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Year Round Schooling,Would it make a Difference?
Every once in a while I hear on the news about law makers considering making the school year all year long. Year round schooling is certainly not anew concept as year long schools have been around as long as 1992. As a parent I understand the importance of an education but how much is too much? Certainly we can look at our education system to make it better , but is it necessary for children to go all year long? People are predicting that 5 Million pupils will be going to school year round. One survey states that in 2008 2.5 million students were already enrolled in the year round program.
Throughout the article I have read the fact that kids are losing what they learned over the summer months keeps coming up. There has been some research to support this. Doris R. Entwisle, Karl L. Alexander and Linda Steffel Olson of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, who have tracked Baltimore schoolchildren since 1982 have been publishing their findings since 1997. They broke their research down into social economic groups and watched how they did on testing. Their findings were overall favorable. In 2007 they found that students regardless of their socio economic standing had grades improved. They averaged an increase of 195 points on reading comprehension tests.
Year round schooling is a trend that is sweeping the United States. Some states that already have this schedule are California, Arizona, Arkansas, Virginia, North Carolina and Texas. Over 3000 schools have year round scheduling.
What does the year long school schedule look like? Some sites suggest that there is are breaks for all four seasons. And this does not include some holidays. . I looked around at various year long school sites. I compared Arkansas and California. I came up with an average of 40 days off total a year. That is about 20 days difference to the non year long schools
What do you think?
Are you for Year Round schooling?
Some say we should keep kids in school more so we can compete globally. U.S. schools rank 14th in Reading and 25th in Math among industrialized countries, and have one of the shortest school years at 180 days a year.
There is a push on a national level to increase the school year in all schools. Many people believe we are not just competing on a national scale but a global scale. Other countries are already clocking in well over 200 school days a year.
Are Year Round Schools in your State?
Do you already attend or have a child attend a Year round school?
Why isn't year round school popular?
Some parents are saying that valuable lessons can be learned out of the school setting, such as on camping trips. Parents state year long schooling would also complicate the family vacation. One big issue with this concept is money. Simply put it costs more money to run schools all year long. One article cited Las Vegas as a prime example. They abandoned the year round schooling idea because their budget was short. The cutback and the three month summer vacation saved them over 13 million dollars. Salt Lake School district in Utah is also considering going back to the traditional school year.
Also teachers may think of this schedule as exhausting. Contracts would have to be rewritten and agreed upon. Summer activities such as vacation and even summer employment would be difficult. Extra curricular activities would also be a more difficult task due to the fragmented schedule.
How does the United States Compare to the rest of the world?
Looking round the internet I have found articles upon articles that state US Students are not even close in competing with other students of the world. The Program for International Student Assessment study have ranked 15 year olds in the United States as 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math. This was a study done with 34 other countries.
A study was done in 2002 by Richard Lynn. He wrote the book IQ and the Wealth of Nations. In it he summarized the average IQ's of 82 countries. The United States was 19th in this list. (you can view the list below in the links section)
So how smart do we have to be? Is it worth taking our children's summers? I am sure this is a controversy that will not be resolved soon. Please take time to vote in the polls above and leave a comment below!