Summertime: Kids' Chance to Get Stupider | NBC New York

Summertime: Kids' Chance to Get Stupider

Without summers off, how will they forget everything they just learned?

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    How cute! If you look very closely, you can see this girl's math scores declining.

    In the United States we have a hallowed tradition of giving children a summer break from their schooling, a tradition that stretches far back into our agrarian past, before the liberals passed their child labor laws and ruined "youth" for everyone. Back in those days, everyone from toddlers to teenagers enjoyed long, steamy summer hours weeding corn and milking cows and such, bonding with the earth to whose bosom they would soon return due to lack of adequate healthcare.

    But now there's really no point to summer break because robots run all of our major farms, and so kids either sit in front of the television all day or they go to expensive summer camps where they make doilies and plastic necklaces for $3,000 a week. This so-called "summer brain drain" is why America is always falling behind other countries in educational tests.

    [American children] usually perform poorly in international educational tests, coming behind Asian countries that spend less on education but work their children harder. California’s state universities have to send over a third of their entering class to take remedial courses in English and maths. At least a third of successful PhD students come from abroad.

    It's hard work, when you spend nine months out of the year cramming your brain full of "knowledge" and "skills," to force all that information from your head in one short 90-day period. But summer after summer, our youngsters set their noses obligingly to the grindstone, putting in long days in front of "Judge Judy" reruns and playing Wii Tennis and putting unhealthy snacks in their faces.

    Without this important summer break, children would have to learn new things all the time, instead of just re-learning the stuff they forgot several months ago. Alas despite their best efforts, it appears that some of the learning sticks:

    ... [C]hildren lose math ability when they don't use it and ... middle-class students read more than those from poor families because they have more books at home.

    Now the situation grows even more dire, because summer has been cancelled in many parts of the country. Children will have to work extra hard at goofing off and forgetting things in the months ahead.

    Sara K. Smith writes for NBC and Wonkette. A "year without summer" sounds pretty good to her right now.