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Less time reviewing pre-vacation material than teachers in traditional schools did, the
actual achievement differences were insignificant on tests designed specifically to
measure district objectives (Glass, Gene V). According to Don Patterson, a member of
the Albuquerque, New Mexico School Board that tried and rejected year round
schooling, Short term memory loss is very acute. Studies show that the only discernible
summer loss occurs in the first two to three weeks. So, by introducing all these multiple
breaks, all youre doing is maximizing forgetting. It has also been proven that forgetting
and relearning are part of the learning process. Gaps in students learning begin with loss
of context retention in the subject area, which begins within 24-48 hours, unless the new
information is reinforced or applied immediately.

After a month without reinforcement,
about 80% of what a student has learned is recently lost. Research indicates what we
retain depends on student motivation and teacher-effectiveness and isnt limited to a time
factor (Time to Learn). It is quite obvious that YRE does not improve the learning
process, as those who support YRE claim. Supporters of the year round school system
believe there are many benefits in the program for students and teachers. Advocates of
YRE say families have greater flexibility in planning vacations that often cost less.
Parents that support YRE feel that the shorter, more frequent vacations allowed students
to remain focused and enthusiastic (Prisoners of Time). Angie Maniscalco, a 5th grade
student at Fairmount Elementary in St. Louis, says, Kids should go to school nine weeks
and be off three because, kids get bored in the summer.

They get sick of swimming every
single day going skating or basically doing anything. I go to school for nine weeks, then
get off three (Should Schools). Supporters also believe parents who are working outside
the home can take advantage of year-round care for their children. Teachers that support
the idea of YRE feel that the more frequent breaks reduce burnout, and that the frequent
breaks during the school year enable teachers to visit and learn from other programs and
other teachers (Prisoners of Time). Those against YRE have different views about what
year-round schooling will do for the students and the teachers. In year round schools,
middle, elementary and high school students often have different schedules. While
vacationing in the off-season may work well, when children are on different schedules,
vacations can be more of a problem.

YRE can certainly disrupt family life. With different
ages of students, vacations are difficult to schedule. For example, children on
non-traditional schedules may miss out on Boy Scout Camp, because their summer
vacation falls in the month of August and the activity is programmed for July. School
activities can suffer as well. One study found that band, chorus, drama, and student
government were particularly hit hard (Never Ending School). While there may be some
benefits to YRE, it is obvious that there are many situations where the year round
calendar will cause confusion in the lives of those involved. Perhaps the most debated
issue in YRE is that of the achievement scores. Supporters of YRE claim that student
performance in year round schools is much greater.

They believe that year round schools
will yield higher achievement scores that traditional schools. Many advocates for YRE
claim there are studies by the National Association for Year Round Education that report
that year round schools have a very positive impact on student grades. Although
supporters boast high achievement scores on tests, and higher student grades, those
against YRE disagree (Year Round Education: Is). Critics of YRE say there is no
evidence for higher academic gains under YRE as compared to traditional schools.
Studies and test scores repeatedly show little improvement by students in year round
schools. When test scores do increase, many educators hesitate to attribute increases to
the new calendar (Time to Learn). Many of these studies, have been conducted by the
National Association for Year Round Education (NAYRE), a highly biased organization,
whose consultants earn significant amounts of income by promotion YRE.

Rosenfield, a systems analyst from Potomac, Maryland, was so concerned at what he
considered to be misrepresented data by the NAYRE that he analyzed a substantial
number of YRE evaluations in a 1994 paper. He concluded, Each study presented in the
NAYRE review has either been incompletely characterized, or otherwise contradicted by
other studies within the same state or district. Nothing in the NAYRE review
demonstrates any academic achievement gain by changing to a year-round calendar. In a
1993 Resnik study of Oakland Unified School District, California, concluded, Students
at year-round schools show on average a lower academic achievement level than those at
other schools, and their achievement has decreased for the period, while it increased for
schools in the regular calendar.

Overall, as you can see, there is little difference in
student achievement between year-round and traditional calendars (Year Round
Education: Is). As evidence has shown, year round education will not improve the
education of our children. YRE will cost more money for schools. YRE will not promote
continuous learning. YRE wont create benefits for students and teachers, but will create
chaos in the lives of the people around them. Achievement scores in schools with YRE
will not increase, but in fact, in some cases, get worse. A few spoken views on YRE say
it best. Sheila Duty Gibson says, Many students show that year-round schools do not
improve education.

Changing the days students attend school does not address what
many believe are the real problems in education such as a lack of parental involvement,
teacher development, effective teaching methods and curriculum. An anonymous
editorial in a North Carolina newspaper says, Its time to face the truth. The year-round
schedule is a personal preference, not the answer to our educational problems.
Year-round school doesnt work for everyone. Executive Editor of Elizabethton Star in
Tennessee, said it well when he said, Summertime offers our youngsters an extended
time to experience life in such a way that will never again be afforded. If we are going to
do anything with respect to school scheduling, we should extend the summer vacation to
Labor Day (Time to Learn).

Works Cited Burgoyne, Becky. Backgrounder: The Never Ending School: Year Round
Education. 12 March 2000. Endless Summer? Not for Children in Year-Round School;
Education: Prompted by overcrowding or by belief in its effectiveness, more and more
school districts are shifting to a 12-month calendar, The. Electric Library. 15 March
2000. Glass, Gene V. 7 March 2000. Inger, Morton. Year Round Education: A Strategy
for Overcrowded Schools. 12 March 2000. The National Association for Year-Round
Education page. 12 March 2000. Naylor, Charlie Year Round Education:Is it worth the
Hassle? 7 March 2000. Prisoners of Time page. 7 March 2000. Should kids go to
school year round? Electric Library. 15 March 2000. Should School Be Held Year
Round? Electric Library. 15 March 2000. Time to Learn page. 16 Feb 2000.

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