A Change Could Be Coming for Our Summers

A Change Could Be Coming for Our Summers

Matthew Hoskins

Summer break is something that everyone looks forward to, but does its length really make sense? America has one of the longest summer breaks for schools in the world, and many are starting to rethink this. Instead of one long break for summer, most of Europe and Asia have several medium length breaks, including one for Easter.

American schools’ breaks were originally based off agriculture, and were meant to give children a better chance to help in the fields over the summer. With that world slowly becoming more obsolete, it may be time for a change. What many have in mind, however, is a little more severe than what would be expected. They think that we should match Europe’s class time frequency, increasing students’ time in school by 25 to 30 percent.

Even Barack Obama addressed this issue in a 2009 speech. He said, “I know longer school days and school years are not wildly popular ideas… But the challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom.”

Kris Scheuerman, Shawnee Mission West (SMW) German teacher, claims that saying European schools are ahead of us academically is inaccurate. He said, “I don’t think we are inferior to European schools. We test all of our students, but they [European schools] only test the smarter students.” Ashley Mercer, SMW senior, also disagrees with these claims. She says that, “the longevity of the school year is irrelevant, so long as the quality of lessons being taught are adequate.”

Although many may disagree with the idea of tweaking our break lengths, it seems to be coming, whether we like it or not.