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< Back to question Should the U.S. mandate year-round education? Show more Show less

Year-round school in the U.S is neither a new concept nor an unusual one. Traditional school calendars and year-round schedules both provide students with about 180 days in the classroom. But instead of taking off much of the summertime, year-round school programs take a series of shorter breaks throughout the year. Should this model be mandated by the government?

Yes, the U.S should have year-round education Show more Show less

As of 2017, nearly 4,000 public schools in the U.S. follow a year-round schedule—around 10 percent of the nation's students.
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Year-round schooling will bridge the achievement gap for minority students and students with disabilities

Minority students, students who speak English as a second language, economically disadvantaged students, and students with disabilities are the most affected by the summer fallback.
education inequality
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The Argument

Studies have found that disadvantaged students lose about 27 percent more of their learning gains in the summer months than their peers.[1] Researcher Daniel O’Brien claims that minority students progress their learning proficiency the fastest during the school year when compared to white and economically advantaged students. Furthermore, Anna Habash of Education Trust, a non-profit that works with schools to better serve their student populations, says that for minorities a year-round school schedule does more than help academically. In an interview with Education News, Habash claims that schools with high numbers of poverty and minority students benefit greatly from year-round schooling because it keeps students “on task” and leads to more “meaningful instruction” when there are not a lot of academically sound options at home.[2] Minorities also drop-out of high school at rates that are higher than their white counterparts. According to Jessica Washington of Politic365, the solution is year-round schooling. She reports that the national dropout rate is 5 percent, while the dropout rate for year-round school students is just 2 percent.[3] The reasons dropout rates are lower in year-round setups are because students have less time to adjust to time off from school and, in the case of high schoolers, they have less time to work. While this inability for teenagers to work and make money in the summer has been cited as a pitfall of year-round schooling, the disadvantages of this are short-lived. High school graduates earn $11,000 more per year than those with a G.E.D. or less, and that number rises to $36,000 more with a bachelor’s degree. Giving up a few summers of minimum wage work in exchange for the higher lifetime earnings a high school diploma affords is a small price to pay.

Counter arguments

Year-round schooling doesn’t help students who have difficulty with attention. Some students find extended hours in the classroom difficult. Whether the reason for their inability to concentrate is due to disability or they are just not developmentally ready for studying for long periods of time, the main point is that they are likely not learning much. The main reason for extending time in the classroom is to learn more, but for those with difficulty focusing, that’s just counterproductive. This also may lead to behavioral issues in the classroom, which is something that educators want to avoid.

Premises

[P1] Year-long schooling helps close the achievement gap for minority students.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Year-round schooling is not beneficial for all students.

References

  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2019/07/16/summer-learning-loss-is-long-standing-belief-education-is-it-real/
  2. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/education_futures/2014/07/year-.html
  3. https://www.theedadvocate.org/year-round-schooling-how-it-would-help-minority-students/

This page was last edited on Wednesday, 15 Apr 2020 at 15:48 UTC

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