WE RECOMMEND a commitment to bring every child in the United States to world-class standards in core academic areas.
By far the most important part of this Commission's charge relates not to time but to student learning. The first issue is not "How much time is enough?" but "What are we trying to accomplish?" As witnesses repeatedly told the Commission, there is no point to adding more time to today's schools if it is used in the same way. We must use time in new, different, and better ways.
The Commission is convinced the following areas represent the common core all students should master: English and language arts, mathematics, science, civics, history, geography, the arts, and foreign languages. This core defines a set of expectations students abroad are routinely expected to meet. American students can meet them as well.
Regular assessments at different stages of students' lives should require every student to demonstrate a firm grasp of demanding material in each of these areas, a grasp extending far beyond the trivial demands of most multiple-choice tests. They should assess not only the mastery of essential facts, but also the student's ability to write, reason, and analyze.
Recommendations Fix The Design Flaw: Use Time in New and Better Ways.