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Essay by   •  October 29, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  1,081 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,521 Views

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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 you're doing is maximizing forgetting." It has also been proven that forgetting

and relearning are part of the learning process. Gaps in student's 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 isn't 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. Robert

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

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