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

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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!!”

Join the Discussion

This article has 158 comments. Post your own!

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.
AugustineB replied...
Mar. 10, 2010 at 9:59 am :
The problem with this thinking is that gov. administration is already talking about adding numbers of days to school--they're not talking about giving us more days during vacation as a compensation for lengthening our year.
politicalanimal replied...
Mar. 10, 2010 at 10:04 am :
Something you both are leaving out is the problem this kind of longer school year will have on parents who work. In the summer, we're set up to do summer trips, internships, jobs, etc. Our parents know that they can count on us being in a certain place all day. How can parents who work full time deal with us being out of school for two weeks at a time every couple of months? That would be a very stressful situation for most families in this nation, not to mention in this economy. The articl... (more »)
ThomasEdit replied...
Mar. 10, 2010 at 10:11 am :
Once again, I express to LeB that this is a magazine comment page, and when you write, it ought to be with proper spelling (this is not AIM) and grammar. If you are very young, maybe try bringing your comments to your English teacher before adding them to the list on Teen Ink. It will make you feel better to see that you've put up a well written post, and your post will be respected, as are the others.
Le B. replied...
Mar. 11, 2010 at 4:23 pm :
Sorry i didn't know i was not allowed to use AIM talk. Also, my first comment was actually a joke by my friend who wrote it while i was out of the room so don't hold that against me.
ThomasEdit replied...
Mar. 13, 2010 at 2:03 pm :
No problem.
magic-esi This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 15, 2010 at 1:41 pm :
Actually, many people on this site use much worse grammar- practically illegible. I'm so used to it I barely noticed the IM-speak. 
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JoshuaTree said...
Mar. 8, 2010 at 10:48 am:
Yes, I add my "no" to the rest of the students who refuse to go to school in the summer for the same amount of learning the get during the school year.
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JeeLahhDuhh said...
Mar. 4, 2010 at 7:25 am:
Although I somewhat (not really) agree with the argument presented in this article, I disagree more than I agree. Why should we, as students, BE FORCED TO ATTEND SCHOOL for 12 months a year? Not only is it pure and honest torture, but I will cause a decrease in attendance. Students look forward to summer vacation, and without it, their incentive to work hard will decrease.
Alanknowsbest replied...
Mar. 4, 2010 at 9:39 am :
Jeelahhduhh, it sounds to me like you totally agree with the position of this article! Most high school students would! Why would we want to continue learning the same way all year. There are many ways to learn and things to discover in the summer, and they sure can't be found in a classroom.
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Tamra2012 said...
Mar. 2, 2010 at 7:33 pm:
This is a great issue and an equally excellent article. We don't speak about the issue of 12 month a year school at school, which is scary because it means things are being decided behind closed doors for us. We need to keep our eyes open as kids.
Cartercares replied...
Mar. 2, 2010 at 7:38 pm :
Great article! We have to make our voices heard about this issue before it becomes a reality.
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Katherine2010 said...
Mar. 2, 2010 at 9:03 am:
Le B., you probably haven't yet had the incredible learning experience of a summer internship, or a job. Those are parts of your education as well. If you'd like to continue learning in the summer, you certainly can at college programs. Most of us wind up taking classes in junior and senior year anyway, just to get a taste of that experience. You sound very young...give yourself a chance to experience some other things.
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Le B. said...
Mar. 2, 2010 at 7:56 am:
I dont appreciate your article. Kids should always get an education. As being a kid i want to learn all of the time so i say let there be school over the summer. P.S. get a haircut
Thomasedit replied...
Mar. 2, 2010 at 1:48 pm :
Firstly, it's important for the comments on this site to be written with proper grammar, so please check what you have written and see if you can find the errors. Secondly, as a critic of a writer's work on this site, you should have constructive comments or share opinions that will foment further discussion. Now, it appears that you are very young, but even so, what makes you think that saying something as immature as "get a haircut" would make you be taken seriously on this... (more »)
Markgrad replied...
Mar. 2, 2010 at 7:36 pm :
Whoa, your opinion sure doesn't mathc the opinion of the rest of high school students. Are you even in high school? If so, you should know that there are many different ways to learn. Learning only from the classroom or textbook is actually deleterious to your education. might want to rethink your position.
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i<3steven! said...
Feb. 26, 2010 at 4:04 pm:
I NEED MY SUMMER!!!! I need to be able to get a summer job so i can try to raise money so i can go to college!!!
austinispissed replied...
Feb. 26, 2010 at 4:09 pm :
I agree, I agree, I agree! This is one of the most pressing issues of the day for kids our age. First we have a pseudo-depression, and then they expect us to pay for college by going to school all year? What kind of bull is that?
i<3steven! replied...
Feb. 26, 2010 at 4:11 pm :
i have no idea but if they do that.........i will enroll into a private scholl where everyone takes vacations all the time anyways
raiseavoice replied...
Feb. 26, 2010 at 11:58 pm :
Obviously we all get pretty hot about this topic. The President would have to be very out of touch to even think about pissing off high school students in a year when he's not doing too well anyway. Don't you think?
i<3steven! replied...
Mar. 1, 2010 at 3:44 pm :
i do think so, i hope that he comes to his senses and decides not to do this
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