A few weeks ago, Michael Van Beek of the Mackinac Center noted that education leaders in Michigan have been campaigning to lengthen the school day for public schools in that state.

Ever the visionaries, the education establishment in North Carolina would also like to lengthen the public school day (and year), despite the prohibitive cost of doing so. But it is not just the cost that is objectionable. As I pointed out a few years ago, longer school days don’t necessarily improve student achievement. Van Beek comes to the same conclusion using recent data from the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP).

Van Beek argues that the focus should be on teacher quality, not time in the classroom. Even kids know that he’s right. Unfortunately, in North Carolina (and I suspect in Michigan as well), state teacher certification rules ensure that credentials have higher value than quality and qualifications.