The “Summer Slide” is not as fun as it sounds. . .

This isn’t the kind of slide I’m talking about.
(Google Common License)

This isn’t the kind of slide I’m talking about. (Google Common License)

Summer is a time to relax and unwind. Students are constantly being bombarded with lots of homework, tests, and projects, and this brings a lot of stress. Along with the stresses from grades, there is also a lot of emotional stress from drama and peer pressure. Summer is an escape from all the work and stress of school. It gives students time to socialize with friends, sleep, and enjoy themselves.

However, summer has its negatives. Summer is responsible for the infamous “summer slide” when students forget what they learned the previous year and fall behind when they come back. The traditional 180-day school year is very inefficient. For ten months we spend countless hours studying and focusing on school, and then for two months we completely shift our focus away from school. Multiple studies, including one by the RAND Corporation, have shown that students lose an average of one month of learning(specifically math and English) over the summer(New York Times). Students of low-income families lose more than their higher-income peers, with an average of two months of learning lost, according to a study at Johns Hopkins of Baltimore Public Schools(New York Times). This loss is greater at higher grade levels. It hurts test scores and performance in school, which widens the achievement gap.

Many people argue that summer is necessary for students to have a break from all the stresses of school. During the summer, students can finally get a good eight hours of sleep. During the school year, students are usually forced to stay up late to finish homework and wake up early to get to school on time. Another reason is that it’s just too hot to be in school. The lack of air conditioning throughout the school makes it impossible for us to be here during the high temperatures of late June, July, and August. With our rocky start to school this year, we’ve seen how the heat makes it nearly impossible to focus and work through assignments effectively and efficiently.

Whether or not summer is worth the loss of learning is difficult to decide. Different people have different opinions on it; students think summer is important and necessary, members of the school administration think that summer is very bad for school ranking and the achievement gap. One possible compromise is that students can continue to keep their skills sharp throughout the summer by dedicating at least one day a week to working on math and English by doing things like practice problems or reading.