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Cali Center, Inc.

Blog

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Making Summer Count

Posted on April 10, 2016 at 9:55 AM

     During summer vacation, many students lose knowledge and skills. By the end of the summer, students perform, on average, one month behind where they left off in the spring. Of course, not all students experience "average" losses. Summer learning loss disproportionately affects low-income students. While all students lose some ground in mathematics, low-income students lose more ground in reading, while their higher-income peers may even gain. Most disturbing is that the summer learning loss is cumulative; over time the difference between the summer learning rates of low-income and higher-income students contribute substantionally to the achievement gap.

     Because many students lose learning over the summer and some students need more time on task to master content, participation in summer learning programs should mitigate learning loss and even produce achievemet gains. Indeed, educators and policy makers are increasingly promoting summer learning as a key strategy to improving the achievement of low-performing students. In 2009, a John Hopkins University-based center for summer learning became an independent organization, the National Summer Learning Association, providing resources, guidance, and expertise to the summer learning community. In 2010, President Obama noted, "Students are losing a lot of what they learn during the school year, during the summer." Earlier that year, Michelle Obama launched "United We Serve: Let's Read, Let's Move," a program that encourages Americans to fight the summer reading gap, acknowledging that youth who do not read during the summer can lose months of academic progress.

(White House, 2010).

To learn more go to http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2011/RAND_MG1120.pdf

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