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Should We Reform Summer Vacation?

• ExcelinEd

A teacher from Baltimore argues in Education Week that it is time to address the “brain drain” that occurs over summer by reforming vacation. She doesn’t argue for more class time, but shorter school breaks dispersed throughout the year. While our Foundation hasn’t taken on vacation reform as an issue, it does make for an interesting discussion and so we are passing it on.

With so many huge education-reform ideas under discussion, why isn’t altering summer vacation on the table?

I often feel as if I’m teaching in an age of uncertainty. Schools open and close in my urban district, bureaucracies reshuffle ad infinitum, and every few months this year I’ve gotten new information about how I’ll be evaluated this June. Yet one thing has stayed conspicuously out of the conversation—altering the long-held tradition of summer vacation.

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The brain drain she discusses is real and disproportionately affects low-income students. But altering the tradition of summer vacation obviously would be a challenge. Also included is a link to a New York Times story on brain drain.

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