If we follow the Fresno County Grand Jury's recent recommendations and lengthen the school day and the school year in Fresno's schools, we should not make the additional class hours and days mandatory. The last thing we need is a stronger nanny-style government leading its citizens around by the nose.
There is a big difference between the concepts of "protection" and "direction." Parents are correct to be fiercely protective of their children to protect them from harm. On the other hand, good parents recognize that they cannot live their children's lives for them. The children must be given the proper latitude and space to develop their own interests, tastes and desires.
As we move further into the third millennium, it should be clear that we need to change the way children are educated. We need to focus on ways that foster creativity and independence. We won't be able to achieve that by increasing the number of hours that we force children to sit at their school desks.