Year Round Education Essay

1957 words - 8 pages

Imagine a child, on a hot summer day… no baseball, no swimming, no picnics or amusement park rides. Instead of spending time doing all of the things kids like to during summer vacations, this child, is attending school. Year round education (YRE) has been around since 1904, with 3,000 schools and 2 million students currently using the program (National Association). Students in year round schools go to school the same 180 days that traditional schools attend. In YRE, the summer vacation is eliminated, replacing it with shorter, more frequent breaks. There is a number of ways the year round school can operate, including: 90/30, 45/15, and 60/20. The most popular of these calendars is the ...view middle of the document...

However, those against YRE feel that expenses will only be reduced temporarily. According to a “Year Round Education Study” conducted by the Lewisville, Texas Independent School District, “Findings of a year-long study concluded that there is no financial benefit to operating a Single Track System. The system would cause a modest increase in operational expenses without providing any instructional benefits” (Time to Learn). In Iowa, the Carroll School Board found that the costs of the district moving to a year round education system could range from $16,786 to $32,412. Taylor Elementary School, in Cedar Rapids, spends more money according to the classroom teachers that any other elementary school. Schools in Davenport reported that the switch to YRE will cost an additional $36,000 in salaries, $3000 per year for equipment, and supplies, and $22,300 as a one time expense for teacher training. Plus, the move to YRE would also cost the district an extra $92,626 to fully air condition the school building. In Des Moines, Moulten schools spend about $80,000 annually for year round schooling. If YRE were implemented, Indianola school districts would spend an additional $3,655 for middle school and $5,000 for elementary school to pay for the additional secretarial, administrative, and custodial time during the summer (Time to Learn). Costs will not only be incurred with the schools, but also with the state and with taxpayers. Cost savings for one of these groups may create cost increases for the other (Naylor, Charlie). Contrary to what supporters of YRE claim, there are definitely extra costs to implementing and maintaining a year round education system. Supporters of YRE say that year round schools would promote continuous learning. The belief is that students forget a lot of what they learn while on long summer vacations. This is seen more in slower learning students and for those who know English as their second language. It is also thought that because students retain more when the learning process is interrupted for only short periods of time, teachers in year round schools need to spend less time reviewing pre-vacation material (Inger, Morton). Although this seems true, opponents believe that there is research that needs to be addressed. Mary Lee Smith and Gene V. Glass have done extensive research in year round schools since 1974. In a study conducted by Smith and Glass, in a school district in Colorado, the learning loss in the students was evaluated. They found that although teachers in year round schools spent less time reviewing pre-vacation material than teachers in traditional schools did, the actual achievement differences were insignificant on tests designed specifically to measure district objectives (Glass, Gene V). According to Don Patterson, a member of the Albuquerque, New Mexico School Board that tried and rejected year round schooling, “Short term memory loss is very acute. Studies show that the only discernible summer loss occurs...

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