We have been stuck for decades with just 6½ hours of school a day, five days a week, 180 school days a year. “It is a failure of imagination,” said Chris Gabrieli, one of the nation’s leading advocates for more time. “People are so inured to the system we have had that they cannot imagine just changing the parameters.”
Gabrieli, chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, has learned to live with his frustrations. He said the lack of sufficient time is wired into our schools in two ways: We have known no other system our whole lives, and teacher contracts in strong union states require that any schedule changes be negotiated.