What are the drawbacks?
While more time in the classroom is undeniably good for students, it also presents some drawbacks. A shortened summer break limits students’ ability to participate in summer sports programs, camps, and family vacations. It gives them less time to recharge between school years. And it keeps them inside and sedentary for an entire extra month of the year. Unsurprisingly, teachers’ unions also protest the institution of longer school years, fearing that teachers will not be adequately compensated for the longer hours they will work.
Proceed with caution
Longer school years could definitely benefit students, but only if the additional curriculum is well-planned and truly takes advantage of the extra time.
Kathleen Puryear, a veteran teacher, said, “Quantity is great, if you have the quality to back it up” (NYT).
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