--Original published at Isabella's Psychology Blog
Spotlight 3 Post
The Year Round Schooling Debate
During my childhood, the thought of year-round schooling was one of the worst things ever. I viewed summer break as the best thing ever. Though looking at four different sources which explore whether or not year-round schooling would be beneficial to the overall learning of the children in the schools made me question whether my past self was correct. In order to answer this question, four peer-reviewed sources were collected and evaluated. There were two sources supporting year-round schooling and two sources against year-round schooling.
Supporting Year-Round Schooling
The peer-reviewed article “Evaluating Year-Round Schools in Texas” by Cynthia Opheim and Kristine Mohajer had positive results on student learning. Data from this article were taken by sending 59 surveys to principles of year-round schools and 46 surveys to principles of traditional schools. In this article it had resulted from five hypotheses, only two of the hypothesis relate directly to student learning instead of general year-round school operations. The first hypothesis related to student learning was year-round schooling reduces student absenteeism, increase facility utilization, and reduces student discipline problems. This hypothesis was proven correct through answers on the survey which principles of different schools in Texas filled out. The second hypothesis concerning student learning was about how year-round schooling increases student achievement. Results were that the overall improvement was low but still statistically significant. Different components of student achievement were also specifically tested and had positive results. These parts of student achievement had positive results were fewer retention problems, special education children’s progress, bilingual student’s progress, enrichment learning program positive results, and an increase in standardized test scores. So overall the article “Evaluating Year-Round Schools in Texas” showed not only was year-round schooling better for academic reasons but to also be better for special needs student, bilingual students, and problem students (Opheim).
The article “The Influence of Extended-Year Schooling on Growth of Achievement and Perceived Competence in Early Elementary School” by Julie Frazier and Frederick Morrison also supported year-round schooling. All participants were kindergarten children, there were 90 students went to a traditional school and 91 students in the year-round school. Then later these participants were tested on eighteen various variables. Results from the study showed students in year-round schooling had higher scores in mathematics than students in traditional schools. Though this progress is only gained because year-round students are working in the summer while the students of traditional schools are on school break. Since despite distributing short breaks throughout the year, overall in year-round schooling students are in school one month more than traditional students. This extra month allow teachers to teach topic more in-depth and cover more material (Frazier).
Against Year-Round Schooling
The article “A Statewide Evaluation of Academic Achievement in Year-Round Schools” by Bradley McMillen was a comparison of year-round schooling students to traditional schooling students in North Carolina. There were 345,000 students in the study who were all in grades 3 through 8 at the time of the study. Data used in this study came from the North Carolina Testing Program, which tests 3-8 graders mathematics and reading skills. Then the results of the study were there was no overall significant change between the test scores of students in year-round schooling and students of traditional schooling (McMillen).
Amery Wu and Jake Stone wrote the article “Does Year Round Schooling Affect the Outcome and Growth of California’s API Scores?”, which was about how year-round schooling affects students scoring on the California API in comparison of the scores of students at traditional schools. The Californian API is a type of standardized test taken by Californian students. API scores were collected for six years from 4,569 Californian schools. The results of the data analysis were students overall API performance did not change by going to year-round schooling instead of traditional schooling (Wu).
Looking at the sources for both pro and anti-year-round schooling the articles against year-round schooling were the most solid. This is because the sample sizes were at times over a hundred times larger and over more years then the sources arguing for year-round schools. Also the source “Evaluating Year-Round Schools in Texas” which was in favor of year-long schools had results showing only small improvements in students of year-round schooling when compared to traditional schooling (Opheim). The results of year-round schools compared to traditional schools only show slight improvements or no improvements at all, so in response, year-round schooling should not replace traditional schools entirely. Though year-round schooling does not need to be eliminated since it’s not negatively affecting the education of students of year-round schooling.
.Frazier, Julie A., and Frederick J. Morrison. “The Influence of Extended-Year Schooling on Growth of Achievement and Perceived Competence in Early Elementary School.” Child Development, vol. 69, no. 2, 1998, p. 495. JSTOR Journals, doi:10.2307/1132180.
Mcmillen, Bradley J. “A Statewide Evaluation of Academic Achievement in Year-Round Schools.” The Journal of Educational Research, vol. 95, no. 2, 2001, pp. 67–74. Academic Search Complete, doi:10.1080/00220670109596574.
Opheim, Cynthia, and Kristine Hopkin Mohajer. “Evaluating Year-Round Schools in Texas.” Education, vol. 116, no. 1, 1995, pp. 115–120. Academic Search Complete, eds.a.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=3&sid=ae1d8c18-0516-4aee-b46d-e0 3ff0ad7be2@sessionmgr4007.
Wu, Amery D, and Jake E Stone. “Does Year Round Schooling Affect the Outcome and Growth of California’s API Scores?” Educational Research & Policy Studies, vol. 10, no. 1, 2010, pp. 79–97. ERIC, eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=2&sid=f112b709-da06-4fa8-bdd3-66 7bb259a3f6@pdc-v-sessmgr02.