July 9 was the first day of school for 26,000 students in North Carolina’s Wake County Schools on a year-round calendar. But year-round schools, which were once considered options to improve student performance and reduce classroom overcrowding, have proven to be a mixed bag, the Huffington Post reports. Some school districts that have adopted the extended calendars, like Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, have turned back to traditional academic calendars. Extended school year supporters believe that it keeps kids from falling behind academically by avoiding summer slump, and keeps troubled kids off the streets. Research has also shown that students in high-needs districts and students with special needs tend to do better in schools with extended calendars. But that doesn’t apply to everyone, Rick Hess, director of education policy at the American Enterprise Institute, tells Fox News.
“I think extending the school year for everybody would be a really bad idea,” he said Tuesday. “We want to extend the school year for kids for whom it would benefit them and for kids who are attending schools where we’re confident the time’s going be used well and it’s going to be used effectively.”
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