Hey, Kids, Kiss Your Summer Break Goodbye!
By Rachelle Bowden in News on Oct 12, 2005 12:03PM
Yesterday Mayor Daley dedicated a new Little Village High School on the Southwest side and took the opportunity to say that he thinks it's only a matter of time before Chicago's public schools switch to a year-round schedule. The only thing right now is that they don't have the money to extend the school year.
Daley doesn't have a timetable or a plan to extend the school year yet, but says that American high schools need to do more to compete with the smartie kids in China and India, where kids don't have a summer break and they attend classes 6 days/week.
While Chicagoist would kind of mourn memories of our summer breaks of youth, we see the point. The American tradition of taking the summer off was started when kids needed that time off to go work in the farms and harvest the crop. And now... well, how many farms have you seen around Chicago? Now we're just coming off as lazy Americans.. even in grade school!
And in this global economy, where it's not unusual for people to get jobs in other countries, we need to bone up to compete with others around the world, not just in the US. And that's kind of hard to do when our schools only have 180-day sessions. In China the kids go 250 days/year, in India they go 225 days, in Australia they're in for 210 and even in Europe, where we often think of long siestas and more vacations, kids go to school 200 days/year.