In recent years more and more American schools have adopted the year round learning calendar in an effort to boost student performance according to a 2014 congressional report more than 3 700 public schools in the United States had transitioned to a year round schedule as of 2011 Ryan Leaders of these school districts claim that the balanced calendar is superior in comparison to the widely used September to June model While summer break may seem like a cultural fixture that is ingrained in American society many claim that such a long break is detrimental to the education of students The year round school model should be adopted in American schools because it creates equality among students of different income levels it boosts overall student performance and its periodic breaks allow students to recharge regularly and return to school with a positive work oriented attitude One way the year round school model would benefit American schools is through leveling the educational playing field for all students regardless of economic status The income level of a student's family has a notable impact on their test scores after returning from summer vacation In a study done by Karl Alexander a sociologist with Johns Hopkins University upper class students in Baltimore saw a thirteen point improvement in their California Achievement Test reading scores from the end of first to the beginning of second grade while the average lower class student s score dropped almost four points Gladwell
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This wide gap in performance after a long break is largely due to a student s access to learning materials while a privileged student has access to books and most likely has a collection or small library at home a disadvantaged student lacks the proper resources to gain the same amount of exposure to reading This means that an upper class student gets to keep learning and expand their vocabulary during the summer break but a lower class student has fewer opportunities to do so which is reflected in post summer test scores Year round schooling would close this performance gap between poor and wealthy students because it includes many short breaks throughout the year instead of one long break These short vacation periods give low income students less time to fall behind and would allow them to perform at similar levels as their wealthier classmates This year round model would benefit American students because it would give all students an equal opportunity for academic success no matter their parents income level Additionally the year round school model promotes an increase in student performance In a 2000 study of California sixth grade students year round students were found to have higher scores in math reading and science than their peers in traditional schools Lyttle Since a significant amount of information needs to be retaught after returning from an extensive break students in traditional schools spend the first few weeks of the school year reviewing previously taught information In year round schools less time is spent reviewing because more information is retained due to shortened breaks so teachers can pick up right where they left off This means that while both schools may be in session for the same amount of time each school year students in year round schools can spend more time learning new concepts and gain a deeper understanding of new information Since year round students get more time to learn the same curriculum it is no surprise that they receive higher scores on identical tests than students in traditional schools who have to spend part of their class time reviewing information they have already learned
The implementation of the year round school model would boost student performance throughout the country because it allows educators to spend more time teaching new concepts rather than wasting time reviewing old information that is lost over the extensive summer break Another reason that year round school would benefit American schools is that regular breaks allow students to recharge and come back to school positive and ready to work The executive director of the National Association of Year Round Education David Hornak claims that the year round model gives students more chances to rest and refuel enabling a strong effort in the next leg of the race Ryan Many students take multiple Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate classes which are college level classes and give about the amount of work as the equivalent college class this heavy workload can exhaust the typical American high school student who is given very few breaks throughout the semester By the end of the semester students tend to be mentally bogged down and desperate for a break which can cause concentration and effort to falter Having a two to three week long break between each marking period allows students to have some time off to recharge and return to school refreshed with a positive mindset and ready to work These periodic breaks would benefit American schools by refreshing student concentration effort and positivity every few months and making schools a more positive learning environment not a place students associate with stress and excessive work for months on end Schools in the United States should adopt the year round calendar because it promotes grade equality amongst socioeconomically diverse students increases student performance and puts students in a better state of mind by giving them time off to recharge after each grading period Although it seems unlikely that people would be in favor of the long American summer coming to an end switching to a year round schedule is beneficial for everyone involved students teachers and working parents This change may seem drastic but it would be a step in the right direction for the American school system and help establish America's status as an educationally strong country
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