The Globe Magazine has a fascinating piece on the extended school day experiment being conducted at 10 schools around the state. It seems like such a common-sense good idea that we can only assume it will be discarded very soon.
The most gripping piece of information, to this reader, was an accompanying graphic (that unhelpfully does not show up on-line) that details the change in the average school day.
Before, students started the day 7:25 AM, ate lunch at 10:16 AM, and were dismissed at 1:30 PM. Plus, the sample schedule displayed allows for daily math, science, and english classes, but little else.
The new schedule has the same start time and lunch time (which is still ridiculous), but adds a snack in the afternoon and a new dismissal time of 4:30 PM. Most importantly, it also adds 12 additional classroom periods throughout the week, allowing for instruction in computers, and social studies.
The article goes on to point out some of the unforseen results of the experiment: the need for better winter lighting, the difficulty of the evening commute for students, and the necessity of lunch (as opposed to waiting for 1:30 dismissal to eat).