I have not heard mention, however, of a calendar change that would bring us out of the agricultural age for which our school year was designed and into the 21st century in which less than 2% of Americans are farmers. Sir Ken Robinson famously addressed that issue here.
So, knowing that
- we no longer need a summer vacation for all our farm children to help out;
- adolescent children's brains prune about 20% of their synaptic connections, thus making them forget what is not repeatedly used;
- we need to teach our students more in terms of both material and skills than our 20th-century forebears;
- there is general agreement that we are in need of radical educational restructuring,
Why aren't we discussing having a school calendar that uses the entire year?
Here's my proposal:
- First term meets from January 15-April 15. Vacation from April 16-May 14.
- Second term meets from May 15-August 15. Vacation from August 16-September 14
- Third term meets from September 15-December 15. Vacation from December 16-January 14.
This would give us shorter vacations to enhance retention, provide more school days to enlarge our curricula, and create an updated school calendar that better fits with the times.