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As school begins again in Oklahoma, so will debate over students' time in classroom

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: August 10, 2012

AS we've often noted, school isn't just about being parked at a desk for specified period of time. Oklahoma is among many states looking beyond seat time to whether students are academically ready for college or the workforce.

That decision hasn't been without controversy, and we don't expect this will change any time soon since the first class subject to the Achieving Classroom Excellence law just graduated a few weeks ago.

We expect to hear more in coming years about how schools are working to better prepare students for the academic challenges they face in high school. Different curriculum. More remedial opportunities. And, quite possibly, more time spent in school.

Most Oklahoma school districts will begin school in the next few weeks. Only a few — the biggest being Oklahoma City Public Schools — started last week. The school district started its continuous learning calendar a year ago, at least in part to try to reduce the so-called “summer slide,” the academic free-fall that can happen during summer vacation. Students in Oklahoma City don't actually go to school any additional days compared with their peers in other districts; the calendar is just arranged differently. A shorter summer break is followed by longer breaks in the fall, winter and spring.

Superintendent Karl Springer also has pushed for a state law advocating a longer school day, although many school districts do so without a law. More conversation on both counts — longer days and more of them — will be a likely result of tougher academic standards. And why not?

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by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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