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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!!”



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This article has 158 comments. Post your own!

radioman said...
Nov. 30, 2009 at 9:15 am:
I like both articles from this author, and the topics are two of the most important ones we face as high school students.
 
smurfman replied...
Nov. 30, 2009 at 2:18 pm :
SO TRUE! His other article is priceless. I can't believe no one has ever written about that before.
 
Urbs2013 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 7, 2009 at 8:12 am :
Loving the name smurf, and thank you both
 
SpaceKing800 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 12, 2009 at 8:30 pm :
I need an opinion: Do you think high schoolers recieve too much homework.
It's amazing how all of Urbs essays go hand in hand with my single essay. A lot of homework and studying= No sleep.
A longer school year and school on Saturdays= more homework!
Amazing, isn't it Urbs?
 
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Urbs2013 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 18, 2009 at 7:56 pm:
Thank you all for the comments.
 
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ariboo said...
Nov. 18, 2009 at 1:42 pm:
Wow, I so agree with this author. Can you imagine giving up your vacation...your one long term chance to have an adventure and just forget the stress of the past year, just so our president can have an ego boost, thinking he did something good for education in America? Somebody come to the schools and ask the kids for a change.
 
Urbs2013 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 18, 2009 at 2:43 pm :
NICE! someone really needs to show Obama the truth. This whole education reform, you know, its just to "help us compare to the schools in China and India". I don't really buy it. I love my summer break.
 
SpaceKing800 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 12, 2009 at 8:35 pm :
And I hate how we have to compare with Asia. What ever happened to America being unique? Why can we not appreciate people who save lives everyday; some who may have never had an education? It just perplexes me how America has turned out to become. We just want to take it all the way to the top, now don't we?
 
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charliehorse said...
Nov. 18, 2009 at 11:35 am:
Sitting in my journalism class right now makes me keenly aware that there are few courses that would make me want to stray in school for more hours in a day. I am a writer and need the time and flexibility to write after school, without the drudgery of curricula weighing me down. The thought of being in school longer hours and without the hope of a languorous summer in which to be creative is devastating to me.
 
Urbs2013 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 18, 2009 at 2:42 pm :
As a fellow writer, I know what you mean. I wrote most of my book over the summer. Its still in limbo, but i still would not have had time to write it if I had not had that summer break.
 
SpaceKing800 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 12, 2009 at 8:33 pm :
And I as a fellow writer, have also written most of my fan fiction over the summer. I am planning on writing a book soon. Why take my only free time away from me?
 
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thommy said...
Nov. 18, 2009 at 11:09 am:
To be sure, our President and his advisers have not had broad enough discussions about students losing valuable internship experience at the cost of a school year that just keeps on going. Perhaps other countries have different college requirements or expectations, but here in the U.S., if you don't show internship experience before college, it doesn't matter how good your grades are, you're just not special enough for them to take you. It would be outrageous for our President to ... (more »)
 
Urbs2013 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 18, 2009 at 2:41 pm :
I know that to be true. Even if you have a 4.0 GPA, if you're not in enough clubs, or don't have any internships, there's no way that any college will take you in.
 
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littlejoe said...
Nov. 18, 2009 at 9:01 am:
If the President actually knew what goes on in classes during the day, he wouldn't want more of the same after school hours. It takes 20 minutes out of my 40 minute classes to shut people up, send people to the principal's office and get them concentrated on the aim. Why would good students want to take more of this abuse for longer hours.
 
Urbs2013 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 18, 2009 at 2:40 pm :
Its the same at my school, and thanks for the comment
 
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gabby2013 said...
Nov. 18, 2009 at 8:57 am:
I totally agree with this. As a language student, the only time I can do intensive language study is in the summer. I go to the Johns Hopkins program and learn a different language each summer. This not only helps me with my language study in school but makes me a more interesting candidate for college. How could I continue studying intensively the courses I really like if there's no summer vacation. Ridiculous.
 
Urbs2013 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 18, 2009 at 2:40 pm :
Thanks for the comment, and I totally agree. Summer experiences are what make you, you. I know for a fact, that if I had not had the experience this past summer of going to New York Film Academy, I would have never discovered my love for animation and film.
 
SpaceKing800 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 12, 2009 at 8:32 pm :
And I, my love of Astrophysics/Astronomy. When I was in pre-school, I discovered my passion about science at the camp over the summer, playing with the vials filled with blue liquid. Camp is a way to inspire kids with dreams for the future. It helps their health,too. No summer would sap the students of what they are looking for; what makes them happy. It really is a sin.
 
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