Is More School Really the Answer for Everyone?

Posted: Jul 19, 2012 12:14 AM
Former Obama OMB director Peter Orszag is worried that summer is making American children "dumber and fatter."  It takes him a while to concede that the children for whom this is primarily true are those of "low socioeconomic status."

But wait a minute: Back in April,Orszag also called for an end to the 3 pm school day -- for all children.

In other words, in Orszag's world, school should go longer every day AND take  place for more of the year.

This might be convenient for adults.  It would allow dual-earner families to have fewer concerns about childcare, for sure.  But is it really good for all children?  Sure, there might be those for whom being in school -- or some other government set-up -- is superior to being at home.

But I'm not sure that every child needs to be in a school environment more of the day, more of the year.  If we are going to nurture dynamism and creativity in the thinking of our children -- in other words, the kinds of skills that will help them (and America) thrive in an increasingly interconnected, tech-heavy world -- is warehousing everybody in government schools all day, all year really the answer?

Color me unconvinced.