Here we are, six weeks into the school year, and I feel as if my third grade daughter is just starting to suck up new information and get in a daily groove with homework without requiring me to engage in a two-hour battle. She’s a smart kid, but let’s face it: the first few weeks of school often amount to reminding children what they learned the previous year. I have privately wondered why students don’t go to school year-round, with longer breaks throughout the year. (It’s cheaper to travel off-season). As a working parent, this would be wonderful for scheduling. Scheduling a child’s summer with camps and babysitters and trades with friends and sickness and cancellations and… practically amounts to a second job, and an aggravating one at that. Turns out President Obama has the same thing on his mind.
The president raised the issue of a longer school year during a recent interview with the Today Show’s Matt Lauer.
“I think we should have a longer school year,” Obama said, noting that many of our country’s economic competitors keep their kids in school for an additional month per year. Obama said one month makes a big difference. He pointed out that the summer toll on student learning is worse for disadvantaged youth.
As a kid, I would have hit the streets to protest such a clearly adult-inspired notion as a shortened summer break. As a parent, I see things differently.
Read more in this Newsweek article. What do you think?
About our First Person series:
First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.