Is extending the academic year a good idea?
A look at the benefits and drawbacks
- Duration 6:09
- Date Aug 7, 2012
A look at the benefits and drawbacks
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It is certainly hard to believe but it's almost time to start the annual rite of late summer and that's back to school shopping answers and India has started -- -- But -- some folks had their way summer vacation would be a lot shorter.
Supporters at an extended school year believe it keeps kids from falling behind academically.
And from -- -- -- trouble but opponents believe more time in the classroom can have a drastic effect and -- house and -- children and parents really need.
-- -- break.
Our guest today -- -- a resident scholar and director of education policy at the American Enterprise Institute he's in favor of extending the year a little bit.
And Peter -- also with -- he's -- racers professor of psychology at Boston College.
And author of the upcoming book free to learn why and leasing our children's instinct to play we'll make them happier more resilient and better prepared for life so Peter probably have an idea in your opinion is well.
-- welcome to you both this -- has already started quite the conversation among our team here aren't happening now we have a lot of parents with a lot of kids a different age is.
What in the reactions to this story has been in jest that that parents and kids need a break Peter -- say.
Extending the year just a little bit even a few weeks is not worth it why not.
I think is a very bad idea we should not be increasing the amount of time the children have to spend in school and and I think have to spend in school remember.
This is forced you know we are making children spend more time in school think of what we're doing.
Kids are not happy in school this is.
A -- -- and everybody knows this of this.
You -- prevented -- -- have to be happy in school right and I can't imagine what a.
-- -- people are happy in school but and people are happy with a certain about the school and people are happy when they can take school on their own terms.
The fact of the matter is -- a systematic studies done of kids from age twelve through eighteen.
That show that they are less happy in school then in any other setting in which they regularly find themselves.
Why should we make them suffer more of the.
-- break -- why should we let let that's -- why.
Why make them separate.
I think if it.
Well -- there's a lot of things in life which we don't necessarily love in the moment but which we do -- good for us.
But -- let's be honest I think extending the school year for everybody would be a really bad idea.
We wanna extend the school year for kids for whom it would benefit them and for kids or attending schools.
Overconfidence at times going to be used well and it's gonna be used effectively to.
Don't think it's a national policy like it would have to be a national thing -- and the school year we just happen -- and distraught.
I know I think that would be -- horrendous mistake and I think statewide policies would be horrendous mistake.
There are lots of families across the nation.
Whose children have terrific summer experiences traveling with the family going to camps.
Taking that away from them would be a big mistake.
But we have lots of kids particularly from low income and less educated families.
Who experienced something called summer learning loss where they lose during the summer of big chunk of what they learned the previous year.
This is why even when children start school at age six.
It more or less the same space kids from low income less educated families or a few years behind by the time they get the high -- -- did you -- we owe it to those kids to be supplement.
In what area of Arizona Peter the New York Times looked at one district where the kids are in school for an extra month so they have.
An -- or four weeks -- schooling and in that particular district.
The children are posting higher reading and math skills and sense suggests that we have to adds an extra weeks in order to be competitive if you well.
With other countries Peter you don't look like you agree with that.
And I don't agree with that first about and that competitive with other countries.
Many of the countries that score better than we do on the standardized tests if you think standardized tests should be the measure of education.
Actually require less hours of school than we do on the issue that Rick raises which I think is a very important issue and the fact is we have.
A serious problem of -- quality of educational opportunity in this country.
And that's than any quality because the schools are -- -- that's more inequality because of unequal opportunities to learn it through one family life through winds extended relatives through.
Opportunity to socialize with people who come from a diverse set of experiences.
Knowing somebody next door -- a doctor so you learn something about what it is to be a doctor and you could take that as a career.
These are problems of poverty.
At the disparity of poverty and wealth in our country.
Question I don't think it has not been opponents thank you -- let me have average -- been here on that because when -- things and break that we have to consider here is money you mentioned inserting districts remaining this would be a good idea depending on -- The -- looks like 1000 and that a lot of those districts are suffering for fun so.
-- even shoes or how would we even go about figuring out which schools and which communities would benefit from this in which would not.
Sure I'm an -- honestly for me I think in many cases it's a matter of choice.
Some for instance the charter schools that we talk about most enthusiastically to Kipp academies.
Achievement first uncommon schools.
Use an extended school day they have kids going to school Saturday's and they have an extended school year.
In many cases they're able to do that before about the same amount as local school districts spend but that's because they operate -- -- -- It's because they pay teachers.
They they they don't pay teachers a full mark up the teachers might feel entitled to they simply redefine the teachers obligations.
Up so I think if the notion is that we have to pay our curry current premium marked up.
For each additional day or hour that it is financially unworkable in many cases interest but I don't think that we ought to assume that's the default.
-- Peter nice -- both day to day conversation that we it will probably have a lot more of as we get closer to the school year.
I thank you so much for this -- today.
Thank you thank you.