In full agreement that time is not a measure of productivity. If we take this as a premise, let's get rid of all timed tests! Let's get rid of the idea that you have to experience high school in exactly 4 years. High school graduation becomes less about the "time a student serves," but rather a result of students' circumstances and preferences. As stated below, "time is a terrible incentive for productive work [read: school]," yet many of our systems continue to enact, albeit remotely, the seven- or eight-hour workday.
Let's imagine a new, different, and humane kind of educational system where failure is more mythic than real. This is one where it's more about when you finish rather than whether. This allows students to finish early, if they prefer. For those that need more time, no problem. Moreover, in the madness of the current COVID moment, considering a more flexible sense of time is fully socio-emotionally appropriate.
I know that with my current masters and doctoral students that I teach at UT, so much of the classroom from a time perspective is negotiable. I have actually always been flexible in these ways as a professor.
To wit, the pandemic has thrown into sharp relief our narrow and reductive sense of time where seat time is, as the title to the article below states, "not a measure of productivity."
How could this have ever been so anyway when "productive time" manifestly structures out field trips, arts, and P.E. in the curriculum? The most general point here is that the more that students, teachers, and workers are controlled, the less creative, motivated, and personally productive they are. This will have been one important lesson that the pandemic will have taught us, I trust.