Resolved: Year Round School Is Good
Debate Rounds (5)
2nd round-opening arguments
3rd round-cross examination questions+answering them
Year round school- A school calendar that exchanges a longer summer vacation for several shorter breaks at different times in order to reduce the need for extra review.
The first six states to implement year-round school were Illinois, Ohio, New York, Michigan, and also Washington D.C. Now, there are forty-six states, but states are constantly dropping out, and only about 5-10 states have a majority of schools year round. Lots of school districts have tried, but it just didn"t work out for them. There are many reasons why.
Year round school is bad because there are higher costs for a school to stay open year round compared with only about nine months. Since the school is open longer, many people such as administrative staff and custodial staff get paid more and other costs such as AC or heater costs will be bigger. Other costs include maintenance and transportation costs. All of these costs together can increase the total cost of running a school by up to ten percent.
Year round school has a negative effect on families. First of all, parents who need childcare after school have to ask for babysitting at an irregular interval. For example, in a traditional school year, parents can just ask for a babysitter the whole year. But with year round school, parents have to find a babysitter for these seven weeks, then these nine weeks, then these eight weeks, etc, which will make it harder and more frustrating. Second of all, high school students will not be able to take summer jobs because of the shortened summer break, usually just a month. Youth summer camps will also be affected. Lastly, year round school can mess up sports schedules. It is hard to organize sports when you have a break every three or four weeks.
Year round school is disruptive to kids and teachers. For example, if kids are studying for a test, then all of a sudden comes a three week break, teachers will most likely need to review more after the break because most kids will forget some of what they learned. Also, it can be hard for some students to have nine weeks of school, then have a three week break, then nine more weeks of school, then another three week break, etc. It disrupts the learning flow for some kids. Moreover, teachers will have to do extra work in packing up everything in the classroom every nine weeks and then setting it back up three weeks later.
Students will forget information whenever you give them a break, no matter if it is a three week break or a twelve week break. Therefore, teachers will have to review material after every three week break. Since there are four long breaks in a year round school, compared to only one long break in an traditional schooling system, there will four times as much review! Students will learn less because of the extra time spent reviewing forgotten material.
Some schools thought that year round school would help academically. Some scientists hypothesized that since the summer break was shorter, the students forgot less over the break and so students would do better in school. However, a recent study from Duke University showed that there is no academic difference between kids that attend year round school and kids that attend traditional school.
Other schools are on a year-round school system because the school is small and they can"t teach so many kids at once. If that is the case, the school uses a multi-track system, where 3-5 sets of students go to school at different times. But all the students get the same 180 days of school. The disadvantage of this is that if two siblings are on different tracks, then scheduling babysitting would be much harder than it is already with single-track year round school. You would have to schedule babysitting for almost the whole year, instead of just 180 days. Also, if your friend is in Track A and you are in Track B, you will only get to see your friend a couple times each year.
In conclusion, year round school is bad, even though it has some benefits such as being able to teach more students. However, as mentioned before, there are many disadvantages that outweigh the benefits. Lastly, I would much rather enjoy time in the sun playing outside in the long summer break with my friends than be stuck inside hiding from the cold for the short breaks that occur in October and January. It is much more fun out in the sun!
School districts, faced with a growing and diverse student population are switching to year round schools. According to a Congressional Research Paper complied by Rebecca R Skinner in 2014, the trend towards year round school is growing. In 1985 there were 410 year round public schools in the USA, serving roughly 350,000 students. Today, that number has risen to 3, 059 (at the time of publication) schools serving over 2.2 million students in 45 states. There has been a 27% rise in year round schools since 2007.
The time the student spends in school is roughly 180 days, given the traditional track or a year round track. Therefore amount of class time is not considered in determining whether a school district adopts the year round approach. The biggest consideration for most districts appear to be student retention and cost analysis.
1) Student retention:
Students forget things. They always gave and always will but how much is the real question. Today classes are not just teaching reading, wringing and arithmetic as they were when our agrarian scheduled based schools sprang up. Today, students, depending upon their grade level, may be learning advanced physics, trigonometry, engineering, code writing, a plethora of languages etc. Students in the lower grades are just laying the foundation of reading, writing, science, culture, history and of course, socialization by spending time with similar age peers. During a traditional year, many students forget vast amounts of what they have learned. Teachers often report that it takes the first month back to ascertain what each student has remembered or forgotten. Tests, quizzes and instruction on previously learned material, takes up several weeks of the new year. A year round calendar provides shorter breaks, allowing children to rest and recharge their batteries, it also allows the children to retain more information they have learned. Certainly we remember things better after a 3 week break than a 3 month break. In addition, the increase in special education students (autism, for instance, is growing at an alarming rate) and ESL students are better helped with year around school. It has often been postulated that low income students also benefit more from year round school year, again due to more retention.
2) Cost Analysis
The financial aspects of year round school vary widely. Schools with many students have found using multiple track year round schools are cost effective because the buildings are used more efficiently and new facilities do not need to be constructed, saving the district money in building expenditures.
Remedial programs can be offered during the 3 week breaks, if absolutely necessary, which assist the district financially in that "extended school year" (special needs sessions, ESL sessions, "lagging behind" students) does not have to be offered and the school staffed and maintained for small groups of students.
3) Family difficulties
Some families say the year round school prevents family vacations. First, according to the American Travel Association and a Skift survey conducted in 2014, 62% of Americans take no family vacation at all. 31% say they cannot afford it. Only 15% of Americans state they take an extended summer vacation. That is a very small percentage. In addition, on a year round schedule, it is likely that all or part of a 3 week break will occur during the summer months, allowing a family that would take a 7-10 day vacation, the opportunity to do so. Yes, it is more fun in the sun and children will be able to experience it after school or on break. However, it must be stated that even during summer months, children tend to stay indoors playing video games, watching television or chatting with friends on iPhones or iPads. Even during vacation, many children will prefer video games over camping or the beach so exposure to sun during summer months seems nearly irrelevant.
Scheduling for families in year round schools can and should be considered by the district so siblings can be in the same tract, to facilitate families running smoothly. It may take more work at an administrative level but is certainly more than possible.
Babysitting or child care is fairly straight forward in traditional school year districts. Families find summer programs and the child is enrolled for the duration of the summer. That is a business that arose from user demand. If user demand changes (the child only needs supervision 3 weeks at a time, every 9 weeks), the demand will be met by enterprising child care businesses.
Sports can continue during the 3 week hiatus. Many traditional schools currently begin football and/or track and field training during the summer months. There would be little difference.
Friends on different tracks can be seen after school and new friends can be made on the track the student is on. While friends are important, education has to be the focus of the district, not friendships.
In conclusion, while research has been done on year round vs traditional school years, the results are inconclusive and most research lacks methodological rigor. We are therefore left to listen to the advantages and disadvantages put forth by districts who have tried it, refuse to try it or are currently using it. The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) in North Carolina is an example of a district that has tried tracks and still use a track system. They have found the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. As a school that has gone from traditional to year round school and learned what works through implementation, they are worthy of a rigorous study but in the meantime we can glean information from students, teachers, parents, administrators who are experiencing it and many think the track system of year round school takes some getting used to but is, in the long run, worth it.
debatemaster163 forfeited this round.
Research indicates that summer learning loss is a real problem for students"especially for economically disadvantaged students. In one study, Alexander, Entwisle, and Olson (2007) found that low-income students made similar achievement gains to other students during the school year; the widening of the achievement gap between the two groups occurred over the summer. Another study found that summer learning loss is more pronounced for math facts, spelling, and other academic material that is concrete rather than conceptual (Cooper, Nye, Charlton, Lindsay & Greathouse, 1996).
Unfortunately, research is inconclusive on whether year-round schooling is an effective solution to this problem. Two major meta-analyses of studies on year-round schooling have shown that the findings are mixed and that many studies suffer from weak research designs or methodology"for example, failing to account for family socioeconomic level or parental education. However, both of these meta-analyse, Worthen and Zsiray (1994) and Cooper, Valentine, Charlton, and Melson (2003, did find support for the following conclusions:
1) Students in year-round schools do as well or slightly better in terms of academic achievement than students in traditional schools.
2) Year-round education may be particularly beneficial for students from low-income families.
Students, parents, and teachers who participate in a year-round school tend to have positive attitudes about the experience.
The research also indicates that when year-round schooling has resulted in higher academic achievement, the schools in question are usually doing more than just rearranging the school calendar. These schools are also providing remediation and enrichment for students during the breaks so that students have opportunities to re-learn material, practice skills, catch up, or experience nonacademic enrichment activities continuously throughout the year (McMillen, 2001). This may well be because of the districts desire to "try anything" to improve the educational opportunities of students.
As common core, increased immigration into some school districts and an increase of ESL students in many districts, make more demands on students, teachers and districts....it may well be that more districts will try year round school.
debatemaster163 forfeited this round.
debatemaster163 forfeited this round.
Year round school appears to be a concept who's time has come. American society has evolved from its agrarian roots and systems based upon a now archaic way of life need to evolve as well.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to debate this topic.
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