I am a Maui High School junior. I am against the extension of the school day as mandated by the state Legislature.
More time does not imply more learning. If current teaching methods are not working, spending more time using those same methods is not going to change anything. Perhaps we could consider changes that could be incorporated to solve specific issues that Hawaii schools are facing.
This decision would cost already cash-strapped school districts money that they do not have. In addition, the more time students spend in school, the less time they will have outside of school, time that they spend on extracurricular activities of their choice. Band, HOSA, DECA, Video Club, Robotics, Science Bowl: Maui High School is built on the profound success of such organizations. By extending the school day, we are limiting the extent to which students can participate in these extracurricular organizations.
A research study by Erika A. Patall concluded that "research on extended school time leaves much to be desired. The research designs are weak for making casual inferences." Patall also points out that countries including Finland and Japan, which score better than we do on international standardized tests, require fewer hours of schooling per year than we do.
The right problem is being addressed; the wrong solution is being implemented. As the blossoming students of Hawaii, we are its future, and it is my sincere hope that this decision can be rethought before the consequences of a grave mistake come to fruition.