The idea of educational reform has been around since public education began, but recently became a major topic in the 1980's. Various kinds of reform are always being discussed, but little is ever being done, because so much is still being discussed. No one knows which reform idea to try.
Probably the most well-known reform idea is that of a longer school year, even year round. But this idea isn't even solid, there are multiple ways the school year could be extended. One suggestion is that the school be year long, but divided into four quarters, and only three quarters are necessary. To fulfill requirements students could choose to attend all year, and end up graduating a year or two early. Also, students with learning difficulties (often actually different learning styles) could use the full year to fully grasp the subject matter. But many people argue that "extra teaching talent, not extra time, is needed."1
1. Education in America, page 39