After reading "Longer school days" [editorial 9/11], I'm not sure whether The Bee's staff is ignorant or cruel. When demonstrating the things you know, stay away from lines like, "one thing we do know is children can't learn if they're not in class." Children learn every second of their lives. Formal schooling doesn't equal education.
What about the children? Is more time in prison-like institutions being taught to take standardized tests really the answer they need?
The goals of education should be independent thought and the development of reasoning power. These will never be achieved in cookie-cutter fashion. Forced equality always tends toward the lowest common denominator. Not all children are alike, so they shouldn't be treated as if they are. There are many different types of people, so a wide variety of schools is needed. Parents will choose the education best suited for their child.
The goal of state-controlled education is not the true development of the individual, but the creation of model (sheep-like, obedient) citizens. It's time we wake up to the realities of compulsory (public) education. Public education fails on so many levels. It doesn't need to be reformed, it needs to be replaced.
Michael Varin, Fresno