enrich instruction or students have more time to learn how to play an instrument and write computer code, adding meaningful in-school hours is a critical investment that better prepares children to be successful in the 21st century." Duncan has also argued that schools should be open six or seven days a week and should run eleven or twelve months out of the year.
This new project is the latest in an effort to increase student performance. Other contemporaneous efforts to do so include new student testing, new teacher evaluation systems, and charter school programs.
Whether or not you agree with more instruction time, the fact remains that American students are under-performing in comparison to much of the rest of the world. Something needs to be done - the simple fact of the matter is, if students performed better on national standardized tests, then there would be no need for an increase in the school day or year.
So if you don't want more in school hours, offer another possible solution aimed at increasing student performance.