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The Case for Year-Round Schooling - Essay Example

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The Case for Year-Round Schooling Year-round schooling is the use of a schedule that eliminates the long summer break. Year round schooling does not mean attending classes all fifty-two weeks of the year. Instead, the summer break is replaced with shorter, more frequent breaks; students attending a school using a year-round schedule attend the same number of days as a traditional student (National Association for Year-Round Education)…
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The Case for Year-Round Schooling
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Download file to see previous pages Year-round schools also reduce costs to the school system, freeing up more of the budget for student supplies and teacher salaries. Therefore, I advocate a change in public education to the use of year-round scheduling. Year-Round Schooling and Today's Students Year-round education better fits the needs of modern families and will increase access to education. The school calender that is currently in use in most American schools today is based around an outdated model. This model assumes that access to schooling will be increased if students were permitted a vacation for a summer of agricultural labor and remained in classes for the slower winter months. The traditional school calendar is not designed around the needs of children but around the needs of farmers (Ballinger and Kneese). However, the great majority of working adults today work approximately the same number of hours each day regardless of the season (Ballinger and Kneese). This means that during long summer breaks, parents are required to find other caretakers for their children. In addition, part of the reasoning behind the use of the traditional school calendar was due to a lack of cooling ability in school buildings during the hot summer months. Avoiding sending students to school meant that they were not trapped in overheated school buildings during the day (Steinbach). However, in today's poor urban neighborhoods, while the schools will have air conditioning, many of the homes the students live in will not. Up to a third of American households have no air conditioning units of any kind (Battles). Use of a year-round schedule would allow the children from those households to benefit from the air conditioning systems in their schools. The environment in their homes would interfere with the ability of poor students to learn and study on their own during the summer; switching to a year-round schedule would increase the educational access of those students. One argument against year-round schooling is the need for high school aged students to take on summer employment. However, the recent economic downturn in the United States has nearly wiped out the teenage job market, as the positions previously taken by the fourteen to seventeen year old segment are often now being taken by high school graduates, seniors, and even college graduates. The struggle to obtain a job under these conditions means that the possibility of earnings does not outweigh the educational benefits of the year-round calendar; a better education means higher earning power in the future, more than offsetting possible lost income while in high school. Also, studies have shown that in order to best boost their earning power later in life, these students should be seeking year-round part-time employment, instead of simply relying on working part time for only a few months of the year. Year-round employment is available in a much wider range of industries than is temporary work, which would also benefit these teenage workers. Far from hurting the earning power of high school students, the year-round educational schedule would force them to expand their horizons and build a relevant resume for a future career (National Youth Employment Coalition). Year-Round Schooling and Academic Success Traditional calendars provide students with a summer break that is almost three months long. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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