Why 180 Days Aren't Enough

The U.S. has one of the shortest school years in the industrialized world: it's time for a change

All across the U.S., kids are trooping back to school, but for youngsters at the Robert Russa Moton and Johnson C. Lockett elementary schools in New Orleans, summer ended on July 10. On that date, the 1,450 youngsters returned for the third year of an experimental program that adds 40 extra days to the usual 180-day school year. They were breaking a long-standing American tradition of summer vacations -- dating back to a time when family labor was vital to the late-summer harvest -- that give the U.S. one of the shortest school years in the industrialized world. There is surely...

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