I'm unsure about this idea. I think one problem with public education during the last 50 or so years is that it has become more geared towards business and less geared towards life in general (with language, arts, sports, and other training). I think it's important to have a healthy balance there, and with school being more and more business oriented, summer vacations are increasingly important. Education chief favors longer school year - CNN.com Arne Duncan, the Cabinet secretary charged with overhauling America's educational system, is studying programs that keep kids in school longer to boost their academic achievements. "When I go out and talk about that, that doesn't always make me popular with students. They like the long summers," Duncan said in an interview Wednesday with CNN conducted in the Education Department's library. But Duncan said American students are "at a competitive disadvantage" because the United States has shorter school years than other countries such as India and China. "It doesn't matter how poor, how tough the family background, socioeconomic challenges," Duncan said. "Where students have longer days, longer weeks, longer years -- that's making a difference."