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    Shorter Summers for Students

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    alexethridge

    Posts : 33
    Join date : 2009-09-03

    Shorter Summers for Students

    Post  alexethridge on Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:49 am

    Those carefree days of tanning by the pool and going on vacations are beloved by all students, as they are activities enjoyed primarily in the summer. A time for sleeping in, voluntarily taking summer classes, and relishing the temporary release from the confines of the academic system is joyfully experienced by all. So why would the Obama administration want to cut this wondrous haven short?
    President Obama believes that American students spend too little time in school, which presents a disadvantage when compared to other students around the world. He seeks to remove this chink in the armor of children across the nation by increasing the amount of time students spend in class, which consequently would decrease the amount of time they have for summer vacation. “I know longer school days and years are not wildly popular ideas,” the president has stated, “But the challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom.” Obama wants schools to add hours to the school day, stay open later, and be available on weekends for kids to attend.
    When presented with the possibility of a shorter summer, many students blatantly opposed the movement. Although studies have proven that summer school and additional schooling improves the learning capability of students, many say that they dislike losing the time that was previously theirs to use. In Massachusetts, Boston’s Clarence R. Edwards Middle School has participated in an experiment by adding 300 hours of school time to their year, along with two dozen other schools who have agreed to try the program. The progress of students is notable, and even the ones adverse to a shorter summer have admitted that they have improved from longer school days.
    Many questions have popped up concerning this plan: Is this plan for every kid in the nation? Will school hours conflict with dinnertime? Will Summer School be cut too? And what about the concept that children work too hard and need some time to relax?
    Obama reiterates the disadvantage American children face due to the less time they spend in school in comparison to students in Japan or Singapore. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has stated that the Obama administration “just wants to level the playing field,” and give American students equal schooling to foreign students. Although students in the United States spend more hours per year in school, approximately 1,146 total, than students abroad, foreign students persistently score higher than the US on math and science tests. Places such as Taiwan and Hong Kong offer longer school years but shorter school hours, which appears to be an effective method of teaching students.
    The case for adding time to the school year is a strong one, supported by statistics of countries that add time to their math lesson and produced significantly higher test scores. The increase is scores is a result of adding minutes to the day rather than days to the year. With the average time spent on teaching math being only 45 minutes, adding ten more minutes does not seem like a drastic increase, but appears to be an appropriate one.
    (Regular schools are adding time to their school day but not as a required time. Students who need extra help in their classes would have time for an extra English or Science class. Additionally, several schools across the nation are shortening their summer breaks and lengthening others in an attempt to balance out the time spent out of school in proportion to the time spent in school. [not sure if this is a necessary point in the article])
    For impoverished children, summer is a crucial time that is free from the limitations on their learning such as lack of parental interaction and hunger. These poor children are completely dependent on the school year for their learning, and make no progress during the summer. Wealthier children have parents who read to them, help them with homework, and can afford helpful things such as computers, summer school, music lessons, and sports teams.
    Naturally, a large hindrance on this program is funding it. In Massachusetts, tuition increased 12 to 15 percent more than regular students, and received more than 17.5 million in government funding. In addition to improving academics, Education Secretary Arne Duncan envisions the school once again being the center of a community, and hopes to restore them as the heart of their neighborhoods.

    reginaliu

    Posts : 189
    Join date : 2009-09-03

    Re: Shorter Summers for Students

    Post  reginaliu on Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:13 am

    Those carefree days of tanning by the pool and going on vacations are beloved by ["beloved to" or "loved by," but not "beloved by"] all students, as they are activities enjoyed primarily in the summer. A time for sleeping in, voluntarily taking summer classes, and relishing the temporary release from the confines of the academic system is joyfully experienced by all. So why would the Obama administration want to cut this wondrous haven short?
    President Obama believes that American students spend too little time in school, which presents a disadvantage when compared to other students around the world. He seeks to remove this chink in the armor of children across the nation by increasing the amount of time students spend in class, which consequently would decrease the amount of time they have for summer vacation. “I know longer school days and years are not wildly popular ideas,” the president has stated, “But [but] the challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom.” Obama wants schools to add hours to the school day, stay open later, and be available on weekends for kids to attend.
    When presented with the possibility of a shorter summer, many students blatantly opposed the movement. Although studies have proven that summer school and additional schooling improves the learning capability of students, many say that they dislike losing the time that was previously theirs to use. In Massachusetts, Boston’s Clarence R. Edwards Middle School has participated in an experiment by adding 300 hours of school time to their year, along with two dozen other schools who have agreed to try the program. The progress of students is notable, and even the ones adverse to a shorter summer have admitted that they have improved from longer school days.
    Many questions have popped up concerning this plan: Is this plan for every kid in the nation? Will school hours conflict with dinnertime? Will Summer School be cut too? And what about the concept that children work too hard and need some time to relax?
    Obama reiterates the disadvantage American children face due to the less time they spend in school in comparison to students in Japan or Singapore. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has stated that the Obama administration “just wants to level the playing field,” and give American students equal schooling to foreign students. Although students in the United States spend more hours per year in school, approximately 1,146 [large numbers don't need to be so specific. "approximately 1,000" would suffice] total, than students abroad, foreign students persistently score higher than the US [Spell out as United States when used as a noun] on math and science tests. Places such as Taiwan and Hong Kong offer longer school years but shorter school hours, which appears to be an effective method of teaching students.
    The case for adding time to the school year is a strong one, supported by statistics of countries that add time to their math lesson and produced significantly higher test scores. The increase is [in] scores is a result of adding minutes to the day rather than days to the year. With the average time spent on teaching math being only 45 minutes, adding ten more minutes does not seem like a drastic increase, but appears to be an appropriate one.
    (Regular schools are adding time to their school day but not as a required time. Students who need extra help in their classes would have time for an extra English or Science [science] class. Additionally, several schools across the nation are shortening their summer breaks and lengthening others in an attempt to balance out the time spent out of school in proportion to the time spent in school. [not sure if this is a necessary point in the article])
    For impoverished children, summer is a crucial time that is free from the limitations on their learning such as lack of parental interaction and hunger. These poor children are completely dependent on the school year for their learning, and make no progress during the summer. Wealthier children have parents who read to them, help them with homework, and can afford helpful things such as computers, summer school, music lessons, and sports teams.
    Naturally, a large hindrance on this program is funding it. In Massachusetts, tuition increased 12 to 15 percent more than regular students, and received more than 17.5 million in government funding. In addition to improving academics, Education Secretary Arne Duncan envisions the school once again being the center of a community, and hopes to restore them as the heart of their neighborhoods.

    alexethridge

    Posts : 33
    Join date : 2009-09-03

    Obama Shortens Summer

    Post  alexethridge on Thu Oct 15, 2009 11:26 pm

    Those carefree summer days of tanning by the pool and going on vacations are loved by all students. A time for sleeping in, voluntarily taking classes, and relishing the temporary release from the confines of the academic system is joyfully experienced by all. So why would the Obama administration want to cut this wondrous haven short?
    President Obama believes that American students spend too little time in school, which presents a disadvantage when compared to other students around the world. He seeks to remove this chink in the armor of kids across the nation by increasing the time students spend in class, consequently decreasing the allotted time for summer vacation. “I know longer school days and years are not wildly popular ideas,” the president has stated, “but the challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom.”
    Some schools in the United States have already tested this idea with excellent results. In Boston, Massachusetts, Clarence R. Edwards Middle School has participated in an experiment by adding 300 hours of school time to their year, along with two dozen other schools who have agreed to try the program. The progress of students is notable, and even the ones adverse to a shorter summer have admitted that they have improved from longer school days.
    Naturally, a large hindrance on this program is funding. In Massachusetts, tuition increased 12 to 15 percent, something few school districts can afford today. There are alternatives to these programs, however, for school districts who cannot afford a drastic increase in tuition. Regular schools are adding voluntary time to their school day, which gives students who need extra help time for an extra English or science lesson. Additionally, several schools across the nation are shortening their summer breaks and lengthening others in an attempt to balance out the time spent out of school in proportion to the time spent in school.
    Some statistics advocating the program include how students in Japan or Singapore only spend an average of 1,000 hours in school per year and an average of 200 days, which is significantly different from the 180 day-1200 hour school year American students attend. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has stated that the Obama administration “just wants to level the playing field,” and give American students equal schooling to foreign students. This sounds like a fair argument, but it hasn’t quelled the many questions concerning the program: Is this for every kid in the nation? Will school hours conflict with dinnertime? Will summer school be cut as well? And what about the consensus that children work too hard and need some time to relax?
    When presented to students of Arcadia High, the initial reaction was unanimous: “What?!” sophomore Jason Ouyang exclaimed. Once students were more informed on why Obama wanted to shorten summers, their opinions changed: “I’d rather have more [school] days than longer ones.” Many students do see the consequences of this program on their mental health. Junior Erin O’Mara says, “I do think that our generation would benefit from it, but at Arcadia High we are already pushed to the breaking point. I don’t know how I would handle an extra twenty days of school.” Some advocate this program regardless of the students’ discontent. Junior Irene Liu says, “As a student, I wouldn’t want to be in school more than I have to, but the opposing argument makes sense.”
    Overall, the case for adding time to the school year is a solid one, supported by global examples of schools that have tried the experiment and produced positive results. Many are split over the issue, but the general sentiment of Arcadia High students can be summarized in a statement by Junior Ray Chao: “We’re now competing with [other nations] and our talent is overshadowed. We have to address this by investing in our education, and the best way to do this is to ensure that our students are competitive on an international scale by increasing both the quality and quantity of the American educational system.” It appears that the Apaches are on board for whatever changes may come to their school, and if that happens to be a shorter summer, well, that’s just less time with boring daytime television and scorching sunburns.

    michellechien

    Posts : 17
    Join date : 2009-09-02

    Re: Shorter Summers for Students

    Post  michellechien on Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:22 am

    cut to around 650 words

    alexethridge

    Posts : 33
    Join date : 2009-09-03

    Re: Shorter Summers for Students

    Post  alexethridge on Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:56 pm

    exactly 650. I also changed Junior Irene Liu's quote to Senior BreeAnn Crofts, who was sitting behind me in the library while I was editing this. Let me know if I need to change anything!

    All students love the carefree summer days of tanning and vacationing; a time for sleeping in, voluntarily taking classes, and relishing the temporary release from the confines of the academic system is joyfully experienced by all. So why would the Obama administration want to cut this wondrous haven short?
    Obama believes American students spend too little time in school, presenting a disadvantage when globally compared to other students. He endeavors to fill this chink in the armor of kids across the nation by increasing time students spend in class, consequently decreasing summer vacation. “I know longer school days and years are not popular ideas,” the president has stated, “but the challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom.”
    Some schools in the United States have tested this idea with excellent results. Clarence R. Edwards Middle School in Boston, along with two dozen other schools, has participated in an experiment by adding 300 hours of school time to their year. The students’ improvement is notable, and even those adverse to shorter summers have admitted that they have improved from longer school days.
    Naturally, a large hindrance on this program is funding. In Massachusetts, tuition increased 12 to 15 percent, something few school districts can afford today. There are alternatives, however, for school districts that cannot afford a drastic increase in tuition. Regular schools are adding optional time to their school day, giving students who need extra help time for an extra English or science lesson. Additionally, several schools across the nation are shortening their summer breaks and lengthening others in an attempt to balance the time spent out of school in proportion to the time spent in school.
    Some statistics advocating the program include how students in Japan or Singapore only spend an average of 1,000 hours in school per year and an average of 200 days, significantly different from the 180 day-1200 hour school year American students attend. Education Secretary Arne Duncan stated that the Obama administration “just wants to level the playing field,” and give American students equal schooling to foreign students. This sounds like a fair argument, but hasn’t managed to quell numerous questions: Is this for every kid in the nation? Will school hours conflict with dinnertime? Will summer school be cut as well? And what about the consensus that children work too hard and need some time to relax?
    When presented to students of Arcadia High, the initial reaction was unanimous: “What?!” sophomore Jason Ouyang exclaimed. Once students were more informed, however, their opinions changed. Many see consequences of the program targeting their mental health. Junior Erin O’Mara says, “I do think that our generation would benefit from it, but at Arcadia High we are already pushed to the breaking point. I don’t know how I would handle an extra twenty days of school.” Some advocate this program regardless of the students’ discontent. Senior BreeAnn Crofts says, “I think students would improve without that huge gap over the summer to forget everything you’ve learned, but it’s conflict of what’s best and what the students want.”
    Overall, the case for adding time to the school year is a solid one, supported by global examples of schools that have tried the experiment and produced positive results. Many are split over the issue, but the general sentiment of Arcadia High students can be summarized in a statement by Junior Ray Chao: “We’re now competing with [other nations] and we have to address this by investing in our education, and the best way to do this is to ensure that our students are competitive on an international scale by increasing both the quality and quantity of the American educational system.” It appears that the Apaches are on board for whatever changes may come to their school, and if that happens to be a shorter summer, well, that’s just less time with boring daytime television and scorching sunburns.

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