American Morning

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May 11th, 2011
05:38 AM ET

Should American kids go to school year round?

Students in classrooms across the country are gearing up for summer break, but some say three months off is exactly what they don't need. U.S. schools rank 14th in Reading and 25th in Math among industrialized countries, and have one of the shortest school years at 180 days a year. Some, like columnist LZ Granderson, say we need to reevaluate summer vacation and keep American kids in school year round to compete globally.

AM asks you, should American kids go to school year round? Comment here, we may pick your response to read on air. And, stay tuned at 8:40a ET when we talk live with LZ Granderson.

Want to read more? Check out a study from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) on how American students stack up globally in Reading, Math and Science.

Filed under: AM Asks
soundoff (143 Responses)
  1. chris

    The current, generally accepted school year is an out of date paradigm. Year round school provides the students with short bursts of concentrated learning followed by a break, then another burst of learning, etc., which seems to be more effective. The current school year is designed for the parents, not the students.

    May 11, 2011 at 9:01 am |
  2. Regina

    Children should be going to school 'ALL YEAR AROUND'. Not necessarly more days just spaced out. We are no longer in an argictular society so kids are not needed to tend the fields. Business and therefore Parents do not take a straight 2 week vacation. Rather they spread out their vacation time. Some long weekends, blocks of days here and there and also vacations happen in winter as well as summer. There are alot of ways this can be accomplished with various schedules.

    Now the school buildings would be used all year around. Maintenance could be accomplished in shorter blocks of time. Air Conditioning would have to be added. Teachers, in a lot of School Districts, get paid all year around even tho they only work 9 months of the year. That gives them a 2 1/2 month vacation. Children will maintain the education process all year around instead of having to catch up in September.

    Thank You,

    May 11, 2011 at 9:00 am |
  3. frank

    No way. We don't want higher school costs. At the time of Caesar or medieval times with the monks perhaps. They had no real books or computers and they relied on teachers. Today the individual has everything available to him, including acccess to information on the internet.
    Let the student be motivated to study during vacation time or anytime.

    May 11, 2011 at 9:00 am |
  4. Jesus Martinez,Jr.

    This is a good point because our education system needs improvement,but some states barely have funds to operate the nine months that schools are opened. The money that is needed to do this will be the problem because every state is in a different situation.
    Improving on the qualifications or raising the bar to make sure we have the right teachers in place might cure part of the problem at least it would be a start till the governments,federal and state could come up with a plan to acquire funds to open schools year round.

    May 11, 2011 at 9:00 am |
  5. Linda Secrist

    NO. Tne schools should make better use of the time that they have. Problem #1: if all you do is x, check, or circle an answer in a workbook, how are you supposed to learn to spell, write, and express yourself in written form?
    Problem #2: newer teaching methods using right brained techniique, when most people learn by the left brained method. Like trying to fit a square through a round hole. Children are not given enough time in any one given subject to fully comprehend the basic principles. I am a baby boomer, did not have Sesame Street or kindergarten, but was far advanced in any grade level than the kids I see now struggling.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:59 am |
  6. DNM

    I think kids should have a summer break, because if they didnt they would probaly just drop out. And if the schools hired better teachers maybe kids would do a whole lot better than what their doing now. And if they didnt have a summer break kids would probaly go insane from all the work they would have to do.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:58 am |
  7. Ian

    Children should not longer be forced to go to school for longer periods of time. That will not fix the problem their level of understanding, only a symptom. From how it was described by Mr. LZ Granderson, I interpreted how children lose their knowledge from school over break to be like a balloon slowly losing air after being puffed up. Longer school years would only blow the balloon up more until the break and have less time for knowledge to leave. Shouldn't the goal be to find a better knot, a better method of learning. Children learn what is needed for the time and would forget it soon after; they don't keep it after the test is over. They need to be taught how to learn, how to remember and retain the information to succeed in life.

    Children also need rest and more experiences than school will offer. They need to run, swim, play, scrape their knees, climb trees, enjoy nature – in short be children. Life is more than just school. An education for life should give the child more than just academical theories and ideas. They need real-life experiences.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:58 am |
  8. MeLoN

    Not only should kids go year around they need longer school days in order to compete in the world. Also need higher standards for teachers.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:58 am |
  9. Larry

    The studies comparing the year round to the traditional schedule are problematic because they are inconclusive. For one thing, it is difficult to isolate the year round calendar as the reason for any positive or negative results. Further, we have to question the agenda of the people performing the surveys. The fact is that the biggest gains were made in schools that were truly trying to improve the overall quality of education. Implementing the year round schedule was just one of their efforts to achieve this end. The question then becomes what part in any educational gains does the schedule take? As with any radical change, thorough studies must be made about its beneficial effects before implementation. If students, teachers, and parents are not supportive of the new schedule, it is bound to fail. Schools that choose to implement multi-tracking systems need to look at their motivations. If they are making their decisions based solely on funding they are quite possibly setting the system up for failure. Schools that are investigating year round education need to decide what they are trying to accomplish and whether a new calendar will move them further towards their goals.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:57 am |
  10. darrell

    No US kids should not go to school all year round because they need time out for the summer .

    May 11, 2011 at 8:57 am |
  11. Bridget Spooner

    I truly do not believe children should be in school 365 days. After sitting through a multicultural education class here at Springfield College, I have learned a lot about the education systems in the country. Statistics like: millions of children go to school hungry every morning. 180 days is very adequate if the education system was adequate across the country; but it is not. There is several school systems that lack qualified teachers in subjects (math & science), 30- 40 students in a room with 20-some desks, and lack of books. When the american school system decides that the quality of education is more important than the quantity of those graduating, I believe you will see more graduating without even trying.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:57 am |
  12. Basanti

    No. That would be a bad idea. Instead, stop mollycoddling students. Stop giving them gold stars for just showing up! Let them fail a few times and they'll learn to study! They must learn that education is a process that requires hard work! The problem is that we now have many teachers who have been 'trained/taught' in the same environment and are more than happy to just pass students to another level, for another teacher to deal with them! It's just stupid, lazy and stupid. Lastly, the extreme sense of entitlement that students/young people have today is a direct result of no one ever holding them accountable for the fear of disappointing them! Let them deal with disappointments! They'll learn!

    May 11, 2011 at 8:57 am |
  13. Christina

    The U.S has been perceived as a country of hard workers, overachievers, and gifted people all having a vigorous work ethic. The same cannot be said however, for the nation’s youth. Unfortunately, the vigorous work ethic and strive to learn has not rubbed off on the nation’s children. Americans have the shortest school day, a mere 6 1/2 hours, all packed into the morning and early afternoon. Countries such as Denmark and Sweden have a staggering 40 to 50 hour school week. The morning to early afternoon school schedule gives children the opportunity to engage in some extra-curricular activities, such as sports, music, etc. This is good, since the child can venture out and find something that he or she enjoys, however the benefits of this are only short-term. They don’t really help the child progress further academically. The U.S needs to lengthen the school day to help improve student’s academics.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:55 am |
  14. MCabrera

    Yes! Kids should go to school year round. I've been saying this for years. I went to school all year round (Regular school year and summer school). I think we only had a two week break in between the regular school year and summer school. I turned out just fine and I noticed that I'm smarter than the average bear too!

    May 11, 2011 at 8:55 am |
  15. Robin León

    I have taught for 35 years in some of the lowest performing schools in LA and San Diego County. NO, a longer school year will not help. This is the first year that ALL of my students are reading in Kindergarten. I am not a great teacher but I have great supportive parents! Contrary to Mr. Perry, I assert that the parents make all the difference.
    I invite Mr. Perry, Mr. Granderson and Mr. Bennett to come to my classroom and see for themselves!!
    P.S. My students read in 2 languages Mr. Perry!!

    May 11, 2011 at 8:55 am |
  16. Daniel Meggers

    The idea of children bettering there education should be of the up most importance, and going to school year-round is a wonderful idea, especially in a time where we seem to be falling behind. Unfortunately, the kids have to motivated to want to learn. There are students who want to learn and better themselves, but those who don't care for learning are dissruptive and even harsh on those who do. I fear that year-round school will not help as many as we would like. THAT FALLS ON PARENTING (unfortunately)!

    May 11, 2011 at 8:55 am |
  17. Jay

    My unpopular opinion deals with the quality of teaching not our kids ability to learn. Schools have become a near untouchable institution throughout our country consuming 70% to 90% of local budgets. While I'm sure there are some good teachers out there, after putting three kids through school, the good ones are very few and far between. The great majority of the teaching job core has become a retreat for the ultra liberal who are incapable of working in a competitive environement. Our kids don't need more days in school. Our kids need better qualified teachers. Unfortunately, weeding out the currently unqualified wouldn't leave too many!

    May 11, 2011 at 8:55 am |
  18. Jimmy

    All work and no play make Johnny a dull boy.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:54 am |
  19. Barbara

    Even if we extended the school year by only 20 or 25 days, no single school vacations should be longer than two weeks.
    The students need less time to forget things, and year-round school would raise the prestige of the teaching profession. Those people who like to denigrate others now point to teaching as not a full time job.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:53 am |
  20. John

    I agree with year around school with shorter breaks during the year so students are able to retain knowledge. I also think year around school should include more hands on learning for half the day. For example, children who are interested in building and construction should be able to work on projects developing their interests. However, this is a decision local communities should make and not the Federal Government. It might be possible to have different solutions for solving problems with our education system.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:53 am |
  21. Thom

    No I do not think extending the school year is the answer. I think we should increase the salaries of the educators to attract better and more teachers. it is sad that we pay our teachers such low salaries when the future of our country is at stake. This is the answer, pay them more what they deserve, and we will attrack the quality educators that our country desperately needs.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:53 am |
  22. W. Brown

    Absolutely! Year round school should have been implemented decades ago in this country. The class of students that I see walk out of the campuses in Illinois is deplorable. Not to lump all students into one basket, but the majority of public school kids k-8 don't know anything close to what we were being taught when I was going to school. Geography, forget it. Mathematics, even worse. English, give me a break! It's atrocious.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:53 am |
  23. ex-teacher

    I was a college teacher. I was surprised with the low quality of student graduating from high school. In the race to increase the number of students getting a diploma, we have already lowered the standards too much. I would rather see an approach which teaches the basics of reading, writing and math. Get rid of the touchy-feely classes, such as (name a random race) history months. Year-around school would increase student study-fatigue, and would decrease the number of students wishing to enter college. If we are going to re-claim the top position in technology, it won't be by simply increasing the number of graduates; it will be by increasing the quality of the top ten percent of students who graduate. Not everyone has what it takes to be a NASA rocket engineer. Put more energy into the top ten percent, even if it means flunking more of the lower ten percent. The bottom ten percent is going to end up working fast food for life, no matter how much education you put them through.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:53 am |
  24. Charlie Medlin

    Yes, I think year-round school is a good idea for our children. I am 62 years old, and have a stroke. My old job was being a fire fighter/medic. When I was going to school, and got the summer off, I remember that my studies declined in September, for a while. When I went to college, I went to the summer time as well, and my studies improved.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:52 am |
  25. Curtis

    VAL- You should actually research before you open your mouth.

    1) Finland is #2 smartest country in the world. 190 school days.

    2) USA test ALL their students which make us look "DUMBER."

    May 11, 2011 at 8:52 am |
  26. Heather

    I went through the year round school in a British school system and having school year round is better. You retain the information from term to term. I feel that with a long summer break the child is left with trying to catch up what they learnt from the previous semester before they can start working on the new material the following semester. Year round system still offers breaks but they tend to be Shorter and more frequent.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:51 am |
  27. Linda

    Absolutely not! It's just another ploy to get my tax dollars. I have to homeschool my profoundly gifted son because too many schools use their money for ESL instead of focusing on our best and brightest. However, I still have to pay taxes toward a failing system. A school in Colorado, I believe, is implementing a system of levels, rather than grades so that kids can progress at their own rate. Let's try that first – seems to me, running kids through their school years taylored to their abilities rather than their age is a more intelligent choice . Throwing more money at a failing system is not the answer.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:51 am |
  28. S. Douglas

    This should be solved by focusing on those in need. While students who fall behind need more time, successful students shouldn't have to suffer for their less successful classmates. This should be looked at as an expansion of a typical summer school program. Children with GPAs that fail to meet certain parameters should be given the extended schoolyear. This gives incentive to do better, smaller class sizes during the expansion, and less funds allocated to the program.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:51 am |
  29. Jesse

    Have you heard of the thing called the internet?

    You don't need to take away their summer vacations. Have optional lessons and refresher courses available through the web during the summer months. Leave it up to the parents to drive their kids to leverage the "OPTIONAL" education offered.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:51 am |
  30. Carrie Smith

    Yes, Students should go to school year round. I am attending school to become a teacher and I know from experience that you spend the first half of your year helping the students remember what they learned before they left for summer vacation. You still have vacations it is just spread out through the year.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:51 am |
  31. Turnerp

    There should be year round schools. 3 mos out in summer is 25 percent of the year. After just 3yrs of school. Children are already behind a whole year of learning. (based on a school year of 9 mos)

    May 11, 2011 at 8:51 am |
  32. C.T.

    As a student i believe that the teaching methods used to teach students needs to be updated if we as Americans can have a better chance to raise graduation rates. the teachers are the reason a student will fail or succeed for the most part. This is not to say that student ambition does not need a boost, but with better teachers america could make a difference.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:51 am |
  33. Georgianna

    Make summer specialty sessions, get businesses involved in teaching about entrepreneurship, trades, investment, money management, real life issues.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:51 am |
  34. Tina

    Yes I think they should or at least cut some of the breaks they get. Where I'm from the kids get a winter break, spring break, fall break, and summer break. Not to mention the holidays they get out. That's too much time out.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:50 am |
  35. Greg Cochran

    The summer months are not just about play, they are months of adventure and role playing for real life. I believe I learned many important lessons about life exploring my world independently. Not to mention many gain work experience with summer jobs. Not all lessons are learned in a classroom.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:50 am |
  36. Jos

    This is like taking a machine that is not manufacturing a model properly and thiking that by increasing the amout of time it is outputting material all of the sudden it will correct it's errors. Adding quantity to something that is lacking is quality is the worst idea I have ever heard to correcting this problem. Let's think about the content and not just adding more bulk.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:50 am |
  37. Jim

    Extending the school year does not ensure that students will get the adequate education that they need in order to successfully function in the world today. As a high school teacher that sees quantity not quality, self-indulgence not self-esteem, and he focus on graduation rates (numbers) and not rigor or learning we need to fix the reality not the perception. Lengthening not strengthing the existing product should be the focus.


    May 11, 2011 at 8:50 am |
  38. kylene

    noo i do not think american students should go to school all year around because then when will they get time to do fun stuff or do new stuff and that would be to much on the kids

    May 11, 2011 at 8:50 am |
  39. Marc

    A year round school system of 45/15 would address loss of comprehension over the summer as well as the cost. Four quarters of 45 days is 180 need to increase teacher pay.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:49 am |
  40. Daniel

    As a student in high school myself, I believe that we should extend the school year to go year round. I think that the months that students are gone for school in the summer are disadvantageous, and harmful to learning.
    This being said, I think that curriculum's would need to be drastically changed so that there would not be a dramatic change in classes such as going from chemistry to biology in a day.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:49 am |
  41. Phyllis Tyler-Smith

    It doesn't matter how long the days or the length of the school year. The reason 25% of students never graduate is because of the break-down of the family. Parents no longer "parent". Children are indulged from their toddler years because parents are lazy. Where there is no parental control, and when the children are not taught respect for the teachers and others, the children become un-disciplined and disrespectful. They have no interest in education because they are never taught to look beyond the moment.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:49 am |
  42. Kerric Hickman

    I think its a great idea. To me keeps the kids focused, look during the school year overtime you turn around they r out of school for this for that. And not only that it seems to me that in some areas or some states crime and violence between kids pick up during this summertime break. I think because of boredom..Yes I agree with the year around schooling...Thank-you and God bless...

    May 11, 2011 at 8:49 am |
  43. Larry Young

    This is a high school student. I go to school here at Ravenna High school, in Ravenna Ohio. Your question "should kids go to school all year long?" well I think that we should, just because we could leave school early in the day and possibly finishing school early. Just because we go all year long. I think it would be a really good idea for it, also it could get the students the education that they really do need, and they could become smarter, like all the other countries that are ahead of us in the education department.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:48 am |
  44. Jeanette

    Year round school won't improve how kids learn. False logic thinking that more time= more/ higher learning. Think more about how we teach kids and the way schools are funded. Some of these schools in America don't even have libraries! Kids need breaks and so do parents. What about family time, that's impt. too. I think all year school is pushed mostly by parents who work and want a place for their kids to be over the summer. There is more and more pressure on our kids, it can only get worse with breaks smaller and spread out throughout the year. Terrible idea!

    May 11, 2011 at 8:48 am |
  45. J S S

    Year round baby-sitting. Just what the kids need... NOT!!!

    What the parents need, maybe...

    May 11, 2011 at 8:48 am |
  46. Sal

    I don't think increasing the school year is a solution to problem. Any increase will give another excuse to local school boards and governments for increases in budgets and property taxes. The answer lies with increased involvements by parents, more interaction with teachers and less dependency on learning just from the internet.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:48 am |
  47. val

    well lets start with just simply going to school more...i mean every other week my son is out of school...teachers planning day...i mean what are they planning every other week or month?.....combined that with all the religious and national wonder why we are behind not only nationally but internationally...our children go to school less than any other country...and i dont need to research that!

    May 11, 2011 at 8:47 am |
  48. Emrah

    I guess increasing school days may help, but what would really help is attracting smart and talented people to teach at public schools and perhaps that can be done by increasing teacher salaries.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:47 am |
  49. Janet R

    Absolutely necessary for students to go to school year round. They lose too much information with such a long break. Go nine weeks, take three weeks off. It gives kids a break and it allows teachers wrap up time and prep time for the next session. We are no longer an agricultural society and they do not need the summer months off. My students didn't look forward to summer. It was safer in school than it was in their neighborhoods!

    May 11, 2011 at 8:46 am |
  50. dominick

    Yes year round school should be considered. Not only will it help maintain the learning longer but it will soak help cut down on kids getting involved in other activities that are not good for them and help keep kids on the right track.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:46 am |
  51. Kate

    I see the point of trying to make kids go to school year round, but the kids who don't graduate now, would probably be less inclined to stay in school.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:45 am |
  52. Mac Brake

    My high school class in a little Ohio River town in West Virginia–era 1953 to 1957–observed "summer vacation" from May 20 to the week after labor day. The class of 169 produced four engineers, two mathmeticians, two physicists (one educator, one industrialist), two clerics, several business persons, social workers, writers, bank employees, service personnel and successful farmers.

    I attribute that success to inspiration (faculty, business professionals as guest faculty, American ambitions in the Cold War); requirement ("no questions asked" school and parental insistence) and determination.

    We ENJOYED our vacations!

    May 11, 2011 at 8:38 am |
  53. Curtis

    Jennifer – competitive edge for what?

    USA has ALOT of people. Everyone cannot be scientist and doctors. However, I would bet you that our top 30% is the same, if not better, than any other country's top 30%.

    What's the point of making everyone highly educated? SO we could have MORE unemployment? Who would work at Mcdonalds and be custodians? Folks in Japan, who are extremely educated work behind mules. What's the point?

    p.s. the USA is one of hte few countries that actually test EVERYONE (even students with disabilities). That's going to drag test scores down BIG TIME..... But of course, nobody actually wants to mention the truth around here.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:34 am |
  54. Jennifer H.

    If it would help our kids gain a globally competitive edge then I'm all for. If it ends up being more of the same (low level learning, pass without a clue, junk for lunch and gym once a week) – Um, I'll have to vote no.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:27 am |
  55. Bob Thaler

    I am a college professor at Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan.

    A history lesson is needed here: Despite the popular lore, "summers off" did NOT develop due to farming and agriculture. Other than year-around daily chores, there was little need for the labor of children on farms during the summer months.

    In the 1800's rural schools had 2 semesters, one in summer (for girls and younger boys, taught by women teachers) and one in winter (for both boys and girls, taught by men teachers, who had to shovel snow, chop wood, and control the older boys–who only attended in winter). Rural schools had two 6-week breaks, one in spring (for planting), one in fall (for harvest). Older boys could find work in the summer months, in the sawmills, on roads, threshing crews on farms, etc-so they only attended school in winter..

    "Summers off" actually began in the growing cities. which in the mid-to-late 1800's were hot, dusty, smelly, extremely uncomfortable places to live in July and August. Cities had mostly dirt roads, few big trees, lots of horses (with manure, urine, horseflies), many buildings (which blocked cooling winds), hoards of insects, no electric fans or air-conditioning, little refrigeration, etc.

    Wealthy men, who could afford it, sent their families to summer homes outside the city, where life was cooler and more comfortable. These men worked in the city during the week, and joined their families in the countryside (or at the lake) on weekends. They were also in charge of the schools, and set the school calendar (September through June, with July-August off).

    In the late 1800's and early 1900's, rural districts began shifting to the increasingly dominant urban school pattern ("summers off"), and in the early 1900's cities began shifting from a 10-month school year to a 9-month school year.

    So while there are many reasons to either keep summers-off, or to change to year-round schooling, the origin of "summers off' was in the cities, NOT in the rural areas, and NOT due to the needs of agriculture.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:26 am |
  56. A S

    As a teacher and administrator, I have been in the business of educating America's youth for 10 years. My opinion is that we already provide school year-around. It's called summer school. We need this longer break to function as a catch-up time for students that may need additional assistance in order to pass a course. The suggested two to three week breaks would not allow this.

    Additionally, I believe that summer provides a time for families to spend time together. I realize that many, if not most, families have working parents. Yet, extending school days and extending school years only adds the the ever-increasing gulf between parents and children. Parents (even working-parents) please remember your children need you to spend time with them at home.

    When did the school system become a complete surrogate for the family??? As teachers, we always support and function in a parental role. But, the amount of school time that some have suggested is appropriate makes me wonder why some people became parents at all.

    Lastly, we cannot expect teachers to be available and working at their full potential for the duration of these LONG days and LONG years. There is no question that we would have to hire more staff to support these additional services. And yes, that means a huge increase in taxes. Not just the average increases that we all expect.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:25 am |
  57. propstm

    Summer break from school is as much a reprieve from classes for teachers as it is for students. Having grown up in a family where both my parents worked for the local school district, I could tell that by June both myself and my parents were worn out.

    By removing the summer break from the US education system you are removing time for summer camps and summer jobs which as noted in another comment is an equally important part of a student's life education.

    Why not instead of trying to remove student's break from education remove the antiquated and outdated material with more up to date material and include more curriculum to produce capable members of today's workforce. Apathy seems to be the greatest evil in today's education system. Teachers should work harder to keep students engaged in what they should be learning.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:19 am |
  58. Curtis

    To any of you saying,

    "School is the same amount of days so teachers would just get paid the same."

    You do know that when school is out, teachers are DONE planning and working and correcting papers? Done with calling parents and having meetings? That means teachers don't do NOTHING for 2 1/2 months but have summer jobs and go to college. Or even enjoy this time with their OWN family who they don't usually get to in the school year cause of long days.

    If you do year round school, teachers would have to continously be planning activities and correcting papers. And when would they take classes? How are you going to deal with teachers who's juggling tough night classes on top of teaching? What about those teachers who don't get paid much and use the summer to get a summer job?

    Boy..some of you people are ignorant. Of course you have to pay them more or you are going to see a decade long teacher strike.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:11 am |
  59. Kandy Eldred

    What has me tipping the boiling scale is that whenever there are cuts in education, it's the teachers & kids who get the brunt of it. I believe most people don't understand what's going on. The funding source tells the school systems "we're giving you less money", but it's the management who decides where the cuts take place. There is too much management in the school systems, and they sure aren't cutting their staff or their own pay checks. We need a neutral outside source who can regulate where the funds should go.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:03 am |
  60. .S. slchute

    Yes, for the benefit of the students and for working parents. It would also help to eliminate the funds that are needed by so many after school programs which are used to pick up the slack of working parents. And the school day should be extended to 4 or 5 pm.
    Even if the last hour is used for study time or homework, it would help the students. Once students leave school, especially with working parents, the after school time is used for TV or texting. It is a waste of their time and with so much instruction concentrating on technology, the extra time is needed for the basics.
    With a week off during the winter holidays, a week off for spring break,, and days off for snow or national hoidays, plus perhaps 2 weeks off for vacation in August, it is not necessary for students or teachers to have more time off. This is exactly what students don't need. Extending the school day year round would direct the students with a good use of their time and less idle time to get into trouble .

    May 11, 2011 at 7:57 am |
  61. Jason

    Look at the research. One reason that we have dropped is b/c of the idea of No Child Left Behind. While we are testing everyone and including them in our numbers, many other contries have already decided who is going into manual labor and who is on the path to higher education.

    So....what that means is some of the studies that come out are comparing our average performance versus their average performance of their brightest students. Not a real fair comparison. How could an average student compare to the brightest student in Singapore?

    May 11, 2011 at 7:55 am |
  62. Betty Bowden


    May 11, 2011 at 7:51 am |
  63. Lynn

    I think such a long summer break is an interruption in the learning process. Give students and teachers more breaks during the school year.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:49 am |
  64. Cathie

    Yes, school should be year round. Now there is winter break, spring break, there should be a summer break. 2-3weeks should be enough time off.
    I also think that the school day should be 8-5. And no homework. Get it all done, including art, music and fitness. Then the time at home would be "quality" time, no more hounding kids to do the work that should have been done in school.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:48 am |
    • Kate

      Summer break is a necessary thing in a kid's and parent's life. Kids need to be around their families and interact socially. Education is also important, but you need to have bonding time with your family.

      May 11, 2011 at 8:50 am |
  65. Ryan

    I think it is a phenomenal idea! I argued for this many times while I was in school myself! I hated how we had to spend at least a month essentially re-learning the important topics from the previous year before we could actually begin the school year. Sprinkle a few extended breaks throughout the school year and the children will be just fine. Teachers get more time to teach more material and students still get time off; sounds like a great deal to me.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:47 am |
  66. Jason

    Who gets 3 months off anymore. It's closer to 2 months when you do the math.

    The states can't afford to keep the schools open as it is. There is no way they can afford 2 more months. My shcool runs out of supplies in March/April for the school year. Paper towels, t.p. soap, etc.

    And teachers. Wouldn't they require more pay?

    As a teacher myself I work 14+ hours a day, sometimes more. During the summer it is required to finalize grades from the previous year, debief the school year in staff meetings, go back to college and take graduate hours so we can keep our teaching license, prepare for the upcoming school year(possible teaching a new class) and somehow purge the stress in our lives all in a matter of 8 weeks.

    I could use a day or two off to do something non-school related during the summer. We teachers have to have a day or two so we can hang on to our sanity.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:46 am |
  67. Catherine

    I'm a student who attended a year-round school when I lived in Calgary, AB, Canada. I loved it! It was structured so that students were in class for 12 weeks then had 4 weeks off. So, students do, in fact, get all their vacation time; its just spread throughout the year. Also, students still received 2 weeks off at Christmas and in the summer. And if you were the lucky group that had your 4 weeks around this time, it meant a 6 week vacation. I don't know many students that would argue with getting this much time off in the middle of a regular school year...

    May 11, 2011 at 7:45 am |
  68. Zack Khan

    Summer vacation shouldn't be eliminated but the length can certainly be reduced to no more than about 4 weeks. There should be another 4 weeks during winter from around Dec 15 to Jan 15. I'm sure attendance drops during this time period anyway due to people taking time off for Christmas – and lets not forget all the days school is closed anyway due to winter storms.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:44 am |
  69. Rusty

    I am so tired of people not wanting to pay more taxes, but don't want to loose any services. Our children are our greatest assets and we as a nation need to make sure they receive every opportunity. We are in competition with the rest of the world and if we don't change how we invest in our children, they will fall further behind and have a reduced standard of living.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:44 am |
  70. david rice

    School should be seen as a job; a full-time job. The US has fallen behind many other countries in the quality of academic performance of its students. Those countries that over-achieve have full-time education programs. Vacations from school can be distributed throughout the year – just like those of us who responsibly work. We need to not only teach academic subjects but, responsibility for one's life. The US needs to compete, therefore we need to change. Change is the only constant we know in life!

    May 11, 2011 at 7:43 am |
  71. Iris Carter

    The year-round moniker can be deceptive because people automatically assume children are getting more education which isn't always the case. Locally, year-round students get three-week breaks between four mini-mesters for a total attendance time equal to their traditional peers.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:43 am |
  72. Ana

    Honestly I don't believe making students go to school year round will help improve the level of education. Currently I am a sophomore in highschool, and personally If I wasn't aloud a summer break I wouldn't try as hard in school because I'd be so sick of it. If you want students to perform better hold them to higher standards, and hire better qualified teachers who actually enjoy what they do!

    May 11, 2011 at 7:41 am |
  73. Doug Mustard

    Other countries' children aren't outperforming US kids because they go to school LONGER. It is because their educational environment is BETTER. So let's not take what doesn't work, do it for longer, and expect any difference. That's like batting your head against a brick wall, but just for longer, and hoping things will change.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:41 am |
  74. Dave

    Firstly, the obvious answer is a resounding and loud YES!
    But it doesn't matter how long the kid is in an educational facility, they don't want to learn. They are too busy trying to be like gaga or heidi klum (meaning their values are not educational). I mean how much education does it take to wear meat on your head and "sing" or have people take pictures of you wearing a bikini...

    May 11, 2011 at 7:38 am |
  75. Amanda Hall

    Students who go to school year round attend school the same number of days as students who go to traditional school, 181 days. The increase in cost comes from having to run the airconditioning systems throughout the summer. Teachers work the same number of days, 200. Students receive two week breaks between graing periods and generally one month of in the summer, July. Some districts offer remediation classes during the two week break for students who had difficulty during the grading period. This would increase costs–teachers would need to be paid the additional days and buses would need to run to get studetns to class. Parents, though, would save money in day care costs.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:38 am |
  76. Christine

    I can tell most of the people commenting are not in the field of education. As a teacher, I know that students slip in reading and math by 10-20% over the summer. With year round school, most systems only add about a week or two to the school year; the breaks are just spread out into a longer spring break, a nice two week fall break, etc. Students get more out of each month of school when they have recently had a break. It would make the students and teachers more fresh and replenished for the time they have, and reduce the "summer slide-back."

    May 11, 2011 at 7:37 am |
  77. Scott Gomer

    The summer break from school dates back to the time when America was a much more agricultural society and students were needed to help on the family farm. There aren't many family farms anymore and students don't really need such a long break. I've lived and worked in other countries where there are longer breaks throughout the school year, but a much shorter summer break. Ask most teachers, and they'll tell you that the first few weeks of Fall classes are mainly wasted by going through a review of the things students "learned" back in the Spring.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:37 am |
  78. Michelle-AZ

    Children already have to grow up to fast for various reasons...whatever happened to letting kids just be kids?

    May 11, 2011 at 7:37 am |
  79. Arianne

    Why don't we tell children that if they don't do show up for school every day and do all their homework for the next two years, summers will be cancelled and school will be year round. I best our kids would move up in the world rankings!

    May 11, 2011 at 7:36 am |
  80. Jill Haun

    I have been a teacher for 20 years and I believe the students would be better off if they had school all year around. I am all for it.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:35 am |
  81. John

    Don't make kids go to school all year long. Kids need a break from constant scheduling and homework, to be kids.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:35 am |
  82. Chris

    It's not a bad idea, but who is going to pay to retrofit all of those schools that were short-sightedly built without air conditioning? Who is going to re-write all of those teacher contracts? Both are sure to necessitate a rise in taxes or significant cuts elsewhere. We can't just up and decide we'll send our kids to school year round.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:35 am |
  83. Monty Gaither

    It most certainly would improve the education of our children. So much is forgotten during the summer, except by those who go to summer school.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:35 am |
  84. fstop

    I think that kids should go to school year round, this would keep their minds sharp and probably give them more time off

    May 11, 2011 at 7:31 am |
  85. Tiffany

    I do believe we are living in the dark ages by continuing a school schedule that revolves around a farming concept that no longer exists. I do not feel that the summer vacation needs to be eradicated, it just needs to be reduced from 10 weeks off to perhaps 5 or 6 weeks off. Children forget so much knowledge over an extended break that the first marking period primarily becomes review of the prior year. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed summertime off as a child, but after the first week of August was bored because it was so hot outside. Taxpayers will not want taxes to go up so this may not pass until the US finally moves to a 4 day work/school week (if ever).

    May 11, 2011 at 7:19 am |
  86. Kathy

    Year round sessions with additionals breaks would help students continue the learning process. It has been said that the first couple of months of each new school year is basically a recap of what the children learned previously. Then at the end of the year they are cramming all the requirements in to finish. Having school continue throughout the summer with breaks should be looked at seriously.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:18 am |
  87. Robert Gochenour

    Yes Kids Should Go to School Year Round Back in The Day I Needed a High School Diploma to Get a Good Job Now Today you Need College!

    May 11, 2011 at 7:00 am |
  88. Doug

    Summer Break is a must. Most of the people that want to see it go away are looking for some body to raise and babysit their kids. you have to be an all in parent you can not do it half way. take your kids places, teach them new things , introduce them to the school of experience and life. You will bond with them, make them stronger and better people who will grow up and contribute to society.

    May 11, 2011 at 6:56 am |
  89. Helena

    Yes the school year needs to be reevaluated, and even though they all year round once you take away holidays and throw in a few breaks , your really notadding that many days to the school year. Education needs to become a priority I live in Al and lots of folks are upset their kids may have to make missed days due to power outages because it will interfere with vacation plans, no wonder we're losing the race

    May 11, 2011 at 6:54 am |
  90. Kimberly

    I went to a year round school as a young person and I can tell you that it DOES NOT WORK. This system opens the doors to overcrowding, overwhelmed teachers and the lack of materials to go around. The educational system, especially in inner-city schools, will be worse than what we're starting out with.

    May 11, 2011 at 6:50 am |
  91. Katrina Foster

    My daughter attends a magnet school and has been on honor roll every term for the pass three years and I would not want her to go to school year-round. For I am my child's first teacher and if we do our part as parents, schools will continue to enforce what we teach and our bonds will improve. As I watched the information on the Detroit Schools last night and children just sitting around waiting hours and sometimes weeks on teachers to teach then, that is not a good ideal. Real life issues like "Waiting for Superman" where again there are "some teachers" who don't care if our children get an education, not a good ideal. Can't remember the name, but I watched your information yesterday on the charter school up north possibly losing funds due to not enough white children being enrolled, what would happen to the children there? Not a good ideal. Has it worked in some places and schools, yes. As for my family, we enjoy spending our summers together and everyday is a learning experience.

    May 11, 2011 at 6:47 am |
  92. rdibble96

    children who are failing in subjects such as math,science should have to go year round (summer school). give them 2 weeks off, then back to work. eventually these students can achieve the same goals they wil surely need to compete in a growing global economy

    May 11, 2011 at 6:45 am |
  93. Natalie

    As a teacher myself, I realize that students need the mental down time as much as the teachers do. It is during winter and summer breaks that they do the most growing, both physically and academically. The classroom is not the only place to learn, in fact it is somewhat of an artificial environment where, often, applying what students learn in the classroom has to happen once they leave the classroom. Also, teachers sometimes use summer break to further their own education or get a summer job to supplement income since we are paid so poorly or have had to suffer cuts due to furlough days. Often this is the money that they then funnel into their classrooms to supplement not having enough paper towels and SOAP!!

    May 11, 2011 at 6:41 am |
  94. Marvetta Holland

    A friend of mine lost her 16 year old son after a car accident. Thank God for all those great summer breaks my friend enjoyed with her son.

    Summer breaks provide much needed family time. It gives a child a chance to get out of the text book and look around at the world for bit.
    School should not be conducted all year long. Students need a break, and teachers need a break too. Teachers have children too, and I am sure they would like some time and attention as well.

    May 11, 2011 at 6:38 am |
  95. len

    I agree with year round schools, if true education reform accompanies it and US schools return to learning centers not free babysitting services for working parents. Think of all the tax money we could save and put the kids in the work force sooner, if the public education time is reduced to 8 or 10 years like the 3-year degree you covered yesterday and as in last week's story "annual grades" are eliminated and kids progress without "annual" programs but based on skills and learning progress. A real opportunity for taxes burden savings. And more time for the kids to earn money to support our entitlement programs.

    May 11, 2011 at 6:36 am |
  96. Nick

    It's important to have a summer break filled with fun experiences, because without it, how would kids know the difference between work and play? I think it's similar to how we don't really know what pleasure is until we've felt pain.

    May 11, 2011 at 6:33 am |
  97. Steph

    If you seek to increase knowledge, year round school would be better because, a month on either end of the school year is lost. One month in the beggining teaching what was forgotten from spring, and one month finishing up for the year so every thing is completed. There are hidden costs / savings to think about: heating / cooling, repairs, deep cleaning, and employee costs. This may also help lower crime issues when students get bored in the summer.

    May 11, 2011 at 6:32 am |
  98. Mike

    This would obviously increase taxes. I think it's a bad idea.

    May 11, 2011 at 6:27 am |
  99. Christine

    If U.S. students go to school year-round, when will they have time for experiences such as summer camp and summer jobs? I learned so much from having had these experiences myself as a young person.

    May 11, 2011 at 6:21 am |
  100. ray

    I think if kids didn't have a summer break they would go crazy by middle school

    May 11, 2011 at 6:20 am |
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