The Greatest Struggle: Vacation VS Education | Teen Ink

The Greatest Struggle: Vacation VS Education

October 22, 2009
By Urbs2013 BRONZE, Not Listed, New York
Urbs2013 BRONZE, Not Listed, New York
4 articles 2 photos 62 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.

The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things."

Oh, the misguided, overexcited hand of government falls once again, this time on the overworked, glassy-eyed American high school student, who trudges through the school year, waiting for the moment when the fetid, festering pile of standardized tests that will determine their future can be graded, leaving them two months to recuperate before the year begins once again. A survey that I gave to my fellow classmates shows that 95% of students would prefer to keep the current school year, as opposed to joining Obama’s year round plan.

Despite this and other arguments, the fact that Indian and Chinese schools are producing more doctors and scientists than we are, causes us to lose jobs; Obama has recognized this threat to our economy, and has decided that we should have the same sort of education as China and India. He believes that by imposing a 12 month school year, we could catch up in terms of jobs, and stimulate the economy.

Even if students could be assured that a relaxed, fascinating learning environment could be established within a 12 month calendar, how would high school students participate in one of the most worthwhile, inspiring and educational experiences presently available to them: the summer internship? Whether it be an internship with a lab, or a film crew, these internships all take place over the summer break from school. Now one might say that students could take on internships all year, and that would be true, but no year-long internship can match the rate at which a student learns or the total concentration and relaxed focus the student can achieve while working in a summer internship program. Another problem facing the plan is that those kids who have to work summer jobs to support their family will have to drop out of school. As a fact, the 12 month school year intended to help America’s economic status will most likely begin to hurt our professional futures.

In a survey conducted on over 30 high school students and 30 college students, all reported that the reason they like their current schedules, is that they are able to do summer internships and programs. Another universally accepted truth amongst the participants was their disdain for the fact that if school is forced to close, then the schools will be forced to open on Saturdays or vacation days due to the lack of a longer summer break.

When I included a teacher in the survey (Mr. V., of Roslyn High School), the ideas drastically changed. When asked about the schedule, he replied “I think that the idea can be positive if an alternative curriculum, encouraging social abilities, abstract testing, and alternative subjects will be introduced.” However, his attitude changed once again when asked about the possibility of school being able to open on Saturdays or on vacation days… “I don’t mind giving up my Saturdays, but I would not break up my vacation plans. Most kids would not be in school, so it would only be beneficial to a small group. This definitely dampens my view of the proposed schedule”

Are there really any advantages to a 12 month school year? It looks like most students agree. They all scream “No!!”

The author's comments:
This is my first piece for Teen Ink, and i hope that it enlightens people a little bit about the possibility of a 12 month Schoolyear

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This article has 158 comments.

on Feb. 14 2013 at 7:18 pm
NicholasMaurer BRONZE, Solon, Ohio
1 article 0 photos 2 comments
What you fail to mention is that most "12-month" plans do not increase the total number of school days. The learning advantage is expected to come from the lack of a long break during which many students forget what they learned the previous year. Regarding internships, I would say that just as our culture has adapted to long summer breaks, it would adapt to year-round schooling. Shorter internships, or internships that take place over multiple breaks, would simply become the norm. Finally, using your survey as evidence is misguided. In all honesty, most high school students are not mature enough to make intelligent and logical decisions about education policy; this isn't any issue that should be decided by a popularity survey.

on Jun. 25 2012 at 12:48 pm
ClarinetPower SILVER, Macomb, Michigan
5 articles 0 photos 40 comments
how is she being a bigot? it's called a persuasive essay!

on Jun. 25 2012 at 12:45 pm
ClarinetPower SILVER, Macomb, Michigan
5 articles 0 photos 40 comments
This really opens my eyes to what our world could potentially be like. Please send this to governent officials, along with a few of the superb point making comments down below!

on Jun. 3 2012 at 12:05 am
DreamingOutQuiet SILVER, Round Rock, Texas
7 articles 0 photos 78 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Time and the bell have buried the day,
The black cloud carries the sun away" - Elliot

Oh if life where made of moments, even now and then a bad one. Oh, if life where made of moments then we wouldn't know we had one. - Into the Woods

We cant be china, because chinese schools except cheating, and are over competetive to the point that suicides are more likely for students there. Do some research into the life of a student liveing in china,terribly controversial. Anyways this is a very good essay.

bluhs said...
on May. 12 2012 at 3:08 pm
bluhs, E, Alabama
0 articles 0 photos 111 comments
My Civics teacher had a tantrum yesterday about how many people failed the Civics SOL.Coincidentally, he was hardly ever at school and when he was there, spent considerable amounts of time in class talking about how much he hates teaching middle school, how much he loves football, and making fun of the kid who was held back in sixth grade. 

on Apr. 20 2012 at 11:34 pm
katieRainbows BRONZE, Stockton, California
2 articles 2 photos 38 comments

Favorite Quote:
I was going to take over the world, but I got distracted by something sparkly.

i have to say love it my bros goin to the marines so duhhh

Genya GOLD said...
on Mar. 16 2012 at 4:54 pm
Genya GOLD, Bridgewater, New Jersey
10 articles 0 photos 52 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Never do anything that you wouldn't want to explain to the paramedics."-Unknown Author

If we actually had a 12 month school year, I would be first to rebel. I would have a nervous breakdown right around the time summer came around, and I would seriously consider doing something drastic... like dropping out of school as a protest.

I don't think teachers would like a 12 month school year either. No time with family or friends.

Dreamer21 said...
on Mar. 7 2012 at 1:33 pm
This made me think. Nice job.

on Feb. 14 2012 at 2:09 am
GingerLily BRONZE, Aulnay-sur-Mauldre, Other
3 articles 6 photos 78 comments

Favorite Quote:
"A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world" - Oscar Wilde

Pretty good essay! You're so lucky to have gotten the Editor's Pick on your first submission, too. I think you're right, though. I don't go to school in the US, but summers are important for that reason: internships. It helps out the family, your savings, and gives you experience in a work environment.

on Feb. 8 2012 at 6:58 pm
iamheretolearn, Warren, Michigan
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
Still water runs deep

wow... your first article on teen ink got is the editor's choice...

on Jan. 1 2012 at 4:02 pm
fictitious-quandary GOLD, Orlando, Florida
18 articles 5 photos 83 comments

Favorite Quote:
Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Willing is not enough; we must do.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right"
- Henry Ford

I agree a 12 month school year will have its pros and cons but for students and teachers alike the cons seem to outrank the benefits in American society. What works in India and China is something that indeed may hurt the American economy rather that stimulate it. Thanks for this article :)

on Jul. 31 2011 at 2:30 pm
CarrieAnn13 GOLD, Goodsoil, Other
12 articles 10 photos 1646 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." --Douglas Adams

"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." --Marcus Aurelius

I agree with this!  As well as an internship, some of us have to pay our own way to university and working eight hours a day in summer earns way more money than working three hours after school every day, which is exhausting.

Celia PLATINUM said...
on Jun. 30 2011 at 4:34 am
Celia PLATINUM, London, Other
41 articles 5 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When your life flashes before your eyes, make sure it's worth watching" - Unknown

can you send me a link to a news story about this? because I've never heard about it at all. thanks :)

memoimi said...
on Jun. 17 2011 at 9:34 pm
i agree. making the school year longer does not necessarily mean that grades will improve and that the US will catch up with Asia. Some people do no take school seriously, so a longer school year will just be more slacking time. Lengthening the school year will not insure success.  

on Jun. 6 2011 at 9:16 pm
happyboat SILVER, Tacoma, Washington
6 articles 9 photos 15 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Risks, I like to say, always pay off. You learn what to do, and what not to do." -Jonas Salk

but, if you read up on the rebuttle, you find that you get the same amount of vacation time, its just split up more evenly throughout the year, rather just in a three month chunk

on May. 4 2011 at 11:29 pm
just-another-url GOLD, Cannes, Other
16 articles 6 photos 151 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It's a good thing to be strange. Normalness leads to sadness." -Philip Lester

we are still just kids, yeah, even in high school, if they ask for 12 month we won't be students but robots !!!!!

on May. 4 2011 at 9:34 pm
MochaCappuccino SILVER, N. Bethesda, Maryland
7 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Dance like no one's watching."
"When you copy from one person, it's called plagiarism. When you copy from many people, it's called research."

I agree! Summer winnows out the slackers from the real students who do more than what is required. A good work ethic and a love of learning can't be forced on you by a twelve year school plan! If you truly want to become successful, go to an internship, take a summer course, or practice a sport! Do it because you want to! Not because it's part of a twelve month plan! Great article! Thanks for the insight!

myopinion said...
on Feb. 27 2011 at 7:15 am
 12 month school year won't give the experience gained from a summer interenship, 2 skilled workers are better than 20 workers who are unskilled (just know the books)

on Feb. 23 2011 at 9:51 am
Hawthorn BRONZE, Nowheresville, Maine
3 articles 0 photos 55 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Know Thy Enemy" Sun Tzu

If we get 12 months of school I will not only die I will come back as a ghost/zombie/vampire and haunt my school FOREVER!!! MUAHAHAHAHA!

havehadit said...
on Dec. 23 2010 at 11:10 pm
You make a really good point. It's humilaiting, what's happening to the US school system. #30 while England is #10. Are you kidding me? We should be leading in arts and sciences. Makes me sick; but I agree with the article, taking away our only chance for summer jobs adn internships is not the way to go.