Many studies have shown students lose a good amount of what they learn in the typical nine-month school year over their three-month summer vacation. That three months has been a huge detriment to their retention, and causes a goodly amount of time to get back to where they were before their summer break.
That is one reason why many schools across the county are moving to year-round schooling. If you do not know, in year-round schools, they never have a break of more than six weeks.
I just read an article that originated from the Associated Press telling of a pilot program in five states and forty schools that will extend the school year by six hundred hours. According to the article, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee will take part in the initiative, which is intended to boost student achievement and make U.S. schools more competitive on a global level.
You may read the article from USATODAY.com by clicking here. I could not find the original article on the Associated Press's website.
I believe this is a good step towards catching up with much of the rest of the developed world. The United States has continuously been falling backwards in our ranking for many of the education benchmarks which we have historically led the world. This pilot program will only last three years and then evaluated.
I am guessing we are going to see marked increases in these schools' results.
Of course, there are detractors to the idea and believe it is not the way to go because countries like India and China have shorter school years and are getting better results. Is it a question of quantity versus quality? Is it a question of prioritization? I am anxious to see what the results will be with their students with severe disabilities, all their students with special needs for that matter, low-income students and all of the round students that do not fit in the square holes.
Something needs to be done to get all our schools educating as many of our young people to the highest degree we possibly can. I certainly do not have the answers.
As always, I look forward to your comments.