Let's Get Rid of Summer Vacation
It's creating gap between rich, poor kids: Matthew Yglesias
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2013 1:20 PM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – 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.

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Showing 3 of 69 comments
BCS
Jul 26, 2013 3:57 PM CDT
I used to spend summers building forts, catching and releasing turtles, playing baseball, swimming, watching movies, exploring the woods, playing games, staying up late, hanging with friends, visiting family, etc. Those are some of the best memories of my life. I would never want to see kids deprived of that in exchange more state run structure. none of those things i listed are extravagant, or expensive. Some kids have it bad and come from apathetic homes, but their, parent/parents indifference should not lead us to a misery loves company solution.
Chatsworth
Jul 26, 2013 2:13 PM CDT
Geez, this guy must be a sadist! One of the things kids look forward to while they're young is freaking summer vacations.And this guy wants to take those away?Why not eliminate Christmas while you're at it?
fractal
Jul 26, 2013 2:00 PM CDT
If you live in poverty, there may not be a lot to enjoy in your environment, even during the summer. We could offer summer programs in the schools that do some review of schoolwork, and lots of outings, short enrichment classes etc.. I have also considered the idea that some kids have such a bad environment at home, that they should be able to go to state paid boarding schools---keep them off the streets and let them experience another facet of the culture.