Friday, June 19, 2009
Summer Brain Drain
Now that school is (almost) out for everyone, it does not mean that learning has to end. I recently received a newsletter from BPS that contained a very interesting statistic - the average child loses about a month of academic progress made during the school year. The school year in America is on average 180 days long. In South Korea the school year is 220 days long, in Japan the school year is 243 days long. On a recent test to measure math ability in students in industrialized nations, students were asked how many of the algebra, calculus and geometry questions on the test had the students learned in school. Japanese 12th graders had learned 92% of the material in school, American 12th graders had only learned 52% of the material in school. No wonder America is falling behind other industrialized countries in math and science. Summer does not have to be a time of brain drain. Keep your child engaged in reading and math over the summer so they have a competitive advantage once school starts in the fall. Some of the highest paid careers (medicine, law, finance, engineering, etc.) require excellent math and verbal skills.