Saving Summer

“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” In other words, the traditional school calendar has been around for hundreds of years and works fine, why change it? Many people in education think that we should move to year round schooling to close the learning gap between the United States and other first world countries, but they haven’t looked at the facts. We should not move to year round schooling in the United States because it does not benefit students academically, it ruins the numerous opportunities of social maturity during summer, and it simply costs too much.

There are many factors that show that year-round school does not benefit students academically. First of all, there is not any evidence showing that year-round schooling boosts test scores.”When scores of year-round schools were compared with traditional schools no significant difference was found,” said Paul Von Hippel, a sociologist at Ohio State University (“Year Round Schools Don’t Boost Learning.”). This is most likely because year-round schools still have 180 days in a school year; they just spread the days out. Another study done at Ohio State University concluded that most learning loss occurs in the first two weeks off of school (“Year Round Schools Don’t Boost Learning”), and year-round schools have twice the amount of breaks with two or more weeks off of school, meaning more opportunities for learning loss.

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Also “during the summer teachers update curriculum, and go to teaching workshops,” said Ms. Scott, principal of Centennial Middle School. Teachers at year-round schools would have less time or opportunities to update the curriculum and attend teaching workshops. Year-round school also ruins the opportunities for students’ social maturity. One thing that kids cannot do is get a job because it is almost impossible to find a job that only lasts for two weeks. Which also means kids cannot learn the responsibilities of having a job, like being on time and working hard.

Another opportunity year-round school destroys is the option of going to camp. “Camp provides kids with opportunities out of reach during the school year.” Stated Dr. Rose, a pediatrician (Bussard). For example at Camp Kingsley Pines you can do; arts and crafts, pottery, theatre, basketball, soccer, wakeboarding, sailing, baseball, mountain biking, and many other things. Summer is one of the best times to mature, and learn different skills that you don’t learn in school.

Dr. Leo Wisenbender of the Los Angeles Unified Program and Evaluation Branch said, “It is absurd to suggest that kids are not learning during the summer. It’s a different kind of learning which is simply not tested on” (Bussard). Many kids are learning how to be more independent and support themselves while their parents are at work. Like making their own food and manage the house when their parents are gone.

Lastly year-round schooling just costs too much. The cost of maintaining the schools increases because of things like air conditioning being used all summer in the schools. Also air conditioning would have to be put in the school buses, because without it there would be a chance of kids getting heat stroke and other related injuries. “In San Diego, 27 elementary schools on year-round School lost 1.4 million dollars in one year.”(“Stop Year Round School”).

Another expense would be that teachers and janitors would have to be paid year round since they cannot get summer jobs. The school district would also have to cut down on other resources to help pay teachers and janitors. It is apparent that changing to the year round school calendar in the United States is not the right thing to do. There are no advantages to students’ academic growth, it takes away the social maturity gained during summer, and schools don’t have the money to pay the costs of year-round schooling. Evidently schools are not missing out on anything, by staying with the traditional school calendar.

We have been doing it this way for hundreds of years. Why take an unnecessary risk by drastically changing the school year when research shows that what traditional schools are doing now is working.