Aug 11, 2012

ARTICLE: Longer Year

Efforts to Lengthen School Year Have Critics, Supporters

With all due respect to the author, I hate that title.

Eating Bananas Has Critics, Supporters
The Ending of Lost Has Critics, Supporters
Parachute Pants Had Critics, Supporters

Okay, I've had my fun. Now, I'm going to start with the last sentence.

"It helps neither side that the research on the effect of the longer school year on student achievement has been largely mixed."

So, the supporters argue that extra time will help bridge the achievement gap, slightly minimizing the time away from school. That seems reasonable. The critics, including teachers' unions, argue that more time will increase academic stress and burden. That seems silly. Come on, it's only a couple of weeks. Don't you think that kids are about ready to come back anyway. 

As a teacher, I'll argue that the summer break is necessary. We have to recharge. I'm not in love with the idea of a longer school year. But, if they tacked on a couple of weeks, I wouldn't throw a fit. I would be more interested in spreading the school year over 365 days, with two-week breaks here and there. I think that would benefit teachers and students.

That's a great idea. Let's go with that.

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