For decades, the traditional system of schooling has been followed in schools all over the United States. The traditional system uses nine of the twelve months of the year to teach students, and leaves the remaining three to be used as summer vacation for students and teachers. In contrast to the traditional system, year-round education (abbreviated as YRE) is a system that focuses on readjusting the entire year in a way that will lessen the amount of information lost during the traditional three-month long summer vacation and increase the amount of uninterrupted learning by spreading out the summer vacation over the course of twelve months (NAYRE). Year-round education may also be referred to as extended-year education or year-long schooling (ERIC thesaurus). Just because the words "year-round" appear in the name of this alternative program, "year-round education does not mean holding school 365 days a year" (Bailey, 1992). While the goals of YRE are valid, there is still much controversy and debate concerning this method of schooling. Many believe students will benefit from YRE, but there are still others who do not acknowledge any difference in learning for students in YRE schools and traditional school students. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the system of year-round education and its advantages and disadvantages.
History of Year-Round Education
According to a timeline found on the National Associate for Year-Round Education website, the history of year-round education begins in the early twentieth century. The idea of year-round education surfaced in 1904 in Indiana. A school in the city of Bluffton became a leader in year-round schooling. During the decades from ...
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...e Washington Post Op-Ed. Retrieved November 23, 2002 from Lexis-Nexis database.
Delaney writes about how Fairfax county was debating about year-round education. He provides a list of various advantages of year-round education, some of them being cost savings and information retention, especially for students who are academically challenged.
Ritzel, R. J. (2002, March 7). Year-round schools win few friends; Reidenbaugh parents split on further debates. Intelligencer Journal, A1. Retrieved December 2, 2002 from Lexis-Nexis database.
This article from a Pennsylvania newspaper focuses on various opinions concerning year-round schools. Many students say they enjoy year-round education, but other parents feel their children are losing out from learning that takes place during the summer. Ritzel examines the views of both sides of year-round education.
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