Your excellent July 13 editorial, “Our View: Long summer break leaves kids behind,” outlined the decline of our education system. In the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment results, the United States barely breaks the midpoint, resulting in high-tech companies hiring from countries abroad.

Thirty years ago, I approached my local school district with the idea of changing and hypercharging our education system.

Our school buildings were open and staffed for the entire summer to accommodate various school activities, including summer school, drama, football and swimming, as well as public use of the pool, stage, meeting rooms and gym for volleyball and exercise classes.

If all of these functions were happening, why weren’t we teaching our children throughout the summer? Instead, they got bored by July Fourth.

My proposal from 30 years ago is still appropriate today. The school year would be comprised of three 14-week semesters, with a three- to four-week break between each.

The scheduling and selection of courses would be coordinated by the guidance department.

Class time should be 90 minutes – the optimal length of time for successful instruction and comprehension. Teachers’ incomes would need to be addressed for the increased workloads.

Some students possibly could graduate in three years, and if the school teams up with a cooperative college, the college might be able to offer a student an associate degree through five years of high school.

Taking a semester off would also allowed. The possibilities are virtually open-ended.

Bill Leibenguth

Newcastle