Barack Obama wants to emulate South Korea’s education system with “longer school days, school weeks and school years”
Posted by danishova on March 11, 2009
From Libby Quaid of the Associated Press:
Obama also wants kids to spend more time in school, with longer school days, school weeks and school years — a position he admitted will make him less popular with his school-age daughters.
Children in South Korea spend a month longer in school every year than do kids in the U.S., where the antiquated school calendar comes from the days when many people farmed and kids were needed in the fields.
“I know longer school days and school years are not wildly popular ideas, not with Malia and Sasha,” Obama said as the crowd laughed. “But the challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom.”
“If they can do that in South Korea, we can do it right here in the United States of America,” Obama said.
I wonder if South Korea has a Zero to Five Early Childhood education system, which permits a Pre-School Agenda that Begins at Birth. And maybe some intrepid reporter will get Barack to define “Zero” for us, because I’m not real sure if “Zero” is defined as commencing in the womb or at birth. When I think of “Zero” I think of pre-conception, but, hey, I may be using an “antiquated” definition.
Meanwhile, maybe someone can tell me why we should be emulating South Korea in the first place. Is it a greater, freer, more prosperous, gifted, and blessed country than the United States?
Here’s an idea! Why not emulate Japan, and let robots replace teachers? Who knows, maybe one day robots could replace parents, and eventually robots could replace children too. This would prevent that burdensome problem of being “punished with a baby”.
The Guardian U.K. version of this story is even more depressing that the A.P.’s version.
He said that the US academic calendar, in which students attend school roughly from 8.30am to 3pm, late summer to late spring, is an outmoded relic of America’s agrarian past, and should be updated.
“That calendar may have once made sense but today, it puts us at a competitive disadvantage,” Obama said. “Our children spend over a month less in school than children in South Korea. That is no way to prepare them for a 21st-century economy … I know longer school days and school years are not wildly popular ideas. Not in my family, and probably not in yours. But the challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom.”
Obama’s education secretary Arne Duncan, will be tasked with implementing these proposals. Some of them will need congressional approval.
How do we define “some”? What part of this agenda can be implemented by executive fiat?
Is Obama so universally adored that the private Sidwell-Friends school his children attend will change their calendar in a gesture of solidarity to The One’s Office of Central Planning? I rather doubt it, so Malia and Sasha need not worry that they’ll have to suffer through Daddy’s autocratic dictates.
However, if Obama manages to implement a longer school day/week/year it will be much easier for him to go for the gold with his clever plan to turn our children into unpaid serfs for ACORN. He already plans to tie school funding to rewarding schools who agree to implement universal servitude programs, but with a longer school year schools could no longer say that they don’t have time to implement serfdom.
Alas, among other unintended consequences, the Chinese will be kicking our butts at the Olympics in future years as our children will have far less time to pursue athletics, but if one must choose between soup kitchens and sports, sports (and time with our children) will just have to be sacrificed for the greater good.
Here’s CNN’s version:
President Obama began to flesh out the details of one of his signature campaign promises Tuesday, outlining his plan for a major overhaul of the country’s education system “from the cradle up through a career.”
Time for a remake of The Baby Snatcher?