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If you attend school in North America, you probably look forward to summer vacation. This break used to be longer than it is now, with many students not going back to school for the new school year until after Labor Day. Most students now, especially at the college level, go back to school in early August.
Some lawmakers believe that our students should spend more time in school than they do, so that more students could be more successful in school. It has been suggested that students could spend more time in school, such as six more weeks in the summer, which would effectively make the students lose about a half of their vacation in the summertime.
Some other lawmakers and politicians believe that if a child is doing badly in school, that Saturday summer classes would help. Students already can go to summer school if they are not doing well in their subjects during the regular school year.
But students and other lawmakers insist that staying longer in school in North America isn't necessarily the answer. We need to be more attentive to how your time in school is spent. It would also cost your city or county or state more money to send students to school for a longer school year.
Some teachers and others also worry that the standard testing that students do now takes too much time away from learning time. Students in other countries, who perform better than U.S. and Canadian students on standard tests, actually spend more time learning in school. Whereas the U.S. and Canadian school year may last about 180 days, some Asian countries have over 200 school days.
But students in other countries who have less school time also do better than U.S. and Canadian students. In France, students only attend school for 174 days, and in Sweden, they only go to school 178 days.
Not only would a longer year of school in North America make students unhappy, but it would also cost a great deal more. The main reason for this would be increased teacher salaries. It would also mean more money spent on buses, utilities and support staff at schools.
Another possible idea for improving grades without extending the school year is to make each school compete for students, like businesses compete for your money spent. They could tackle their problems, and the schools with the best programs and classes would simply get more students whose parents want them to go there.
Students have always enjoyed the long summer break, since they may be able to go to the lake for that time, or take a well-deserved vacation. Students may also take on summer jobs as they grow older, to help make money, so that they can afford to buy things themselves that they want. If school in North America goes to a longer school year, no doubt many students and teachers alike will miss the long summer break that sometimes extends into the later days of summer, closer to the season of fall.