The optimal structure and length of the school year has been debated for years. While it is widely acknowledged that students lose academic knowledge over the traditionally long summer break, society and many states have been resistant to implement year-round schooling due to concerns about funding, economic impact on tourism, the decrease in a student’s ability to engage in non-formalized summer learning, and the negative impact on family life. Yet, concerns regarding the United States’ ability to compete globally, the ever growing achievement gap between wealthy and poor students, the changing family dynamic, and the need to combat child labor exemplify why some sort of academic summer program should be made available to all students, but particularly to under-achieving and under- privileged children.
Part I of this paper looks at the history of the traditional school year, outlining the rationales behind creating a “summers-off” system of education. Part II assesses and discusses why the traditional rationales behind the 9 or 10-month school year are outdated, unpersuasive, and no longer relevant. Part III looks at the national and global prevalence of year-round schooling. Part IV argues in favor of year-round schooling, outlining many benefits that would result from its implementation. Part V discusses the obstacles and restrictions that prevent the implementation of year-round schooling. Lastly, Part VI proposes educational recommendations and attempts to find compromises between much needed educational advancements/reforms with the economic and social concerns that are in opposition to year-round schooling.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mary_osullivan/1/