Year-Round School Calendars: Effects on Summer Learning, Achievement, Parents, Teachers, and Property Values

Chapter 13 in Alexander, K., Pitcock, S. & Boulay, M. (eds.). The Summer Slide: What We Know and Can Do About Summer Learning Loss. New York: Teachers College Press, September 2016

24 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2016 Last revised: 31 Jul 2018

See all articles by Paul von Hippel

Paul von Hippel

University of Texas at Austin - Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

Date Written: December 2, 2015

Abstract

Year-round school calendars take the usual 175-180 instruction days of the school year and redistribute them, replacing the usual schedule – nine months on, three months off – with a more “balanced” schedule of short instruction periods alternating with shorter breaks across all four seasons of the year. Over the past three decades, the number of schools using year-round calendars has increased ninefold, from 410 in 1985 to 3,700 in 2011-12 (Skinner, 2014). Over 2 million children now attend year-round schools – as many as attend charter schools – yet year-round schools have attracted relatively little attention from researchers and the public.

In this chapter, I review the evidence for the effects of year-round calendars on test scores. Once thought to be positive, these effects now appear to be neutral at best. Although year-round calendars do increase summer learning, they reduce learning at other times of year, so that the total amount learned over a 12-month period is no greater under a year-round calendar than under a nine-month calendar. I also review evidence that year-round calendars make it harder to recruit and retain experienced teachers, make it harder for mothers to work outside the home, and reduce property values. When students' schedules are staggered, year-round calendars do offer a way to reduce school crowding – an alternative to busing or portable classrooms, and a low-cost alternative to new school construction.

Keywords: summer learning, year-round school calendars

JEL Classification: I2

Suggested Citation

von Hippel, Paul, Year-Round School Calendars: Effects on Summer Learning, Achievement, Parents, Teachers, and Property Values (December 2, 2015). Chapter 13 in Alexander, K., Pitcock, S. & Boulay, M. (eds.). The Summer Slide: What We Know and Can Do About Summer Learning Loss. New York: Teachers College Press, September 2016 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2766106

Paul Von Hippel (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin - Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs ( email )

2315 Red River, Box Y
Austin, TX 78712
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
705
rank
33,037
Abstract Views
3,878
PlumX