Facts & Fiction FAQ 

For four decades, proponents of year-round or "balanced" school calendars have made claims of enormous benefits. These claims have been accepted despite countless research data to the contrary. The idea that year round school is a "trend" that everyone is going to is simply false.

This FAQ presents cited, rational answers to many of the questions that have been raised on the subject.

Does the year round calendar improve education?

01/08/2006 -

"Research generally does not show educational benefits to either the traditional or balanced calendar." 
Dr. Rebecca S. Sharber, Director of Schools, Williamson County, Tenn., in her flyer home to parents, early December 2005. This flyer is no longer on the WCS site, but here is a
digital image.

“There’s no hard data that supports that achievement is increased” by a balanced-calendar.

- Jamye Merritt of the Metro Nashville Education Association, Jan. 12, 2006 at a public meeting attended by a CCC member and also quoted by WRAL-TV news.

"After 30 years, the evidence is overwhelming: changing school calendars does not change school performance. Some families just like a year-round calendar. It's a preference, a choice, but it is not an issue of school performance or educational need."

- David Carleton, Ph.D., Middle Tennessee State University (cite)

The only reasonable conclusion that can be reached from this body of literature is that changing the calendar, per se, is inert educationally.

A reduction in class size might be beneficial. The addition of remedial or other programs might be beneficial. But none of these things is linked in any way to the calendar; they can be added without any modification of the traditional calendar. My review leads me to conclude that, academically, changing the calendar is about as useful as changing the color of the school buses. For many school systems (certainly for ours) it is very disruptive and a "reform" that has a high cost and little benefit.

- M. C. Newland, Ph.D., Auburn University, after reviewing 100 academic studies of non-traditional calendars.

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