Summer Jobs Make Better Students

One of the many benefits to protecting North Carolina’s school calendar law and giving families the option to have a real summer?

Jobs.

A few years ago, as states across the country were wrestling with the school calendar debate, researchers from Stanford University took a long look at summer’s impact on the classroom, specifically sustained employment and summer work programs for students. What did they find? Consistent work for older kids throughout the summer might actually increases attendance and academic outcomes during the school year. From the study:

Beyond increasing financial well-being, employment may foster non-cognitive skills such as responsibility, positive work habits, motivation, time management, determination, and self-confidence. Summer employment may also benefit youth by keeping them engaged in positive supervised activities when school is out of session, and is considerably less likely to detract time from educational pursuits compared to work during the school year.     

Advocates for mandating longer school years have long claimed – without evidence –that it will improve academic success. Now there’s academic research that the opposite is true.

Summer means more structure, more real-world experience, and more opportunities for students. Let’s protect it.