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The Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of School

The Christian Science Monitor has a great article about how summer vacation for students (and teachers) is being truncated by many states and local systems. Naturally, one of the primary reasons for shortening the break is the desire to pack in more preparation time for the increasingly important spring standardized testing ritual. But a better reason is that the three month school summer vacation is an anachronism of our culture which needs to be eliminated altogether.

Actually, the long summer break is just one part of the whole structure of schools in this country that needs to change. But the process of closing down and then starting up schools is an especially large waste of time, energy and money. More than that, however, I think it also sends a message to society that learning must exist only in one year blocks instead of being a continuing process, one that moves at a different pace for each person. In addition, revising the school calendar would be an important first step in any genuine reform of public education (as opposed to the artificial stuff we’ve been getting).

Of course, I’m writing this from Virginia where state law (the Kings Dominion law) says we can’t start school before Labor Day. Better to keep that cheap labor working at the resorts and amusement parks rather than working on their futures.

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1 Comment

  1. Benjee

    Personally, I love the summer break as it is. The school year is very stressful for teachers and students alike, the summer is a time for them to take a break, or even go on a vacation with their families. Surely you can’t be against family time. And the stress of longer school years or year-round school years can be unhealthy too. And the summer vacation also provides extra time for students to take summer courses that they aren’t able to fit into their scheduals during the school year.
    Students are also able to get “summer jobs” to earn money so they can actually go to college and really continue their education. During the regular school year, students are often too busy focusing on their grades to get a job. I don’t think parents want to, or even could pay for their childrens college on their own, especially if they have several kids.

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