Year-Round School In America, most children spend all year wishing that it was summer, so that they do not have to be in school. They could probably never imagine not having those three months to do as they please. Wicked they be able to survive without it? As It turns out, TV. ‘0 million of the nation’s children already do. An extended year-round school calendar would immensely improve the problem areas in the education system, Including summer learning loss, the wide range of academic capableness of students, and providing costly summer care.
Jennie Jacques, an eleven year old who tends year round school, said the following when interviewed by Time for Kids: I thinks longer school year Is better for many reasons. During the long summer vacation, many kids waste time watching TV. They forget what they learned in school. I am always ready for the new school year because I only have one month off. It takes time to learn everything you need to know In order to go to college. In my opinion, If more schools replace vacation time with learning time, it will make a big difference for their students. (CTD. N Should) In his thesis paper about the beneficial aspects of a year-round school calendar, Bruce Jean explains that the traditional nine-month school calendar was developed more than two centuries ago when it was necessary for children to help their families on the farm during the summer (2). That Is no longer the case In this day and age. The economy is no longer driven primarily by agriculture. With advances in modern technology, times have changed. The majorities of people today live in urban areas, as well as have fewer children. Along with the times, schools need to change as well.
We cannot continue using the current school calendar for the sole reason that it has always been this way. Many beliefs that people had about the school calendar hundreds of years ago have been disproved. People used to believe that too much schooling would have a negative effect on students and teachers alike (Hess). We now know that that is not true. Constant stimulation is Just fine. They also thought that summer was a time of disease and thought that keeping kids at home was a better option. When the current school calendar was put into place, academics did not matter as much to the average person as they do today (Hess).
In this day and age, academics are of the greatest Importance. Another change from the past is the dual working family. In the 1 sass, more than 60% of families had a stay-at-home mother. Today, only about 30% of kids are cared for by a parent in the summer. If a family must use daycare for a summer, It typically costs eight percent of their total yearly income (Hess). This is a huge expense and can potentially be a burden to families who must have multiple children in daycare throughout the entire summer. While some children are In daycare, some are sent off to summer camps, which can also be costly.
While all of this money is spent on summer childcare, expensive school alluding, technology, and transportation are all unused. Taxpayers provide the money for all of these things. It seems wasteful to not use them to their full potential. Other kids are left at home to fend for themselves all day long. This situation especially, is not in a child’s best interest. And amusement parks are all fun summer activities that financially depend on a summer break from school. However, these types of attractions do run all year in the warmer parts of the country, thus proving that they can still operate while co-existing with schools.
In parts of the country where these attractions only run during warmer months, students could still attend these attractions on weekends and during the long breaks. Some of these large companies support laws that do not allow some schools to diverge from the traditional school calendar. According to Frederick Hess in his article featured in the Washington Post, “State officials should strike down [these] laws,” (Hess). Some parent’s oppose year-round school because they enjoy spending the summer with their children. This is still possible. Year round school calendars give shorter breaks, but more frequently than standard calendars do.
With Hess smaller breaks, vacations and family time is still possible. There is a gap in the summer learning between the upper and lower classes during the summer. Upper class children are more likely to spend their summers with parent’s, in a good daycare program, or a summer camp program. All of these activities are supervised. They also have the potential to be enriching for the child involved. Upper class children are also more likely to read during the summer than their lower class peers. On the other hand, lower class children are more likely to be in a non-enriching daycare program or left at home alone all summer.
Parent’s must find ways to occupy their children’s time and to monitor their socializing and web use from work,” (Hess). This can make summer vacation more of a problem than anything else for these families. Sally Holland studied some of the schools in the United States that that currently use an extended school calendar and concluded that learning loss is the top reason most teachers and educators give for wanting year- round school. Summer learning loss is described as children getting to a certain place academically by June, but when they come back in September they have taken step backwards.
This meaner that more time must be spent assessing students and playing catch-up when they come back (Holland). Schools would be much more productive if they did not have to backtrack each year. Students would be able to pick up right where they left off. Most Americans are concerned, at least to some degree, about other countries outperforming American children academically. News and standardized tests are constantly telling Americans that their children, as a whole, are not performing to the standards that they should.
Frederick Hess has said, “Most industrialized nations offer no more than seven consecutive weeks of vacation, [to their students]” (Hess). In order to keep up, America needs to adjust its calendar to resemble the international model. Each day it grows more and more important for children in America to keep up with children in Europe, India, and China. In the near future, people will be forced to compete for Jobs with people from those countries. If schools do not prepare children now, they will lose out on many opportunities (Hess). In the long run this could have severe consequences for the United States as a whole.
Year-round school s the only way to keep up with these other countries. So, does year round school really work? Test scores point to yes. A study done by W. L. Winters in 1994 of nineteen cases, says that year-round students outscored in Jean). Eighty three percent is a huge gain over traditional schools. In San Diego, eight years of year-round school has had incredible results. Eighty-one percent of their students maintained or improved their scores each year, while only fifty-nine percent of children in traditional schools did the same dean 4-5). In Hawaii, results were tracked for four years.
They did not find as significant of an increase each year, but their students maintained their scores exceptionally well compared to the traditional students dean 5-6). Standardized tests are extremely important. They determine how much funding a school receives, ranks schools and kids against their peers both nationally and internationally, and helps show how competent a teacher is. In an article published in Time for Kids that interviewed students, parent’s, and teachers who are familiar with an extended school year, parent’s believe that it is working because they can see the difference in their children (CTD. Should). Year-round school is not only about test scores. It can also contribute to the overall development of a child (Should). By adding classroom time, teachers can plan more detailed lessons. There is also more time for art, athletic activities, and music. Unfortunately, these programs have been cut from many school’s curriculums. They contribute to an overall, well-rounded education, not Just an academic one. Because teachers see students throughout the whole year, they do not need to wait until summer to help the kids who are struggling (Should).
This would even out the playing lied and bridge the wide gap between student’s academic levels. There are benefits for teachers as well. It could become a full time position for them, providing a higher income. They would no longer have the frustrations of children being on such vastly different levels academically (Hess). As stated before, there is a gap between the classes partially because of the summer activities that they partake in. Teachers could construct more in-depth lesson and worry less about time restraints (Hess). It would enable students, as well as teachers, to feel more nonevent in the classroom.
Year-round school is the crucial step in education that the United States needs to take. Having a summer break is no longer a necessity, and it has also been proven that students do not need a break from learning at all. This break negatively impacts students. Summer learning loss is a significant problem that must be overcome each and every fall as long as the traditional school calendar is used. If the switch to a year-round school calendar was made, summer learning loss could be considerably decreased, if not eliminated altogether.
Summer vacation as evolved into a problem for some people and an industry for others; neither of which is in the best interest of the children. Other countries are far outpacing the United States academically. It should be a top priority to ensure that the next generation can compete with their international peers and exceed expectations. The future success of the country may potentially depend on it. Meier-round schools have the potential to maximize student learning” dean 4). Hess, Frederick M. “Summer Vacation of Our Discontent. ” Washington’s. Com. The Washington post, 12 July 2006. Web. 21 March 2012.