Longer School Day, Year: Should NJ Add Classroom Time?

Gov. Chris Christie says state's school calendar is antiquated, needs to be extended.

While he didn’t name specifics, Gov. Chris Christie made a bold statement and proposal at his state of the state address last week, calling for longer school days and shorter vacation time in New Jersey.

Christie, embroiled in the "Bridgegate" scandal and his office now accused of using Sandy funds as leverage to push through a Hoboken redevelopment project, said New Jersey needs to change its school calendar to keep pace with the rest of the country’s academic achievements.

"Our school calendar is antiquated both educationally and culturally. Life in 2014 demands something more for our students. It is time to lengthen both the school day and school year in New Jersey," he said during the address.

Of course, the change wouldn’t come easy, considering the New Jersey Education Association is one of the largest unions in the country, along with potential pushback from individual school districts around the state. 

So, what do you think? Are you on the governor’s side, and believe the school day and year should be longer? Is it fine the way it is now? Should it be shorter? Tell us in the comments section below.

Alex C February 15, 2014 at 11:51 AM
Oh and saying just leave, is BS. This is my state too and I have every right to try and change it, just as you do.
Phil Brooks February 15, 2014 at 01:52 PM
It's not BS, Alex. The way things are now, there is no room for compromising as everyone wants their way. You probably want NJ to be a "right to work" state because it's what YOU want. // Even after that, I'll grant you this: I have no objection if people want their dues money going to some place other than for lobbying, the point being is that you'll pay your full dues, just that all of it will go, within reason, to where you want (negotiating, educating, training, whatever). // One thing I will never grant you is seeing NJ become "right to work." No way. No how. You sound reasonably educated. My guess is, then, that you know what this country was like when there were trusts and no unions and when there were. And, if you think the former is better, then you should re-think your position. As I said, if everyone could trust everyone else, we wouldn't need unions. But, human nature being what it is with people constantly trying to influence others and otherwise inflict themselves on others, that "trust" thing isn't going to happen.
Alex C February 17, 2014 at 12:15 PM
I don't want NJ to be a full on right to work. I am actually against full on right to work as I see it as meddling in private business, which I am just as opposed too as I am public sector unions. I believe it should be right to work for the public sector. That's it. Also, I am educated enough in economics and history to know that unions alone did not lead to better working conditions in the U.S., and that if you eliminated all unions tomorrow, we would not return to the dangerous factories, and long hours, because we are at a point culturally that would never allow that. The unions have by and large outlived their usefulness. But again, whatever a private company wants to do is literally their business. My only issue is with public sector unions.
Phil Brooks February 18, 2014 at 01:32 PM
Alex, No, we won't return to the days of Triangle Shirtwaist as there are myriad OHSA rules to take care of that. But, eliminate collective bargaining and other agreed upon contractual terms and we will definitely take a step back. Sorry, but I feel big business alone won't take care of their employees, as it's profits first. They need a checks and balances system that unions provide. // Public sector unions? I see your point but, as there are so many people doing the same jobs (are you going to negotiate with every teacher, policeman, fireman and DPW worker individually?), collective bargaining is probably the way to go. But there should be provisions in place as to where every dollar of dues goes and you can check off where (or not) you want your dues money to go. How does that sound?
Liberty February 19, 2014 at 09:44 AM


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