Time makes an argument for ending the typical American summer vacation from school. Numerous studies indicate that children lose ground during the summer and low-income students lose a lot of ground:
And what starts as a hiccup in a 6-year-old’s education can be a crisis by the time that child reaches high school. A major study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University concluded that while students made similar progress during the school year, regardless of economic status, the better-off kids held steady or continued to advance during the summer — while disadvantaged students fell back. By the end of grammar school, low-income students had fallen nearly three grade levels behind. By ninth grade, roughly two-thirds of the learning gap separating income groups could be blamed on summer learning loss.
The article also mentions the romanticism linked with summer vacation: trips, outdoor activity, freedom. This seems particularly crucial for American teenagerdom when teenagers get a first taste of being away from their parents. Even though I really liked school, I did enjoy summer vacation and all the options that were available to me (which not everyone has).
Would it be too difficult to split the summer vacation into two sections of about a month or a month and a half long? This seems like a reasonable compromise: some time off for everyone, shorter gaps for students to lose knowledge.