Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

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

Custom User Avatar
More by this author

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!

nervous2010 said...
Feb. 23, 2010 at 12:16 am:
Has there been more noise in government lately suggesting that this removal of summer break could happen this year? Anybody been listening?
 
i<3steven! replied...
Feb. 26, 2010 at 4:05 pm :
i have been listening and i think that taking away summer vacay is bull!!!!!!!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
roughrider2011 said...
Feb. 21, 2010 at 11:27 pm:
Why don't we just call it as we see it? None of us want to be in school during the summer. We all work hard and are involved in dozens of activities all during the school year, and whether it's getting a job, focusing on an internship, or just taking a trip, the summer is an important stretch of time for high school students.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
govchicago said...
Feb. 11, 2010 at 11:35 am:
One of the best things about this article is the amount of lively and thoughtful discussion it has brought about. Apparently none of want our summer experiences taken away. Imagine if we all signed a petition and sent it to the government.
 
Coreycan replied...
Feb. 11, 2010 at 11:38 am :
Agreed. Can you imagine school on Saturdays as well? That's next, you know. The gov. will decide that East Asian kids learn more in non-stop yearly school...and believe me, if it weren't for religious observance, we'd be going to school on Sundays too.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
rightbehindyou61 said...
Feb. 7, 2010 at 1:30 pm:
The first and foremost thing we need to do as a country is get more jobs and a better economy, which will hopefully lead to a reduced national debt. However, Obama is being a hypocrite because his proposed budget is larger than the government's income, which will just hurt our economy in years to come, yet he wants us to be in school for more time to bring jobs over here. And I thought that we didn't want to be Communists like China is? So why would we treat our nation in the same man... (more »)
 
fightfortheright replied...
Feb. 8, 2010 at 9:43 pm :
When the government is trying to regulate not only our education through state exams, but our free time to expand as people, be creative, have real job experience, and just have fun, then it's time to change the guys in charge. Boy did we get shafter.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
partylover#1 said...
Jan. 27, 2010 at 7:30 am:
Well if obama doesnt make it an all around school year im becoming amish and gonna start homeschooling again
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
garrethjersey said...
Jan. 26, 2010 at 8:45 am:
Oh yeah, just what every high school student needs...a complete year with honors and AP classes, and no summer to decompress in. That would change the entire collective personality of the American teenager.
 
thesaint replied...
Jan. 26, 2010 at 8:46 am :
Yeah, the idea must be to turn us into a bunch of communist worker bees who have no creativity, and just work, work, work and do as we're told until we drop dead. Great idea, Mr. President.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
jeffmass said...
Jan. 15, 2010 at 7:18 pm:
Yeah, he has a cool way of writing. It's very colorful. I'd like to see more, but he hasn't written in a while. I'd like to see an article in the form of one, long rant by this author.
 
demoralized replied...
Jan. 16, 2010 at 8:07 am :
Write one for us on another touchy subject, being forced to take every AP class the school offers. That's what's getting us all sick. The colleges and high schools are in cahoots and they keep pushing us to do this. Why isn't it enough to take one or two to see how we'll do in college, and take Honors courses instead. They are plenty difficult. We're in high school, for crying out loud, not college. If they want us in college, let us out to go early. Nobody's allowe... (more »)
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
mandym11 said...
Jan. 12, 2010 at 6:33 pm:
No one has spoken about the really fresh, clever voice of this writer. Love the first paragraph. I'd like to see some of our English teachers put together something that biting and smart. Way to go on the point about needing summer as well. We all have our reasons for wanting to retain our summer break, the main point is that we don't want the hand of government taking it away...they're not going through our school year and our stresses.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
colbywest said...
Jan. 5, 2010 at 10:53 am:
I've got to answer janecek. Frankly, I find this information very representative of a large portion of high school students where I come from. We live in a very competitive and high ranking school system, and, unfortunately, play and fun are only part of our summer experiences by the time we get to high school. We're all looking for the best internships and experiences to present ourselves well to colleges. Sorry, jmjanecek, but this is how it is in many places.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
jmjanecek said...
Jan. 3, 2010 at 2:37 pm:
So you asked 30 high school and 30 college students and every single one said the reason they like summer vacation is so they can participate in internships? I'm going to go ahead and assume that this was not a random selection of students because out of about 500 of each that I've talked to most recently, maybe 5 would say the same thing... summer vacation = play time, first and foremost. Secondary, perhaps, is the opportunity to work, intern, earn money, etc. but you might want to ma... (more »)
 
amy'seye replied...
Jan. 5, 2010 at 10:56 am :
Gee, Janecek, you must live in an awfully well-to-do community if the first thing kids care about is "play time" when they're in high school. Most of us look forward to making some money in the summer and being able to pay for our play time and nights out...can't do that during the school year because we're all studying so much.
 
jmjanecek replied...
Jan. 5, 2010 at 11:05 am :
Not at all, just normal.
 
realworld101 replied...
Jan. 9, 2010 at 10:17 pm :
I've got to tell you, I could ask 100 of my sister's Ivy League college friends/acquaintances and get the same answer this author received. Kids who have aspired to and attained the highest rung in college education are, by December of each year, thinking about and pursuing the right internship, the right study abroad program, the right social service appointment that matches with their newly discovered understanding of who they are and who they want to be. You might think that's ... (more »)
 
jmjanecek replied...
Jan. 10, 2010 at 9:31 am :
Ivy league college kids, yes. Actually, most college kids are looking for that. High school kids are looking into that, too. However, in high school, you'll find that the majority are looking FORWARD to summer because they're out of school. The article is about why we don't want our summers taken away, not what many of us are doing during our summers. Regardless of what we're doing, the majority is looking forward to relaxing.
 
i<3steven! replied...
Feb. 26, 2010 at 4:07 pm :
yes, while lots of people are interested in "relaxing" and even getting summer jobs (like me), you need to think about the vacation business.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback