[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/27/education.school.year/art.duncan.gi.jpg caption="Education Secretary Arne Duncan suggests giving incentives to teachers whose students perform well."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Those lazy days of summer may become a thing of the past if the new secretary of education has his way.
Arne Duncan, the Cabinet secretary charged with overhauling America's educational system, is studying programs that keep kids in school longer to boost their academic achievements.
"When I go out and talk about that, that doesn't always make me popular with students. They like the long summers," Duncan said in an interview Wednesday with CNN conducted in the Education Department's library.
But Duncan said American students are "at a competitive disadvantage" because the United States has shorter school years than other countries such as India and China.
"It doesn't matter how poor, how tough the family background, socioeconomic challenges," Duncan said. "Where students have longer days, longer weeks, longer years - that's making a difference."
More time in school is one of several ideas under consideration as Duncan settles into his new role.