Extending school hours may be a cornerstone of future reform, one that President Obama argues would elevate U.S. education standards closer to those of other countries.
According to an ABC News report, the President has said that America's 180-day school -- compared to a 243-day year in Japan for example -- may be a hindrance to our nation's economic viability.
The national debate over the length of the school day has pitted public schools against their charter school counterparts. Charter schools have greater freedom, which allows them to set a more intensive learning schedule.
According to The Washington Post, for two neighboring schools in the district, the charter school boasts a nine-hour school day, while the public school meets for less than seven hours daily.
The Washington Post reports the D.C. school district is the latest to be considering lengthening the school day:
Last month, D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) introduced legislation that would add 30 minutes to the public school schedule.
Cheh told The Washington Post the proposal was not merely a response to charter schools, but also taking into consideration the concerns of local parents, who feel that arts and language classes are lacking in the curriculum.