The kids are hanging out. I pass small bands of students, in my way to work these mornings. They have become a familiar part of the summer landscape.
These kids are not old enough for jobs. Nor are they rich enough for camp. They are school children without school. The calendar called the school year ran out on them a few weeks ago. Once supervised by teachers and principals, they now appear to be “self care”.
Passing them is like passing through a time zone. For much of our history, after all, Americans arranged the school year around the needs of work and family. In 19th-century cities, schools were open seven or eight hours a day, 11 months a year. In rural America, the year was arranged around the growing season. Now, only 3 percent of families follow the agricultural model, but nearly all schools are scheduled as if our children went home early to milk the cows and took months off to work the crops. Now, three-quarters of the mothers of school-age children work, but the calendar is written as if they were home waiting for the school bus.
The six-hour day, the 180-day school year is regarded as something holy. But when parents work an eight-hour day and a 240-day year, it means something different. It means that many kids go home to empty houses. It means that, in the summer, they hang out.
“We have a huge mismatch between the school calendar and realities of family life,” says Dr. Ernest Boyer ,head of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Dr. Boyer is one of many who believe that a radical revision of the school calendar is inevitable. “School, whether we like it or not, is educational. It always has been.”
His is not popular idea. School are routinely burdened with the job of solving all our social problems. Can they be asked to meet the needs of our work and family lives?
It may be easier to promote a longer school year on its educational merits and, indeed, the educational case is compelling. Despite the complaints and studies about our kids’ lack of learning, the United State still has a shorter school year than any industrial nation. In most of Europe, the school year is 220 days. In Japan, it is 240 days long. While classroom time alone doesn’t produce a well-educated child, learning takes time and more learning takes more time. The long summers of forgetting take a toll.
The opposition to a longer school year comes from families that want to and can provide other experiences for their children. It comes from teachers. It comes from tradition. And surely from kids. But the most important part of the conflict has been over the money.
95. Which of the following is an opinion of the author’s? ____A____
A. “The kids are hanging out.”
B. “They are school children without school.”
C. “These kids are not old enough for jobs.”
D. “The calendar called the school year ran out on them a few weeks ago.”
解析：A。 第一段的第一句：“The kids are hanging out.”跟第二段的最后一句： “Once supervised by teachers and principals, they now appear to be “self care”. 相呼应。作者的观点是现在的孩子上学的时间太短，很多时间都在外闲逛，无所事事。这里的hang out是指在某地逗留，浪费时间。后面也可以加个地方，旨在那个地方逗留，浪费时间。也可以with某人，指与某人在一起瞎混，浪费时间。例如：You guys spent too much time hanging out.
96. The current American school calendar was developed in the 19th century according to ____A____
A. the growing season on nation’s farm.
B. the labor demands of the industrial age.
C. teachers’ demands for more vacation time.
D. parents’ demands for other experiences for their kids.
解析：A。第三段提到：“In rural America, the year was arranged around the growing season. Now, only 3 percent of families follow the agricultural model, but nearly all schools are scheduled as if our children went home early to milk the cows and took months off to work the crops. (19世纪的时候，上学时间是根据农时来决定的。现在虽然只有3%的家庭从事农业，但几乎所有的学校的校历安排似乎是让孩子们早早回家去挤牛奶或是花上几个月时间去地里种庄稼.)
97. The author thinks that the current school calendar ____A____.
A. is still valid.
B. is out of date.
C. can not be revised.
D. can not be defended.
98. Why was Dr. Boy’s idea unpopular? ____D____
A. He argues for the role of school in solving social problems.
B. He supports the current school calendar.
C. He thinks that school year and family life should be considered separately.
D. He strongly believes in the educational role of school.
解析：D。A和B明显与文章不符。A指的是大众的观点；B选项Dr. Boy是不赞同现有的校历的。C选项与文章相反，文中提到Dr.Boy’s idea: “We have a huge mismatch between the school calendar and realities of family life,”… “School, whether we like it or not, is educational. It always has been.” 意思是如今的校历安排与现实生活脱节，暗指应该把两者结合起来。
99.“The long summers of forgetting take a toll ”in the last paragraph but one means that ____C____.
A. long summer vacation slows down the progress of learning.
B. long summer vacation has been abandoned in Europe.
C. long summers result in less learning time.
D. long summers are a result of tradition.
解析：C。细看这句话：“learning takes time more learning takes more time, the long summer's forgetting take a toll.” take a toll意思是造成损失或有不良的影响。这句话意思是：“学习要时间,更多学习要更多时间,而长时间的暑假会影响(它),会对(它)造成不好影响”。
文中作者的观点是现有的校历学习的时间不够长，“Despite the complaints and studies about our kids’ lack of learning, the United State still has a shorter school year than any industrial nation.”（虽然我们抱怨和研究我们的孩子学习不够，然而在美国，上学时间仍然比其他任何工业国家的都要短。）
100. The main purpose of the passage is ____C____
A. to describe how American children spend their summer.
B. to explain the needs of the modern working families.
C. to discuss the problems of the current school calendar.
D. to persuade parents to stay at home to look after their kids.