Letter to the Editor

Year-round school is a bad idea

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

To the editor:

There is no evidence that children benefit academically from year-round school. Standardized test scores show no significant impact, and numerous studies on how much students forget over a break show that most of what they forget, they forget over the first two or three weeks of a break. This means they'll forget as much or more over several 15 day breaks as they will over one summer vacation. And then there's the increased number of first and last days of school when no real teaching is typically taking place.

It's also interesting to note that 95 percent (about 675) of the schools that have tried year-round schooling since 1980 have changed back to a traditional schedule. Year-round school has a long and well-documented history of failure.

The parks and recreation departments would suffer, as would Scouts, summer camps and other alternative learning opportunities that thrive in the summer months.

The biggest argument against year-round schooling is the absurd notion that children do not learn when they are not in a structured school setting. It's simply a different kind, but equally valuable (and more valuable, according to some) type of learning that is not tested. Probably every one in this district remembers more about what they learned on their summer vacations or all summer long than what they learned in school. I know I did, and I don't think I'm unusual in that regard.

Children who know how to play don't get bored. Let them play.

KELLY ARNN, Cape Girardeau