Making Summer Count

Making Summer Count: How Summer Programs Can Boost Children's Learning

JENNIFER SLOAN MCCOMBS
CATHERINE H. AUGUSTINE
HEATHER L. SCHWARTZ
SUSAN J. BODILLY
BRIAN MCINNIS
DAHLIA S. LICHTER
AMANDA BROWN CROSS
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 118
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mg1120wf
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  • Book Info
    Making Summer Count
    Book Description:

    Research has shown that students' skills and knowledge often deteriorate during the summer months, with low-income students facing the largest losses. School districts and summer programming providers can benefit from the lessons learned by other programs in terms of developing strategies to maximize program effectiveness and quality, student participation, and strategic partnerships and funding.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-5271-1
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xx)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-16)

    Despite steady efforts to close the large achievement gap between disadvantaged and advantaged students over the past 40 years, significant discrepancies remain. In 2009, on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, 49 percent of low-income fourthgrade students scored at the “below basic” level in reading (the lowest proficiency level) compared with 20 percent of their higher-income students. Large achievement gaps exist for mathematics as well, with 30 percent of low-income students performing at the lowest performance level compared with only 9 percent of their higher-income peers. These trends also hold in the eighth grade, where the differences are 40 percent...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Time, Learning, Learning Decay, and Summer Learning Loss
    (pp. 17-26)

    In this chapter, we explore the nature of summer learning loss and its effects. We first provide some background on the relationship between time and learning to create the conceptual link between summer vacation and loss of academic skills. Many of the findings in this chapter are derived from Cooper, Nye, et al.’s 1996 analysis of the literature on summer learning loss. In addition, we draw heavily on two key longitudinal studies conducted in Atlanta and Baltimore, which tracked students over time and enabled an examination of the effects of school separately from the effects of summer and the impact...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Effectiveness of Summer Learning Programs
    (pp. 27-36)

    This chapter reviews the existing literature on the effectiveness of summer learning programs. It draws on evidence from a meta-analysis conducted by Cooper, Charlton, et al. (2000) and from 13 experimental or quasi-experimental research studies since 2000.¹ Using evidence from these studies, we describe the overall effects of summer learning programs, effects over time, and the extent to which studies have found differential effects based on subject, student demographics, grade level, and attendance. The summer learning programs examined in the literature included voluntary athome summer reading programs, voluntary classroom-based summer programs, and “mandatory” summer programs that students must attend to...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Costs of Summer Programming
    (pp. 37-56)

    This chapter examines the costs of providing a particular kind of summer programming: programs that operate at scale (which we define as 1,000 or more students) with a focus on academics that are delivered primarily to disadvantaged children in grades K—8. The goal is to identify both the monetary and in-kind costs of this type of program, which we refer to in this chapter as a “summer learning program,” to provide useful information to school districts that wish to develop these programs. To this end, we addressed four questions:

    What are the respective costs of externally led and school...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Creating and Maintaining Summer Learning Programs: Lessons from the Field
    (pp. 57-70)

    This chapter draws on our field work to provide insights into district decisionmaking on summer learning programs. We synthesize interview data on why districts and others do, or do not, establish summer learning programs. For those that do provide programming, we summarize the barriers they faced in creating, sustaining, and scaling their programs and discuss how they overcame these barriers. We then refer back to the quality components presented in Chapter Three in considering how the programs we studied strove to ensure quality. This information should be useful to school district leaders and others considering or planning summer learning programs....

  14. CHAPTER SIX Conclusions and Recommendations
    (pp. 71-76)

    Despite the evidence supporting summer learning programs and the recent attention they are receiving in the media and in policy debates, many large school districts do not offer such programs to their high-need students. Although there are many small summer learning programs in urban districts, few districts provide full-day academic and enrichment summer programs for their entire low-performing or high-need populations. Even when they do offer programs, as is the case in Minneapolis and in Albuquerque, it is difficult to attract more than half the students they are targeting.

    There are several reasons that so many districts have not pursued...

  15. APPENDIX Approach to Cost Estimates for Summer Learning Programs
    (pp. 77-86)
  16. References
    (pp. 87-94)