A top education official in Obama Administration on Friday said that the American students are at a competitive disadvantage with those from < ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />India and China, who spend more time in schools. 'Our students today are competing against children in India and China. Those students are going to school 25 to 30 % longer than we are. Our students, I think, are at a competitive disadvantage. I think we're doing them a disservice,' Education Secretary Arne Duncan said at a Congressional hearing. 'I fundamentally think our day is way too short. I think our week is way too short. I think our year is way too short,' Duncan said responding to a question during his testimony before House Education and Labour Committee. He said, 'I want our children to compete on level playing field with children from India and China.'
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Duncan argued that the students in the US should devote more time in their schools. He added, 'We saw it all the time in Chicago what we call summer reading loss. If you get children to a certain point by June, when they come back in September, they're further behind than when they left in June. It's absolutely crazy.'