They are arguments also posed by those who sincerely believe calendar change will result in better education outcomes. Imagine the reading and math skills that would be put to use and strengthened by a child applying them to a subject he or she loves, such as photography, computers, sports, science, cooking, arts, dancing, martial arts, etc. Such an approach would provide choice and flexibility for families and teachers in scheduling summertime vacation and learning opportunities.
Such an approach could also answer childcare and child nutrition needs and provide for low-income children the kind of summer enrichment experiences attributed to the educational advantage peers from higher income homes have upon return to school after a long summer break.
Beneath the veneer of arguments for a year-round calendar is a certain business sector that sees profit potential in privatizing public schools.
Some of the richest people in the United States currently are investors in what very well may be a prototype for the for-profit privatized school system of the future in which high school labor is conscripted to business under the guise of providing workforce readiness. Wages paid students in those hard-to-fill, high-turnover grunt work jobs go toward private school tuition costs, the balance paid by parents or scholarships. A year-round school calendar can ensure those jobs are filled year-round by student laborers.
What impact forced high school student labor might have in further suppressing U. Imagine a privatized high school system where in order to get a diploma students must work to pay tuition or take out loans that put them or their parents in debt for a lifetime.
Imagine those loans being bundled and sold on Wall Street as a financial investment, much the way bundled home mortgages were sold in recent years that ultimately led to a Wall Street meltdown. Financial instruments for charter schools, the precursor toward a privatized system, are currently being packaged and sold by the hedge fund industry. No surprise that hedge fund interests are a driving force behind charter schools, including the much touted KIPP schools.
Though KIPP schools require a longer school day and school year, they have a mixed bag of academic outcomes for all the extra classroom time. I worked my heart out to get you elected!! I still believe you are a good man with good intentions. That approach has been tried and failed for more than years.
This website provides a portion of the research I have collected since Please reverse your support for this idea, as you did recently on having veterans get health care from private insurance. Our veterans deserve better and so do children and families. Please save our summers. March 11, To: President Barack Obama and his education advisors.
I would be honored to send the President and his advisors a page paper I presented to the Florida Political Science Association in , when then-Gov. Jeb Bush was threatening year-round school. The paper outlines the failed history of school calendar change as an education reform approach.
Whoever is advising the President on calendar change as a school reform approach has failed to do the homework. It is an idea that has been tried and failed for more than years. The website get thousands of hits each week. In fact, a year-round calendar is more like the agrarian calendar, according to scholarly studies of school calendars, which I discuss in my paper. I also point out the high costs for school districts in utility costs to air condition buildingsno small item in this age of unpredictable energy costs.
Four years ago, I had to shelve the book I was writing on this subject to care for various family members who took ill. Sadly, I now have time to finish the book because on December 22, I lost my husband of 41 years, who was also a longtime journalist and a dedicated Democrat. What disgusts me most in this study of the year-round school calendar is federal funds designated for school improvement have been tapped by a clever cabal of consultants who have literally raked in millions over the last decade selling this idea to school districts.
Opposing school calendar change, on the other hand, is a costly enterprise. It costs me hundreds of dollars every year to maintain my website. I am not a consultant, just a concerned citizen. I fear this issue could be something of an Achilles Heel for President Obama. Families draw the line in their support for school administrators and politicians when they try to steal the best months of the year for family time and learning experiences outside school walls.
None of his advisors could possibly have spent as much time as I have examining this issue. Please restore my confidence by at least requesting in a reply to this note that I e-mail you a copy of my research paper and by spending some time looking at some of my research posted at www. I would also be happy to e-mail some of the chapters from my forthcoming book. This Web site was launched in June It is updated with new information as time allows. This is a valuable tool in conveying quickly the fallacy of school calendar change.
The information and research provided on these pages are offered as a public service by a journalist who has researched and monitored this issue for more than a decade. A great loss for those of us fighting to save summer is the passing of Debbie Smith of Orlando, who lost her long-fought battle with cancer Oct.
When school districts impose calendar reforms that shrink summer vacation they rob children of learning experiences that are critical to healthy development.
Over the last three decades, calendar changes have been slipped into many communities with little or no discussion, often through incremental changes each year that push school start dates into mid-summer. But mounting evidence against year-round school and its education detriments is forcing policy-makers to back away from school calendar change. This may explain the aggressive tone by a school calendar change agent in a speech at the annual convention Feb.
The NAYRE board member advises end-justifies-the-means approaches to force communities on a year-round calendar, including bait-and-switch tactics and pounding opponents hard.
See the speech and commentary at: John Hodge Jones, recommends little children attend school on shifts, like factory workers, in an interview with a Tennessee newspaper. Curiously, Tennessee has been slow to adopt a calendar Jones has pushed, as has another prominent politician from that state, former Gov. Lamar Alexander, who as U.
Secretary of Education for President Bush 41 promoted school calendar change. But Tennessee residents have fiercely resisted, the latest opposition December coming from the Nashville area. Williamson County parents opposed to the "balanced calendar" have launched an excellent website that is a good guide for other opposition groups. California, which has been a barometer state for education trends and has led the nation in year-round school experiments, is returning to the traditional school calendar as quickly as possible.
Year-round school experiments were part of school reforms recommended by his father, President Bush 41 , resulting in a wave of calendar experiments in the s, which were also supported by Lamar Alexander, his education secretary.
Multitrack calendars were recommended by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in to address a voter mandate for class-size reduction. Year-round school was conspicuously absent from the Democratic Party Platform. The platform encouraged more experiments with schools of choice, charter schools and year-round schools.
While charter schools and school choice remained in the platform, year-round school was dropped. A recent study by the Nevada Department of Education found children at year-round schools scored lower on high-stakes tests. Restructuring Schools to complement a Changing Economy. Restructuring Schools to complement a changing economy. A Winter issue of a newsletter by NAYRE, the year-round school advocacy group, notes that incremental moves of many school districts to earlier school start dates that shrink summer vacation to as few as 9 weeks are precursors of schools headed toward a year-round calendar.
And in this day and age of unstable oil prices, the extra costs of cooling classrooms in the dog days of summer significantly impacts school budgets. For a summary of the settlement see: Editorial Sacramento Bee http: For a report on the detrimental economic impact of calendar change in one state see: Also see a new report from the University of South Carolina. Noteworthy For a good article on the importance of summer family activities on school achievement and performance see: Link was on the list as of Feb.
Is it because damage year-round school does to public education results in parents placing children in private schools or charter schools? Board members of the Education Industry Association are heavy with those who hope to profit by dismantling public education and privatizing it. There are serious education consequences of school calendar change. It recommended the Los Angeles Unified School District investigate to see if the year-round calendar is to blame for low scores, as many principals suggested.
Put to the test, school calendar change fails a remedy for improving education. Click on Extended Year. The thing year-round school promoters fear the most is people getting the facts about its track record. They even recommend holding small informational meetings that will limit exposure to the detriments and dangers.
It was the worst thing we ever did. An organizational system which supports total quality Education. Political strategies to gain public support for and to implement the year-round school concept were discussed at length by the year-round school "renaissance" writers of the s as well as year-round school leaders in the s. In fact, a 6-page article in the page fall quarterly newsletter of the National Association For Year-round Education, focused on the political strategy.
The article, "Making it Happen: Making it happen; How to handle the politics of year-round education. McDaniel, as year-round school leaders before him, attempts to dismiss opposition to school calendar change as a simple matter of resistance to change. McDaniel outlines an point strategy for the smooth implementation of year-round school that might be interpreted this way: Emphasize, instead that "it is an instructional schedule that provides opportunities for continuous learning that can benefit students.
They provide funding for organizations that produce reports in favor of school calendar tinkering. For an instructive read on the role of the Business Round Table in school reforms damaging to families and children read: Corporations increase profits by working employees longer and harder because they avoid paying benefit packages of new hires. American corporations already demand a longer work year and workweek than any of its industrial competitors. A mean of The workweek of the average salaried American working 20 hours or more jumped from 43 to 47 hours between and The numbers of those who put in 50 hours jumped from 24 to 37 percent between and Could it be that year-round school is an incremental move toward longer workweeks for all Americans?
For insight on how the business sector uses political leaders to move the school calendar change agenda read "The Year-Round Mess" at: His proposal ignores the preponderance of evidence presented in the Williams v. Also see Flawed Studies. After years of calendar experiments in this nation, there should be reams of good data to show year-round school is academically beneficial. Gene Glass, education researcher at Arizona State University, has this to say about the research in a January report on education reform policies: Those that do claim advantages, however, stem disproportionately from an advocacy organization that has grown up around this issue: The findings in the North Carolina study, the largest and most credible comparison of the effects of calendar change to date, cast doubt on the value of spending money for year-round school "intersessions.
But the test scores show that spending more money for more classroom seat time with more of the same kind of instruction clearly is not the way to improve education. Studies show there was a high rate of failure for those Chicago children forced to go to summer school again after repeating the same grade a second time. Such discouraging figures prompted a re-examination of policies on both early school start dates and retention policies.
When children fall behind they need immediate assistance. Better intervention investments are after-school programs, special pullout sessions during the school day or week or even Saturday classes.
So what is the answer to better schools? Hutto test scores have improved or remained stable since , when the Texas school district shifted funds and focus to teacher training, new instructional methods and efficiency of classroom operations. What research studies repeatedly find is that in education, quality is the key to making time matter. In other words, educators must-to the greatest extent possible-make every hour count.
Of equal concern to communities looking at switching to a year-round calendar are health and safety issues for their children. The swelling numbers of latchkey kids created by a year-round calendar also pose additional health and safety hazards for children. The year-round calendar with its frequent breaks creates serious child care problems for working parents. It swells the numbers of children left at home alone. Unsupervised time is the breeding ground for juvenile crime, drug experimentation and teenage pregnancy.
There are even lessons to be learned from coping with boredom. Gerald Bracey, a columnist who reviews education research for Kappan Magazine, provides perspective on the important role family life and summer activities play in school performance. The researchers, Karl Alexander, Doris Entwisle and Linda Olson of the Johns Hopkins University, are quick to point out that what poor kids need is not necessarily more school: They also took swimming, dance, and music lessons; visited local parks, museums, science centers and zoos; and more often went to the library in summer.
So is the year-round school calendar. All things considered, the traditional school calendar works best for America because: Balboni Memorial Scholarship John F. Gillette Scholarship The Richard E. Ruggles Journalist Scholarship William J.
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