Summer break is the best time of year

July 23, 2012

By John Seiler

About this time of year, liberal education ideologues start talking about how bad summer break is for kids; how summer break is a leftover from when most people were farmers, and the kids were needed behind the plow; how year-round school is best, and can help us beat the smart Chinese, Japanese, Indians, Finns, etc.

On cue comes Peter Orszag, economist, banker, member of the Council on Foreign Relations and 37th Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Barack Obama. He writes in a Bloomberg column:

“To put it unkindly, the average child becomes dumber and fatter during the vacation….

“Consider, first, the evidence for the summer fade effect. Taken together, a variety of studies indicate that students’ academic skills atrophy during the summer months by an amount equivalent to what they learn in a third of a school year, according to a review by Harris Cooper, a professor of education at Duke University, and several co-authors.”

But that’s good! Given that kids today learn politically correct rubbish, they’re better off at home playing Nintendo.

He adds:

“Let’s start with the most ambitious option: lengthening the school year. I have written previously about the benefit of extending the hours of the school day. A similar argument applies to extending the academic year: More time at task helps children learn, and it would be worth the extra expense involved.”

So, basically he wants kids locked up in their prison/schools almost 24/7/365. And they are prisons. Have you seen schools lately? As I wrote before, a good example is Century High School in Santa Ana, pictured above. Look at the design: just like a prison. It’s far different from the “open campus” I attended, and you may have as well, in previous decades.

Typically, Orszag also doesn’t tell us how his scheme is supposed to be financed.

A “second option,” to provide a six-week “summer enrichment’ program for poor kids. Weren’t they already “helped” by Head Start, another failed program? Orszag writes that this “would cost less than $2,000 per student. If the federal government paid half, the cost to U.S. taxpayers would be about $2 billion a year, and the benefits would be worth much more.” So he says. But the federal government already is $16 trillion in debt. And no federal program ever costs just what was originally promised.

But the key truth here is that summer break is what has made America great. It lets kids dream the future. Would Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs have been better off stuck in school in the summer, instead of dreaming about computers — about “putting a dent in the universe,” as Jobs put it?

Summer break is our Secret Weapon against those brainiac, industrious foreigners. It’s why our kids  are so eager to start companies instead of becoming just another cog in Big Business or government, like Orszag himself or the president.

The main thing about summer break is that it gets kids out of the government-educational prison complex for a couple of months. Instead of taking that time of freedom away from kids, we should get rid of the rest of the school year, too, as James Altucher advises.

Free the children!

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