About this sample
About this sample
Words: 1771 |
9 min read
Published: May 17, 2022
Words: 1771|Pages: 4|9 min read
It is a well-known fact that students lose a large amount of their knowledge during the long summer vacation, but what might be surprising is that the figure is about 30% of the total school year’s learning. While the school has been set up this way for a very long time and it’s what the people at large are used to that isn’t a good reason to avoid positive change. Although many are accustomed to the school year as it is currently structured, it is detrimental to the retainment of knowledge due to one extremely long break. So, year-round school is a bad idea. It would overall make much more sense to spread days off in chunks throughout the year. There is a multitude of reasons that this would cause positive change and the cons simply don’t stack up in comparison.
One of the most important things to look at when dealing with major changes to the school system is obviously how it would affect overall grades. This is where Year-Round School is obviously superior as it causes significant improvements in math scores and reading skills show less of a drop than on the current schedule. The overall impact is always listed as positive and regardless of how small the improvements in some studies may be, the fact that it is an improvement at all is why we should move towards it. It’s also shown to help low-performing schools catch up with others and causes students to need to review far less than on the current schedule. As for the loss of summer vacation, there are quite a few reasons that it isn’t as big of a deal as you may think. Most schools feel the need to do summer learning programs anyway and once the vacation is over it is still shown to cause low test scores even with the lowest-performing kids being sent to summer school. It is also a continuous problem; the learning difference isn’t solved at the beginning of every year and it slowly grows bigger as the students move up in their school careers.
However, grades aren’t the only positive school-related change caused by Year-Round schooling. There is a multitude of other reasons to advocate for the change. With the better-structured breaks, schools can now offer more enrichment classes and just more diverse classes in general. With the more spread outbreaks, teachers and students also report far less burnout which is definitely a major issue with the current schedule. A multitude of reports shows that Year-Round Schooling combined with after-school programs is very successful overall. As for urban areas where approximately 80% of people in America live, Year-Round Schooling is shown to even out attendance (which is a major issue in cities) and allows for more student housing.
School life isn’t the only area where the change can bring benefits, there is also the personal boons brought on by the switch. Year-Round Schooling is overall more structured which is helpful to kids growing up. It also lets kids enjoy more diverse vacations where they can do more things than just having one very long vacation in the summer. It also helps advocate for universal child-care and just, in general, eases the financial burden of childcare with it being spread out throughout the entire year. It also helps lower crime, either due to the removal of the summer where kids eventually get bored and start doing things they normally wouldn’t, or just having the school be much more structured has a surrounding effect on the area. As for the concern of jobs, while it would reduce the time that kids can work in summer, they would also be able to work for longer times throughout the year. It is also believed that it would increase the revenue of the entertainment industry since kids would have more free time throughout all the seasons, and they would be able to see more diverse media more often.
The people most impacted by the change to Year-Round Schooling overall are probably the more disadvantaged students. The schedule change means that kids can get medical treatment through the school practically the whole year, and it helps kids in unstable homes find a little stability in their life. It is also shown to overall lower racial disparities which can be a large issue in urban areas where the African American and Hispanic populations are more likely to be at a disadvantage due to cascading factors. The regular calendar overall negatively affects disadvantaged students as they lose even more knowledge over the long vacation than most and summer vacation is the single largest reason for the learning gap of the poor and middle class.
The seemingly best setup for Year-Round Schooling is referred to as ‘The Orchard Plan’. In this plan school is in session for 11 months each year. Students are placed on one of five rotation tracks and attend school for 60 days followed by 15 days of vacation. All students and staff are on vacation in July and they receive two weeks off for winter break with an extra week for spring break. Teachers work for an extended year, and students from each of the five tracks are assigned to each teacher. Students rotate on and off track, but the teachers remain. Hence, in any class at any time, only four-fifths of the students are present. It provides the best of everything with improved attendance to the school and more spread-out vacations to the benefit of students. The plan is also helpful with scheduling. The switch to Year-Round Schooling would be a major help in moving America towards fewer days off, in general, to match up with other countries. It is described here where it says,
We found that most of the arguments offered in support of extended school years invoke international comparisons showing that the number of days American students spend in school lags behind other industrialized nations. For example, the National Education Commission on Time and Learning reported that most students in the United States spend between 175 and 180 days in school each year, whereas students in Japan spend 240 days in school.
The statistics certainly don’t lie in showing that Year-Round Schooling is a good decision. Forty-Four states have Year-Round programs and more than five million students attend these schools. 3,000 schools follow the programs in total, with 400 of them being charter schools, this is shown as being even more impressive by the fact that in 1986 there were only 408. They have increased an entirety of 20.6% between just 2006-07 and 2011-12 and 4% of all schools are year-round.
However, even with all these pros, the plan has cons like anything else and the critics have their reasons to hesitate. As with almost all things, a lot of people’s problems with Year-Round Schooling come down to cost. Overall just cost more to run schools year-round and the schedule change costs some counties around $150,000. Although, this is easily refuted by the statement that we shouldn’t be putting such a low price on the proper education of tomorrow’s generation and give them the best we possibly can. It is also believed that it could have a negative effect on summer businesses, particularly places like waterparks that can only really run in the summer and rely on the long vacation to make a bulk of their money. This is one that is harder to refute, capitalism would run its course and the businesses would either adapt or ultimately go out of business. It can also be harder for teens to get jobs since most of them to rely on the income from a long vacation and especially during the summer businesses that previously relied on teen employees would have to adapt with them not being around for as long(Glover; Wildman).
Also, while most of the changes to the school system are positive there are a few noticeable negatives. While Year-Round Schooling proves to be easier on students and teachers, it can be very hard on administrators and make them much more stressed than the current set-up. It can also easily mess up the current schedule of sports and camps with camps especially being set up for the long summer, but this would be overcome as schools at the large switch. However, the overall refute of critics is that they simply believe the change isn’t worth it. It is stated very well here where it says,
Opponents counter that it complicates schedules for parents, takes a financial toll on districts and tourist economies, deprives children of a needed respite from the classroom, and distracts from other, more effective school improvement strategies.
Year-Round Schooling is a perfect example of how the difficulty of shifting a system in a direction that is proven to be positive shouldn’t be the defining factor in whether or not you do it. With the proof that it is a better system for teachers and students that should be all the reason that’s needed. While the critics say that it isn’t worth the switch, evidence shows that it is simply a better system and that’s why it should be moved towards. Should the cost and difficulty of change really be the reason that society doesn’t make a positive shift for future generations?
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