Would students learn better if they went to school year-round? This is what U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) wants to find out.  He’s sponsoring legislation to allocate $4 million to four schools scattered across the country to operate on a year-round schedule.  He says over summer break, students forget some of what they learned.

“I think we can all agree the summer break is an outdated relic of the 19th Century.  Our kids need to master the skills of an information economy so that they can compete and win against kids from Pacific Rim countries in math and engineering,” he said.

 

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Kirk announced his proposal at Alain Locke, a charter school in Chicago that operates year-round.  It has a 190-day schedule, whereas the typical Illinois school year is 176 days.  This school has breaks, but they’re no longer than two weeks at a time.  It also operates on an 8 a.m.-5 p.m. schedule, so activities such as music and art that are extracurricular at other schools are part of the curriculum at this one.

Kirk says Locke students do 23-25 percent better than the Illinois average for low-income students in math and reading.

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