With so many schools across the U.S. losing their accreditation, some even having to close their doors altogether, education is a hot topic in this country. Heads are being locked in the huddle of educators, politicians and concerned parents in order to determine a remedy to the lamentable state of education in America.
Some theorize that the solution lies in extending the school year. But for every proponent of this idea, there is an equally determined opponent. It is a subject which should be of concern to all of us. Whether we have school age children or not, we must acknowledge that our educators hold in their hands the future generations that will be the managers and caretakers of this country. So, what are the facts about extending school years?
When discussing extension of the school year, there are several possible ways to go from simply tacking on extra hours to the school day to creating a six-day week instead of the standard five. Some envision a year-round school year. Each idea has its own set of pros and cons that encompass such issues as the costs involved and where that funding will come from, as well as the extra demands placed on teachers and other educators. In fact, in some states that are considering it, the teachers’ union has become involved as a strong voice on behalf of the opposition.
Facts about Extending School Year
One fact to consider is whether more is necessarily better. Many countries utilizing fewer hours in the education of their children are producing higher test results as well as well-qualified, motivated adults entering the job market. This argues in favor of those who feel the solution to the problem lies elsewhere.
The strain on our educators is another argument against an extended school year. These are all people who have families and other obligations outside of their work. Even the most dedicated of teachers is going to feel the strain of extended hours, even if there are federal, state and district funds set aside to compensate them for their extra sacrifice of time.
When considering facts about extending school year, there are some pros to look at as well. Some school districts have already implemented a year-round school year and it seems to be working successfully. While it sounds like a heavy load, in actuality it allows children and educators periodic breaks from school. It consists of a period of time, generally six weeks on, and then a two to three week break. This allows teachers time to give attention to their “other” life. It allows parents to plan family vacations at non-peak travel times, enabling them to avoid the Christmas and Spring break crowds. It also allows teachers time to prepare for the upcoming classes.
Another argument favoring year-round schooling is time and funds available for extra-curricular activities such as music and art, and more time to delve deeper into the subjects being taught without the need to rush through the material.
These are just some of the facts to look at when considering the issue of extending the school year and here are a few more articles to read.
Rewards of Longer School Day
Facts About Extending the School Year
2 Rs of Extended School Year Program
Top Ten Hot Topics in Education Every Educator Should Know About
Summer Competitors Battle Over Extending the School Year