Whenever school reform comes up, it seems that year round education is one of the items that is often brought up as a means to improve student learning. The reasons for this are many, not the least of which is that reformers look to the educational systems in other countries that seem to be succeeding. Many countries in Europe exist on a year-round system. Of course, it is important to note that year-round is a bit of a misnomer. Typically the school year is just as long as it is in a traditional system. However, mini-breaks are spread throughout the year and the summer break is shortened. The question before us then is, does year round education really make any difference at all for student learning? Unfortunately, the evidence is really not that clear. No clear gains in student achievement were noted in two major studies, though it did seem that the schooling might be more beneficial for low income students. However, the studies did show that those who participated in year-round schooling were actually quite happy with the experience.
You can learn more about year round schooling including arguments both for and against it with my article: Year Round Education.
Cooper, H., Valentine, J. C., Charlton, K., & Melson, A. (2003). The effects of modified school calendars on student achievement and on school and community attitudes. Review of Educational Research, 73(1), 1-52.
Worthen, B. R., & Zsiray, S. W. (1994). What twenty years of educational studies reveal about year-round education. Raleigh: North Carolina Educational Policy Research Center.\