Of course, doing so would obviously require much greater funding for public education - an issue that is certainly not a foregone conclusion. However, there is bi-partisan support in Congress for expanding the reach of "Community Schools," as explained in a recent column from Democrat Steny Hoyer for EdWeek.org. There is no doubt that opening schools year-round to provide all sorts of government services could dramatically improve the lives of children in economically challenged communities. And many private and charter school programs that do more than provide academic classes from 8-3 for a traditional year have proved the ability to make a difference. Geoffery Canada's Harlem Children's Zone is an example.
In "A Teacher's View," the only rule for improving education and achievement in the lives of kids is that it works. If expanding the reach of schools throughout the year to provide more support is successful, and it is the most cost effective way of doing so, then communities should pursue it. Of course, this approach should be pursued at the state and local level, and it should not be implemented as a standard for uniformity for all communities.