Goodbye to the 8 to 3 School Day?


common core class scheduleHow the Common Core Standards Are About to Transform Day-to-Day Life in Your School

By Cameron Pipkin

The following is the final entry in a list we began 2 posts ago:

When the authors of the Common Core Standards admit that the initiative represents a “major shift” in education they’re not kidding. Mark my words, not only will the Standards fundamentally change the way that students learn, but they will alter the landscape of education to such an extreme that we might not even recognize our schools in a few years.

And I mean that in a good way.

Below is the number 1 way that schools could very well become unrecognizable soon because of the Common Core:

  1. Good bye to ”8 to 3”

Now, I’m not one of those nuts who says, as online education advances, that students are just going to stop going to school. In fact, if it weren’t for the Common Core Standards, it would be difficult to imagine a scenario in which the traditional, “8 to 3” K-12 schedule was disrupted. However, with the continued development of digital technology and a performance based standards movement, there exists (once again) a perfect confluence of circumstances that might disrupt the very structure of our schools.

It all begins with the mixed age/grade classroom that we talked about in the previous post. Imagine how this will disrupt the current status quo, especially once students get into secondary school. What happens to kids who performed proficiently in a given subject early—the ones who passed through 12th grade reading proficiency in middle school, or as freshmen in high school?

There are a number of scenarios that might accommodate such learners. They might just leave school early. They might spend their extra time in classes, and on subjects that they struggle with. They might move on to college level courses, either online or in person.

And what about students who stay behind and need to spend more time on one or many subjects to reach proficient performance?

Do you see where this ends? Under the Common Core Standards,  millions of students will be placed on very personal, very unique learning paths, defined by their divergent levels of competency. Gone are the days of a monotlithic graduation path based on seat time. Our schools will be filled with students graduating from the age of 14 to 20, based upon their individual needs. As students are in and out of school, the “8 to 3,” butt-in-seats schedule of decades passed won’t accommodate them.

Something will have to give.

Get ready for truncated, lengthened, and most importantly, personalized school days.

I'd love to get your thoughts on this. Am I worong? Would a change in the school day be good for kids and education? Would it detract from the education experience in some way?