Rethinking Our Nation’s Public School Calendar

Students return for their first day of classes on a year-round calendar at Barwell Road Elementary School in Raleigh, N.C. on July 9, 2012.
Students return for their first day of classes on a year-round calendar at Barwell Road Elementary School in Raleigh, N.C. on July 9, 2012. Gerry Broome / Associated Press
Students return for their first day of classes on a year-round calendar at Barwell Road Elementary School in Raleigh, N.C. on July 9, 2012.
Students return for their first day of classes on a year-round calendar at Barwell Road Elementary School in Raleigh, N.C. on July 9, 2012. Gerry Broome / Associated Press

Rethinking Our Nation’s Public School Calendar

For decades, the U.S. school calendar has been mostly unchanged. Kids start in late August, are off for winter and spring breaks, and then out for almost three months off in the summer before repeating the cycle. But it wasn’t always so. There have been calls over the years to create a more rigorous calendar. So how did we land on our current calendar? Morning Shift talks Kenneth Gold, author of School’s In: The History of Summer Education in American Public Schools and dean of education at The College of Staten Island/CUNY about the history of the school calendar and possible alternatives.