The KSL esitorial board is supportive of a move toward year-round school. They manage to demonstrate a crucial mis-characterization of childhood education:
As Governor Huntsman put it in his recent State of the State address, “It is amazing to me that, in this age of innovation and education, we have students, buildings and teachers sitting idle for three months every year. . .”
This very statement assumes that children do not learn when they are outside the classroom. Anyone who has watched children knows that they are learning machines. There are a wide variety of lessons they are learning during their summer breaks that could not effectively be taught in a classroom setting.
The proponents of year-round school would also ignore the fact that there is a loss of academic effectiveness for every transition back to school from a break. With a traditional school year there is one major break and a large number of small breaks where students must navigate that transition. Year-round school has all the same minor breaks plus two extra major breaks to interrupt the academic progress of the students. All this is in addition to the standard complains about conflicting tracks within families and interruptions to the established patterns in family scheduling.
Many of the troubling aspects of year-round school can be mitigated, and there are some benefits (which are widely publicized), so the idea of year-round school is worth exploring but the decision cannot be safely made while we turn a blind eye to some false assumptions during the debate. These issues must be a part of the discussion if we are to come to a solution of any lasting benefit.