Imagine the government deciding to shut down the military, or the transit system, or law enforcement, for a few months every year, for no particular reason. The outcry would be insane, because that's a ridiculous idea. So why, then, is there no backlash over the three months out of every year that schools shut down? On Slate, Matthew Yglesias rails against the "evil" summer vacation: It's all fine and good for rich kids, who go to enriching and pricey summer camps, but the rest aren't so lucky.
Studies have shown that the learning loss that occurs over the summer disproportionately affects lower-income kids—and it gets worse summer over summer, meaning teachers have "essentially no chance of closing the gap during the school year," Yglesias writes. Worse, health can also suffer for kids who depend on subsidized school lunches. The reason there's no outcry over this awful set-up we have? "The educated, affluent people who run the debate don’t particularly suffer from it." It's time for everyone to speak up. "The existence of summer vacation is a huge barrier to equal opportunity." Click for Yglesias' full column.