The Greatest Struggle: Vacation VS Education This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

October 22, 2009
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Oh, the misguided, overexcited hand of government falls once again, this time on the overworked, glassy-eyed American high school student, who trudges through the school year, waiting for the moment when the fetid, festering pile of standardized tests that will determine their future can be graded, leaving them two months to recuperate before the year begins once again. A survey that I gave to my fellow classmates shows that 95% of students would prefer to keep the current school year, as opposed to joining Obama’s year round plan.

Despite this and other arguments, the fact that Indian and Chinese schools are producing more doctors and scientists than we are, causes us to lose jobs; Obama has recognized this threat to our economy, and has decided that we should have the same sort of education as China and India. He believes that by imposing a 12 month school year, we could catch up in terms of jobs, and stimulate the economy.

Even if students could be assured that a relaxed, fascinating learning environment could be established within a 12 month calendar, how would high school students participate in one of the most worthwhile, inspiring and educational experiences presently available to them: the summer internship? Whether it be an internship with a lab, or a film crew, these internships all take place over the summer break from school. Now one might say that students could take on internships all year, and that would be true, but no year-long internship can match the rate at which a student learns or the total concentration and relaxed focus the student can achieve while working in a summer internship program. Another problem facing the plan is that those kids who have to work summer jobs to support their family will have to drop out of school. As a fact, the 12 month school year intended to help America’s economic status will most likely begin to hurt our professional futures.

In a survey conducted on over 30 high school students and 30 college students, all reported that the reason they like their current schedules, is that they are able to do summer internships and programs. Another universally accepted truth amongst the participants was their disdain for the fact that if school is forced to close, then the schools will be forced to open on Saturdays or vacation days due to the lack of a longer summer break.

When I included a teacher in the survey (Mr. V., of Roslyn High School), the ideas drastically changed. When asked about the schedule, he replied “I think that the idea can be positive if an alternative curriculum, encouraging social abilities, abstract testing, and alternative subjects will be introduced.” However, his attitude changed once again when asked about the possibility of school being able to open on Saturdays or on vacation days… “I don’t mind giving up my Saturdays, but I would not break up my vacation plans. Most kids would not be in school, so it would only be beneficial to a small group. This definitely dampens my view of the proposed schedule”

Are there really any advantages to a 12 month school year? It looks like most students agree. They all scream “No!!”

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This article has 158 comments. Post your own now!

Tellitlikeitis said...
May 3, 2010 at 9:13 pm
Excellent article! No one I know wants to be in a high school classroom in the summer. Does the gov. actually know what goes on in classrooms, and how it takes the teacher at least 15 minutes of the period to stop people from talking and acting out? Who needs more of that in the sumemr?
Thinker replied...
May 17, 2010 at 12:25 pm
Likewise!  Action must be taken.
Oberon said...
May 2, 2010 at 11:56 am
Please write one about unnecessary AP exams! Those are about as hot a topic as your summer school issue. Both are an unnecessary inconvenience in our lives as students.
Sick&Tired replied...
May 2, 2010 at 11:58 am
Yes, can you imagine the situation of not only having to be in school in the summer, but also walking straight into a 5 AP class year? Do schools not know yet that the Ivies and many other top colleges don't let you use the credits from all those years of APs? We are forced to work like dogs and pay and pay and pay for tests and then we get nothing back in college. Whose idea was this anyway? The college board's? The colleges? The high school admins?
Thinker replied...
May 17, 2010 at 12:26 pm
Unfourtunately the teachers and administrators(generaly) only care about money, not their students.
gonefishing said...
May 2, 2010 at 11:51 am
I'm so worried about this question. I am a sophmore who needs to take the next two summers and do internships for college. What woudl I do if I couldn't work at a lab in the summer? I'm a science major and these days top colleges won't even look at you if you haven't worked in your field. Isn't that sick?
SaveusfromGov replied...
May 2, 2010 at 11:54 am
Yep. What's sicker is that we have to worry about one of our few freedoms as students being taken away. We're crushed with homework, forced to take AP classes that absolutely have no bearing on our preparation in most colleges, and now we have to worry about our summers.
abey2012 replied...
Nov. 9, 2010 at 8:43 pm
You are not forced to take AP classes you chose to take them.
Itsnevertoolate said...
Apr. 29, 2010 at 5:39 pm
We should all be discussing the important topic in this article much more on a schoolwide basis. You know that we're going to wake up one day and learn that the law has been handed down already and we're all going to be fored to attend summer school. Keep your ears open everyone.
Sarahsays said...
Apr. 25, 2010 at 12:55 am
Okay, I love this article because it not only puts the problem of possible gov. regulation of school right in front of us, along with the very real possibility of being forced to attend school in the sumemr, but it scoffs at the idea that more school time is the answer to making more scientists in our country. What nonsense that is! I have two sisters in Ivy League schools who both went in pre-med and by the end of freshmen year, they had had it. Forced into a stressful, unrelenting core curricu... (more »)
nalitababy said...
Apr. 18, 2010 at 9:02 pm
Highschool students already have enough stress with the schedule now and summer is the only time they have that they dont really worry about tests or homework due the next day and stuff like that
milllahtimee said...
Apr. 17, 2010 at 9:15 pm
this is so dumb. i dont know about other schools but my school is insane. i live in a small town so everyone knows everything. there are constantly rumors going around about sex, drugs, ect. and the days i get off from school are a blessing. i understand that indian and chinese people are becoming scientist and doctors, but who said you have to be a scientist or a doctor to be smart and make a living. personally i have never liked obama. and this extending school idea really made me hate him mor... (more »)
asdfhaha said...
Apr. 16, 2010 at 8:58 pm
congratulations on making an irrelevant point tom. please show me some more crucial gramatical errors that need fixing
Thomasinatellsit said...
Apr. 4, 2010 at 12:23 am
Agreed! There's stress all through high school and stress in college, and often summer courses and internships necessary in college. Why woudl we want to give up the most serene times of our lives?
NOWAY said...
Apr. 4, 2010 at 12:21 am
No summer school! We have enough to deal with all year without worrying about stress during the summer months. The gov. better not move in this direction!
voiceit! said...
Mar. 19, 2010 at 12:15 am
I can't imagine any student willing to go along with summer school if there's a choice in the matter. The great thing about America is that we actually get a say, if we're vocal enough, in changing major policy like this, so let's hope it doesn't come to that.
Govt.takeover replied...
Mar. 19, 2010 at 12:17 am
I don't know about us having all that much of a voice in our govt. anymore, but I can only hope that because this president is so overwhelmed with healthcare and making enemies in the Middle East, he'll forget about school for awhile and leave us alone.
sickofgov. replied...
Mar. 29, 2010 at 12:03 pm
I don't know about this idea of the govt. leaving us alone for a while. They got healthcare passed and CNN has been featuring a lot of education stories, so things are bound to change for hte worst shortly. Everytime a bureaucrat tries to change our educational system, there's trouble.
Carletontellsitall said...
Mar. 17, 2010 at 7:59 am
Okay, here's an example of why this is a good article: I am sleepwalking through classes today because I have AP American, AP Bio and AP Psych exams today, along with an English exam on Friday. You want to even imagine the kind of week I've had! Ridiculous. We need summers just to decompress from this garbage of exams.
timeisflying said...
Mar. 14, 2010 at 4:23 pm
Excellent article. Most high school students I know feel this way...especially those of us in junior and senior year. The first thing on our minds is how to get that job or internship we need for college, not "Gee, I'd love to spend another two months in a classroom."
Le B. said...
Mar. 10, 2010 at 7:38 am
My idea is that if there is a twelve month school year than each vacation, whether it be Christmas, Spring Break, Thanksgiving, or Februray break, they will all be 2-3 weeks probably with another vacation during the SUmmer so this is fine with me cuz we get longer vacations but we get to retain all of teh knowledge.
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