I was one of those kids who looked forward to September and the beginning of school. Yes, it used to be September, right after Labor Day, and there’s something still strange to me about school resuming in mid-August, as it does here in Marin, California, says Mark Phillips, professor emeritus of secondary education at San Francisco State University, for the Washington Post. Summer was long and a time of free play, odd jobs, and no morning alarm clock. But the start of the new school year was filled with anticipation. I liked learning. I liked being back with lots of kids. As this new school year begins, I’ve been looking at the recent contradictory calls for a still longer school year, supposedly to increase achievement, and for a shorter school year to save money…

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