When do you think school should start? The start date varies greatly around the country. This article from the Wall Street Journal takes a look at the reactions from students and parents to starting school before Labor Day. Following is an excerpt:
Early this month, as her cousins in Michigan spent their summer vacation splashing in area lakes, 11-year-old Ryan Duffin sat learning about the Great Lakes in social-studies class at Richview Middle School in Clarksville, Tenn.
“I could be enjoying my summer, but I’m stuck in class,” Ryan complained. “I hate it.”
Ryan is one of hundreds of thousands of students whose summer breaks ended early this year as schools from Toppenish, Wash., to Kettering, Ohio, to Harrisburg, Pa., have bucked a long—but waning—tradition of starting classes after Labor Day.
In Los Angeles, the nation’s second-largest district, the first school bell rang for 600,000 students on Aug. 14, three weeks earlier than the normal start. In Chicago, more than a third of the district’s 675 schools opened Aug. 13, part of a year-round schooling effort that spreads out the school calendar with shorter summer and winter breaks.
Proponents say the August start dates allow more instruction time before students take mandatory state achievement tests and Advanced Placement and college-entrance exams. John Deasy, superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District, said the new calendar lets students wrap up finals before the three-week winter break and gives high-school students more time to complete college applications. “This was a purely academic decision for us,” he said.
But opponents—including tourism groups and many parents—grumble the August school bell ruins summer vacations and punishes businesses that thrive during the summer months.
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the original article from The Wall Street Journal, written by Stephanie Banchero