CMS' own study shows extended hours don't work

CMS' own study shows extended hours don't work

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NewsChannel 36 Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on October 19, 2011 at 11:48 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 21 at 9:53 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Parents have been fighting against longer school days for their kids and now NewsChannel 36 has uncovered a stunning report from Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.

CMS tried extended days before - and it didn't work.

Elementary school students have an extra 45 minutes per day. NewsChannel 36 learned that the district experimented with this before. The results were not good at all.

Susan Plaza taught in CMS for 12 years, but this year she is leading the fight against the newly instituted extended bell schedule.

“The kids are tired and the teachers are certainly burnt out,” she said.

In fact, that's exactly what it said in an evaluation report.

It's a study the school district's own researchers did after trying the same extended day bell schedule at a single school in the 2007-08 school year.

“I was a bit stunned actually, because it’s very clear there were no benefits. There were negatives to the long day,” said Plaza.

One page one of the report - the executive summary – the first line said "we found few positive outcomes."

“Yeah, so now let’s do it for every school! It’s just amazing, blows me away,” said Plaza.

The more she read of the study, the more upset she became. It said students were tired at the end of the day and teachers were "burned out."

“All the negatives that we as parents have already been talking about - it's outlined right there in black and white and the fact that they decided to do this district-wide, even with all this negative evidence in their faces, it kind of shocked me,” said Plaza.

NewsChannel 36 tried to get a response from CMS and from school board members but could not. In the past the district has said that aside from being a budget necessity, this is a good thing. Students in other countries spend more time in schools.

The parents leading the fight have started a petition. If you’d like to check it out click here. Click on education and find the CMS petition. So far almost 500 people have signed.

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