Those in favor of ending summer vacation argue that not only will students learn more from having less time off, they would also forget less. Obama continues to support this idea, and he is also in favor of longer school days. Year-round school would particularly benefit low-income students who do not have access to the kinds of extra-curricular enrichment programs that more affluent students are able to attend during the summer.
“I think we should have longer school years. We now have our kids go to school about a month less than most other advanced countries, and that month makes a difference. It means that kids are losing a lot of what they learn during the year during the summer. It’s especially severe for poorer kids who may not be–may not see as many books in the house during the summers, aren’t getting supplemental educational activities. The idea of a longer school year, I think, makes sense. Now, that’s going to cost some money. Here’s an example of where you’ve got a good idea of reform: make sure our kids are in school longer. Well, that means the school is open, you’ve got to pay teachers, custodial staff, etc., but I think that would be money well spent. ”
The interview is part of NBC’s week-long special coverage of education in American, Education Nation.