Opinions on Extended School Year
Feb 2, 2011 Other 2121 Views
The majority of us have grown up and gone to school on the traditional schedule of starting in the beginning of September to the beginning of June. But as of recent anyone with kids or nieces or nephews have noticed that normal school schedules has been extended to later in the summer, as well as starting earlier. There are some school districts that currently have no summer vacation, but rather multiple vacations of perhaps two weeks or so spread throughout the year. In addition to the schedule changes concerning the days school is attended, some school systems have also made the hours in school longer.
Now personally I am somewhat divided on these current changes that are occurring. Firstly the most important concern is doing what is going to get our children the most educated and ready to enter into adult life. Almost everyone who works knows that, unfortunately, we don't get two and a half month summer vacations. And those that push for these extended hours and days of schooling cite that as major factor. In addition many other countries are beginning to outperform testing metrics of children in the US. Most of these countries that are ahead in these numbers do have longer school schedules and hours. And I am a firm believer that to have a prosperous and successful community and nation you need a well educated and driven new generation in line to take the reins from previous generations.
Now this being said I've heard those that are against it, and their reasons do make sense and I can agree with the points that they make. One of the fundamental ones is the phrase, "let kids be kids". There are many studies that are published and released that I have heard, that state many of the youth in this country are being overly stressed from the current school system. A large part of that coming from the fact of the multitude of extra-curricular activities offered now and the importance of maintaining an excellent school record. And in many cases parents do push their children to participate in these programs perhaps too hard. By making schooling and learning in general a stressful and negative experience it results in children no longer having the want to learn and grown and expand themselves. A completely opposite result from what the proponents of longer school schedules are expecting to gain.
As far as what should be done or should not be done I have to reiterate that whats best for our children's development, education and preparedness for adulthood is paramount. I would support a longer schools schedule at least in high school levels if the extra curricular activities were not as excessively pushed on students. I do think some involvement is important as a social, and depending on the activity, physical fitness reinforcement. But it is imperative to make sure that we have students coming out of our school system that are hungry to learn and achieve great things. One last thing I'd like to say is regardless of school schedule length or the hours our children attend, the most critically important resources are family and parents. No amount of hours in school can produce the next generation this country and world needs without supportive and caring parents that are involved with their children's education.
Feel free to comment on this post as well as continuing this discussion with myself and others in the forums under Social Issues. I have posted a topic labeled "Opinions on Extended School Schedule" for this purpose.