Point/Counterpoint- Students need more breaks

Sanjana Sathrasala, Copy Editor

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With winter approaching, most students are looking forward to having a whole week off for Mid-Winter break. However, the 2016-2017 school year is not as forgiving when it comes to school breaks. This year, students will only have two days off.

While administrators believe there will be benefits to adding a few extra days onto the school year, there is no evidence of this being true.

This past year, Michigan passed a statewide legislation requiring schools to administer 180 days of school. This differs from past years’ requirement of 175 days or a minimum of 1098 hours of instruction.

During the last school year, extra minutes were added onto the end of the school day to meet these requirements, making student dismissal 2:20 instead of 2:12. By adding these minutes onto the school day, Michigan state legislators hoped to improve academic performance because of the additional instruction time. However, according to Education Week, this proved to be unsuccessful as Michigan continues to rank in the bottom half of the country regarding statewide academic performance in K-12 schools.

For the 2016-2017 school year, administrators are essentially doing the same thing as they did last year. Instead of adding extra minutes, however, they are adding around five extra days.

By adding these extra days, students do not gain any benefits academically. This additional instruction time has already proven to be ineffective in boosting Michigan’s rankings among other states.

Students are constantly pressed to perform at their highest levels throughout the school day. In addition to school hours, students are on the go after school, whether it is extra-curricular activities or homework. This constant high pressure environment is detrimental to a student’s learning capability. Therefore, allowing for more breaks is beneficial by creating down time where students can relax and recover from the constant stress of school.

While administrators would love to believe that extra time means higher academic performance, the addition of five days has no benefit to a student’s learning career. By taking away these breaks, it is just more time for students to become engulfed in the endless cycle of homework, tests, extra-curriculars, and overall pressure. Rather than overworking our students, legislators need to realize the benefits that breaks can have on relieving the stresses of school and increasing the academic potential students have.

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