Over the past decade countries around the world including South Korea and Finland have ranked higher than the United States in math and sciences. According to the International Comparison of Math, Reading, and Science Skills Among 15 year olds, Finland has a mean performance ranking of 1-4 in math and a 1-3 rank for science. South Korea a close second to Finland has a mean performance of 2-3 in the category of math and 2-4 in science, while the United States has a significantly lower mean performance of just 25-28 in mathematics and in science a raking of 20-27 (International Comparison, 2003). Do the numbers suggest that year round schooling be implemented to increase the United States retention rate? For several decades, Congress has been interested in year-round schooling for several decades. The House of Representatives General Subcommittee on Education held a hearing on the year-round concept in 1972. Since then, numerous bills have been introduced in support of year-round schooling and the idea behind it. Public schools largely operate on the standard 180 days per year. According to the National Education Association, “the most popular form of year round education is the 45-15 plan where students attend school for 45 days and then get three week (15 days) off” (“Research Spotlight on Year-Round Education”). There are numerous types of schedules that year round schools run on, but the most common factor is that students have several short vacations throughout the year, rather than one three-month summer break. Year-round schooling has existed since the early 1900’s. From the mid-1980’s to the 2000’s, year-round schooling has showed substantial growth. “In 1985, there were 410 year-round public schools, serving about 350,000 students. By 2000, the number of year-round public schools had grown to 3,059 schools, serving almost 2.2 million students in 45 states” (Skinner, 2014). According to Year-Round Schools: In Brief, during 2011-2012 school year the highest concentration of schools operating on a year-round calendar was in the South (40.5%), followed by the West (24.3%), and in both the Northeast and Midwest (16.2%). Suprisingly, the majority of schools operating on a year-round calendar cycle are traditional public schools (3,300) compared to charter schools (400). “In terms of school level, over half (57%, 2,100 schools) of all schools operating on a year-round calendar cycle are elementary schools, 900 are secondary schools, and 600 are combined” (Skinner, 2014). Of the states in the U.S. who incorporate year-round schooling, California, Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, and Georgia all participate in non-traditional schooling.
Possible educational benefits of an YRE (year round education) would facilitate continuous student learning. Due to the long summer break, many students forget what they have learned during their time in the school. Shorter vacations cause teachers to focus less on reviewing learned material and more time educating their students on new curriculum. Participating in year-round schedules might reduce absences due to the frequently incorporated breaks for students and teachers, giving both the student and teacher time to recover and recuperate. However, others may feel that the seemingly endless cycle of year-round schooling may overwhelm students and make it difficult to focus upon returning from the short breaks given. Administrators as well, may experience burnout particularly principals who manage the building that is now occupied 12 months of the year. Instead of changing school calendars, parent involvement and effective teaching should be incorporated into traditional schools. Another educational benefit of an YRE is possible academic achievement. YRE schedules gives scholars more access to tutoring due to the increased attention given on subjects particularly in economically disadvantaged students. Using a modified…