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Year Round School...Your thoughts

Posted by on Sep. 28, 2010 at 10:28 PM
  • 5 Replies

 What are your thoughts on this subject? What do you think the pro's and con's are?

by on Sep. 28, 2010 at 10:28 PM
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PradaBaby
by on Sep. 28, 2010 at 10:30 PM

I think people need to educate themselves on the subject b/4 they go freaking out thinking the kids don't get a break at all. I also think (because this has been said in past debates on the subject) that if teachers got into teaching for a 3 month break they probably need to be in a different profession. Also I think school needs to teach children real world skills and a 3 month summer break is not "real world"

Mom4-3
by on Sep. 28, 2010 at 10:34 PM

 I was reading an article on it and I tend to agree with the author.

Yes, school should be year-round. The benefits are the consistent attention of students to learning, an awareness of education as a full-time job (just like Mom and Dad), a reduction of the temptations of too much summer leisure, and a reduction of the years spent in K-12 and on to college.

Statistics show that most high school dropouts do so after yet another summer of languid inattention to any responsibility whatsoever. When the school year approaches after three months of unstructured play, drugs and drinking (or in the case of younger students, sitting at home alone in front of the TV or video games), Johnny or Jill decides it's too hard to get up on dark mornings and trudge off to school where he or she can't remember what was learned last year and teachers are likely to be irritable for having their "vacation" ended. The result is three months of everyone trying to regain focus.

That's not good for students or teachers. Many of my teacher friends decry those first months as being "impossible." The "school year" was first established in the early Thirties for reasons that included our agrarian economy. Summer was a time to replenish the soil, replant, and grow. There was a work ethic in which children participated. The Industrial Revolution and WW-II changed that fundamental, but even after that at least one parent was at home, usually Mom, to care for and keep the children occupied during summer. Those times are gone and so is any justification for holding on to that obsolete tradition, the nine-month school year.

Intense opposition to lengthening the school year is led by lobbyists from the NEA and AFT, two teachers' unions with strong constituencies. The AFT reports that the average teacher pay was $47,600 in 2005 for a 39-week work-year. That doesn't include "teacher planning days", sick leave, and better health benefits than 52-week-a-year jobs. While the average person making $48,000 a year with two weeks' vacation and six days sick leave grosses around $950 a week, a teacher grosses the equivalent of $1,230 a week. Good work if you can get it.

A new paradigm looms before Americans. India, China, Japan, France, and other industrialized nations are beating us to death on education. Most have twelve-month school years. We need to keep our children focused on education as evidenced by our plummeting standing against those nations. Our distractions are rampant: MTV, teen reality shows on TV, drugs and alcohol, the celebration of self-indulgent ghetto and celebrity characters all contribute to a disinterest in the long-term benefits of education over short-term excitement.

Change is difficult in the face of entrenched traditions, but change we must, in spite of the ramifications. The resistance of parents, teachers, and kids themselves, to surrender traditional perquisites is a major impediment. Parents have come to view school as daycare. Teachers count on summers for revitalization of credentials and languorous vacations in the Greek Isles. Kids want summer to do whatever the hell they want without supervision.

So, how can the twelve-month school year work? Try beginning on an graduating scale where, in a national program, grades one through four are the first to go full-year, with an increase of one grade per year, every year, until all grades are included. It's not enough to simply extend each school year with more of the standard material; no, it means reinventing and adjusting course ware to fit a four-quarter cycle. This has to take place with trade offs for higher pay to affected teachers complemented by legislatively enforced requirements of parents to contribute time or financial support to public schools. Those who object may opt out and home-school their children (monitored by the Department of Education), but that's even more time-intensive for parents than public school.

The transition can't be done by simple executive decree and it won't happen overnight. It takes inspired leadership and a gradual process that has to be sold as much as it's implemented with all its gnarly complications.

Will there be resistance? You bet. But the need is great and the old school is out.

Kaelaasmom
by on Sep. 28, 2010 at 10:36 PM

No, I don't believe in year round school. My daughter spends more than enough time in school, and I like having our summers off to be together as a family.

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I am a non-ERF, can't wait to drop the booster, breast-fed til 6 weeks, Nestle formula using, pro-choice, Independent, open-minded, gay marriage supporting, CIO, NON-AP, former Marine mom to the only perfect child on Earth. Don't tell me how to raise my kid, and I won't tell you what's wrong with yours!

Mom4-3
by on Sep. 28, 2010 at 10:51 PM

BUMP!

PradaBaby
by on Sep. 28, 2010 at 10:56 PM

**sigh** year round school is the same number of days spent in school as the school schedule you love so much now. They are not adding days. They are spreading out the breaks so it is not one large break but several small ones.

Quoting Kaelaasmom:

No, I don't believe in year round school. My daughter spends more than enough time in school, and I like having our summers off to be together as a family.


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