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.Order now
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 YREclaim 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 tothe new calendar (Time to Learn).
Many of these studies, have been conducted by theNational Association for Year Round Education (NAYRE), a highly biased organization,whose consultants earn significant amounts of income by promotion YRE. RobertRosenfield, 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 study presented in the NAYRE review has either been incompletely characterized or otherwise contradicted by other studies within the same state or district. Nothing in the NAYRE review demonstrates any academic achievement gain by changing to a year-round calendar.” In a1993 .