By the time students reach the 6thgrade they have lost two years of cumulative schooling and it only gets worseas they get older.
Students who attend traditionally scheduled school yearshave suffered significantly from brain drain. Brain drain is a term for havinglost the previous year’s skills due to the long summer break. In most everyschools the first six weeks of the new school year is review of the previousyear. If public school systems transitioned to a year-round schedule, therewould be a verity of benefits. These benefits include higher teacher incomes,since they are working more, greater educational opportunities, and of course,lower levels of student brain drain. Eachyear students lose 2.6 months of the previous year’s math and 2 months of theprevious year’s reading.
While these losses get recovered throughout thefollowing year the amount of time spent recovering the lost data is outrageous.Students who suffered from severe brain drain can have a hard time retainingthe new information because they are constantly having to go back over the work.Math is where most of the losses exist because as students get older the mathgets more difficult. Some parents do notsee math as an essential skill outside the classroom, so they do notproactively keep their child’s brain from losing the information. This is thenumber one cause for brain drain according to gse.harvard.
edu. Reading is thenext area of study to take a big hit. Students do not lose the ability to read,but their reading comprehension and fluency decreases. This is due to the lackof reading over the long break.
Now this is not the case for all students.Students preforming in the upper quartile did not show signs of lowered readingskills in a study conducted by Reading Rockets, they actually showed signs ofslight improvement. Unfortunately, they higher performing students only make upa small percentage of an average student body. The average students showed adecrease in their reading abilities but they were minor in this study. Now,that is not the same for every school as each school has a different studentmake-up. Where the significant loss occurred was in the students performing inthe lower quartile. These students lost a large amount of their previous year’steachings. In total, by a student’s 6th grade year, they has lost anaverage of 2 cumulative years of skills.
This is holding students back. BecauseEnglish and math are built upon each year, if a student loses too much of thatskill they could be misplaced. Children could be held back or put into a remedialclass that they do not belong in, all because they hit that summer slump. Alongside the lowered brain drain,there are many other benefits to year-round school not all pertaining to the students.Teachers benefit greatly from year-round teaching. They are more capable ofhelping students one-on-one because they have less students at any given timedue to the staggered breaks.
They also make more money because they are workingmore hours throughout the year so their income increases. The staggered breaksystem works like this: certain group of students goes on break at a different timethan another given group. This keeps the teachers busy and the schoolfacilities are constantly in use. This means the school gets used to its full potentialand saves resources that are used to maintain the school over the long breaks.The most common form of school scheduling is a 45-15 plan. Students attendschool for 45 school days before going on a 15 day vacation.
This givesstudents the refresher they need so they do not become school zombies. Thisalso keeps the school less crowded and calmer. Due to the shorter, more frequentbreaks, the students come back refreshed instead of being mentally over loaded.Retention rates notably increased with this new form of scheduling. If studentsare not losing the information they learned, than more time can go towardteaching students more intricate concepts instead of reviewing old ones.The national government has noauthority to implement a year-round school law but the states do under the 10thAmendment. If the state feels its people are best served by a year-round schoolsystem, it has the jurisdiction to do so. The 10th Amendment reads, “The powersnot delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it tothe States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
“This means that since the U.S. government has no authority over education. The statesdo, giving them the power to structure their public schools however they want.In a state where the economy is struggling, year-round school could be a bigbenefit to working families by reducing their daycare costs. Under the 14thAmendment every child must have equal access to education so a year-roundschool system with equal access to all children could be a huge economicbenefit to the people. Students in the traditional schoolsystem, not homeschooling, would highly from changing to a year-round school schedule.
Students would retain more of their learned skills, so teachers would not haveto spend as much time reviewing. Teacher incomes would increase and the schoolresources would get used to the max. Although year-round schooling does notseem like a very appealing idea to current students, but the long term effectswould be useful and appreciated. It opens more opportunities to those who wouldnot have had the chance otherwise.