sends in a proposal that is sure to cause some discussion, especially among students and teachers. Obama and his education secretary say that American kids spend too little time in school
, putting them at a disadvantage in comparison to other students around the globe. "'Now, I know longer school days and school years are not wildly popular ideas,' the president said earlier this year. 'Not with Malia and Sasha, not in my family, and probably not in yours. But the challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom.' 'Our school calendar is based upon the agrarian economy and not too many of our kids are working the fields today,' Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a recent interview with The Associated Press. ... 'Young people in other countries are going to school 25, 30 percent longer than our students here,' Duncan told the AP. 'I want to just level the playing field.' ... Kids in the US spend more hours in school (1,146 instructional hours per year) than do kids in the Asian countries that persistently outscore the US on math and science tests — Singapore (903), Taiwan (1,050), Japan (1,005) and Hong Kong (1,013). That is despite the fact that Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong have longer school years (190 to 201 days) than does the U.S. (180 days)."