Victory

Year-Round Schools

This petition made change with 28 supporters!


Members of the Dallas County Independent School District community are asking to implement a year-round school schedule. Using this solution, we can combat childcare costs, dropout rates, and raise our level of accountability scores. We must begin to advocate for our children who do not have a voice in the community.

The traditional nine-month calendar school year began as a response to rural times of the 1800’s, when families could increase their income by allowing children to help in harvesting (Mazzochi, 2011). With the decrease of rural areas and increase in urban areas, new issues of childcare costs have risen.  According to the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agency, the average annual fees paid for before- and after-school care for a school age child in a center is $1,900-$10,400.  The average, annual fees paid for before- and after-school care for a school age child in a family childcare home is $1,805-$9,360.  Since the 1960’s, childcare and education costs has increased from 2% to 18%. This is due to the increase of both parents in the home holding outside jobs, which is the byproduct of the of cost of living increase(Thompson, 2012).

If the increasing cost of childcare is not enough to change from the traditional calendar toyear-round education, the fact that students lose significant amounts of skills during the summer months is enough (Cooper, Nye, Charlton, Lindsay & Greathouse, 1996) (Cooper, Valentine, Charlton & Melson, 2003). Studies show that the long summer months are attributed to student’smath and spelling skill loss, and some students reading skill loss (Cooper, Nye, Charlton, Lindsay & Greathouse, 1996) (Cooper, Valentine, Charlton & Melson, 2003). Studies have found that year-round schooling is effective at maintaining and improving academic performance for students of all ages (Mutchler, 1993).

Dallas Independent School District (DISD) needs year-round schools because of its population, poverty level, demographics, and scores. In 2011, DISD had 156,784 students enrolled. Of these students, 25% were African American, 68% were Hispanic, 5% were White, 2% were other, and 87.1% were considered economically disadvantaged. Bilingual and ESL students accounted for 35% of the students. The longitudinal dropout rate was at 13.2 for grades 9-12 in 2010. The district accountability rating is at an unimpressive academically acceptable("Snapshot 2011 district detail," 2011)

El Paso’s, Socorro school district is of smaller size, but similar demographics and economically disadvantage numbers. The Socorro School District has implemented the year-round schedule for the last several years. Their district accountability rating is at a recognized level and the longitudinal dropout rate is at an impressive 3.2. Since year-round school implementation in 1990, Socorro raised its level of accountability from academically acceptable to recognized, and lowered its dropout rate from 4.4 to 3.2. Whether or not the year-round implementation is completely to applaud, there is a positive outcome in this Texas school district("Snapshot 2011 district detail," 2011)

The Dallas Independent School District’s citizens have the right to demand a better and more efficient form of education.  The state of Texas has a constitutional obligation to “ensure that all Texas children have access to a quality education that enables them to achieve their potential and fully participate now and in the future in the social, economic, and educational opportunities of our state and nation” (TEX. EDUC. CODE § 4.001(a)). The students and parents of DISD need an alternative for long periods outside the learning environment, and year-round schools are a smart, economical, and verified option.

References

Cooper, H., Nye, B., Charlton, K., Lindsay, J., & Greathouse, S. (1996). The effects of summer vacation on achievement test scores: A narrative and meta-analytic review. Review of Educational Research, 66(3), 227-268 . Retrieved fromhttp://www.jstor.org/stable/1170523

Cooper, H., Valentine, J. C., Charlton, K., & Melson, A. (2003). The effects of modified school calendars on student achievement and on school and community attitudes. Review of Educational Research, 73(1), 1-52. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3516042

Mazzochi, S. (2011). A new twist on an old idea: How year-round schooling and revamped out-of-school care can improve the lives of women in washington, d.c. Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law, 19(1), 133-168. Retrieved from http://scs.student.virginia.edu/~vjspl/19.1/_Mazzochi.pdf

Mutchler, S. E. Southwest Educational Development Lab., Office of Educational Research and Improvement. (1993). Year-round education

Texas Education Agency, (2011). Snapshot 2011 district detail. Retrieved from Texas Education Agency website: http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/cgi/sas/broker

 



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