“It may seem counterintuitive, but schools don’t seem to produce much of the disparity in test scores between high- and low-income students… There is some evidence that achievement gaps between high- and low-income students actually narrow during the nine-month school year, but they widen again in the summer months.” Source: Sean Reardon, No Rich Child Left Behind, New York Times Op-Ed, April 30, 2013.
School Year vs. Summer Faucet Theory: learning and health resources are turned on for all youth during the school year because of equal access to public education.
School Year vs. Summer During the summer, the faucet is turned OFF for low-income youth. A limited flow of resources in the summer has major implications for summer program quality.
Lack of Summer Learning Widens the Achievement Gap Students from high and medium income families continue to advance during the summer while low-income students take steps backwards.
Summer Learning Loss is Cumulative Summer learning loss makes a substantial contribution to the achievement gap. Today, just more than 1/3 of low-income youth are participating in a summer learning opportunity, and many of those opportunities are not designed to prevent summer learning loss. 7
Summer Learning Works High-quality summer learning programs have been shown to improve reading and math skills, school attachment, motivation, relationships with adults and peers Voluntary, mandatory, center-based and at-home models have all been proven to work High-quality is well defined Summer learning is cost effective and targeted
Compelling Results & Research Pre-K Summer Melt Health/Nutrition America After 3pm Parents Summer Learning Demonstration Project
Two Ends of the Spectrum Pre-K summer learning: Houston and Oakland among cities expanding access The “Summer Melt:” 30% of low-income youth who are accepted to college ultimately do not enroll Those with counseling and support in the summer enroll at higher rates First Lady’s new Reach Higher initiative is focused on this issue
Summer Health and Nutrition Harvard meta analysis published in June’s Preventing Chronic Disease Studies recorded body composition measurements before and after summer vacation among children 5 to 17 years old. Key Finding: Children gained weight up to twice as fast in the summer months, particularly children who: had already reached adolescence; were black or Hispanic; or had struggled with excess weight during the prior academic year. Previous studies have shown that children who participate in organized summer activities are least likely to be obese (Mahoney, 2009)
Summer Health and Nutrition Food Research Action Center found that nationally only 15% of children who access free or reduced price meals in the school year have access to them in the summer (Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation, 2014) This number is up slightly (+161,000 children nationally) for the first time a decade
New Research on Access The Afterschool Alliance will release this week the results from its America After 3pm: Special Report on Summer national survey. Key findings include: 1/3 of families reported that at least one child participated in a summer learning opportunity, up from 25% in 2009 More than half of families want their children to participate, and 86% support public funding for summer learning 13% reported their program was no cost, but the average cost was $250 per week, placing summer learning out of reach for many families These data are embargoed until 10am Eastern on Thursday, July 17, 2014. Visit afterschoolalliance.org for details.
Parents on Summer Learning Research shows that most parents don’t understand the problem of summer learning loss and do not prioritize reading for their children in the summer (2014 Harris Interactive Poll for Reading is Fundamental) 60% do not believe their children experience summer learning loss Only 17% think reading is a summer priority Summer learning is still stigmatized, particularly for low-income youth Parents do better when they know better
Forthcoming Research Fall/Winter 2014: Wallace Foundation Summer Learning Demonstration Project First wave of impact findings from 5-city summer learning demonstration project for 4 th and 5 th grade students Measuring academic and non-academic gains during the summer and in the school year for participants and a randomized control group
Questions to Consider How are programs and systems engaging and equipping parents on summer learning? Access/Scale: How are communities meeting children and families where they are with services? Lunch at the Library School Libraries Book Distributions Cities of Learning (Online and In-Person) Public Housing and Rec Center partnerships
Questions to Consider How are community partnerships creating stronger, more sustainable programs? How are school districts using summer learning to train and retain teachers?
Resources from RAND and Wallace Making Summer Count Literature Review and Best Practices from Summer Learning Research Getting to Work on Summer Learning Lessons learned from Summer Learning Demonstration Project in Five School Districts
Hallmarks of Quality Individualized/Personalized Learning Intentional focus- meeting an identified need Small-group instruction Focus on attendance and retention (youth and staff) Involvement of credentialed teachers Community engagement Deep focus on skill-building and mastery Strong program culture
THANK YOU! Contact: Sarah Pitcock, CEO National Summer Learning Association 410-856-1370 ext. 404 firstname.lastname@example.org