By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – To increase our academic standing among industrialized nations and prepare students for 21st century jobs, many plans have been put forward to extend time for teaching and learning.

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While districts have made independent changes on hours spent in a school day, because states are responsible for providing children with an education, many have decided to extend the upper and lower limits of their compulsory education requirements.

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An article in Education Week says we are left with a patchwork of state laws mandating ages students must attend school for as little as nine years, and as many as 14 depending in which state they live.

In twenty-four states and DC you must attend until age 18; 11 states put the age at 17 and 15 set compulsory-attendance age at 16. In many states the lower age limit for providing free education is 5 and in PA and Washington state it’s 8.

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With the new research, it would be good to set it to 3, as in Massachusetts.