Few Clouds 44° Good Evening
Few Clouds 44° Good Evening

Letter: Longer school year isn't the answer

Classrooms across Long Island were empty on Thursday.

Classrooms across Long Island were empty on Thursday. Check our listings of delayed openings, closures and cancellations to see what's in store for Friday. Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

I was irritated with a letter that argued that a longer school year could improve the United States' ranking internationally ["Making up missed school," Nov. 20.] I have studied on fellowship in several Asian and European countries, and I can tell you that just increasing the number of days in the school year is not a panacea.

At the core of American society is a multicultural mosaic of immigrants. Some school systems have as many as 40 languages being spoken. Clearly, our European and Asian counterparts do not have this hurdle.

Current thinking is that all students should graduate with a Regents diploma. This is noble but not realistic. Japan, China and South Korea do just the opposite. Students in these societies are grouped by ability beginning as early as seventh grade.

Let us also not forget another significant segment of our school population: students with special needs. Here, too, our global competitors "weed out" this population.

Len Romano, Ronkonkoma

Editor's note: The writer is a former teacher in the Northport-East Northport schools.