Is year-round school the answer?

A longer school year equals a better future

BIANCA GARCIA – Hoof Prints Staff

What are we really learning? As students, we go to school eight hours a day for 10 months. In those 10 months, are we learning everything to our full potential? The United States used to be ranked first in education, but now we are not even in the top 10. I think we could fix the situation if we extended the school year.

It’s simple. The school year will last the full 12 months and still remain the same with the eight hours a day. Even though this is a great idea, people still have to complain. Some may say the students need a vacation, or they wont be able to have a job or even they will not have time to spend with their family. Apparently they see past the fact that we are the future and it will depend on us to make this country a better place. With only a mediocre education, it won’t happen.

First of all, this will not affect a student’s time schedule. One still goes to school the same amount of hours they have before. So for the people who say “I can’t have a job if the school year is longer,” that is simply not true. If one maintained a job during school before, then they are still capable of doing the same with the changes. It’s not like the student will be going to school until seven in the evening. The student should not have a problem managing his time.

One of the consequences of going year around is not having a two month summer vacation. Before anyone starts saying, “I need a vacation from school,” just hear me out. Extending the school year will cause the students to have more vacations than previously. These vacations will be scattered evenly throughout the year, as short breaks. If one would think logically, they would realize that this is a great idea. Having short vacations  will cause a student to retain more knowledge. Our current summer break causes a student to lose up to a month’s worth of instruction.

Basically, extending the school year will help improve everyone’s education and the outcome of the future. I don’t think people understand how important our generation is to our country. We are the future leaders.  The baby boomers are retiring and leaving it in our hands. If our country wants to be on top, clearly the place to start is by educating our future leaders to our best ability.  By extending the school year, the students will be able to retain knowledge at a more advanced level. They will be able to learn more in depth information and increase their knowledge enormously. This will definitely help the U.S. regain its rightful place as a leader in education.

Longer school year spells disaster

AMBER ROLLAND – Hoof Prints Staff

President Obama has done it again. No, he hasn’t received another undeserved Nobel Peace Prize. He’s made another silly proposal: extend the school year by a month.

The first and foremost purpose of this proposal would be to increase the intelligence and education levels of students today. A secondary reason for extending the school year would be to eventually allow students to compete intellectually with more advanced students from countries such as China and India.

While I fully support a better education for everyone, this is a proposal I have to disagree with for several reasons. The effect that an extended school year would have on teens’ summer jobs, the economy and the attitudes of students and teachers alike is enough to suggest that this proposal is not the answer the United States needs.

The primary reason this proposal isn’t the best choice to increase intelligence in America is the fact that more seat time does not equate more learning. Just because the students are in school doesn’t mean they’re learning. Everyone knows how students tend to daydream or just not pay attention in class occasionally, and it will be even harder to concentrate during the summer, a time during which they were previously enjoying the leisurely activities associated with summer break. An extra month of going to school won’t give students enough new knowledge to make much of a difference.

As a student who has held a summer job the past two years, I strongly oppose anything that will get in the way of having a paycheck during the summer months. Usually teenagers who have jobs need the money or are working to save money for future use. If students weren’t available to work during the summer, it would mess up the current system of hiring student summer workers. Sure, employers could hire students during the two- and four-week breaks from school they would receive every nine weeks if that specific plan were to be adopted, but this would cause major changes in scheduling, profits, budgets and business plans.

Opening school doors for an extra four weeks is going to cost money. Teachers, custodians and other faculty would have to be paid, as would the utility bills. Extending the school year for all schools in our country even for a month would have a high price tag. With the state of our economy today, this cost is one our country can’t afford.

When people do the same thing over and over again, they eventually get sick of it. The same holds true for the way teachers and students feel about school. Some get tired of school during the first week. Extending the school year by a month would cause students and teachers alike to care less and less and not perform up to standard. Teachers will start to become lazy in teaching, and students will start to slack off in their work.

Obviously, extending the school year isn’t the most viable solution to the education problems in America. Perhaps we should begin by weeding out the teachers who don’t take their job seriously before we take more drastic measures. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. And certainly don’t cripple our nation by sending us even deeper into debt to keep school doors open unnecessarily for an extra month.