Proposals for extending the United States school year to bring it more in line with its European and Japanese counterparts are often met with the objection that curtailing the school’s three-month summer vacation would violate an established United States tradition dating from the nineteenth century. However, this objection misses its mark. True, in the nineteenth century, the majority of schools closed for three months every summer, but only because they were in rural areas where successful harvests depended on children labor. If any policy could be justified by those appears to tradition, it would be the policy of determining the length of the school year according to the needs of the economy.[school year] is determined by [tradition]. But [tradition] was determined by [economy]. Therefore, [economy] has to determine [school year].
The argument counters the objection by
(A) providing evidence to show that the objection relies on a misunderstanding about the amount
of time each year United States schools traditionally have been closed - is not true
(B) calling into question the relevance of information
about historical practices to current disputes about proposed social change - the information is relevant. But we have to understand genuine reasons of the tradition.
(C) arguing for an alternative understanding
of the nature of the United States tradition regarding the length of the school year - the best
(D) showing that those who oppose extending the school year have no genuine concern for tradition - irrelevant
(E) demonstrating that tradition justifies bringing the United States school year in line with that of the rest of the industrialized world - irrelevant
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