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The Progress of Education Reform: Summer Learning - Moving from the Periphery to the Core PDF - For a long time, the issue of summer learning has waited in the wings, like a fully prepared understudy, ready to jump in and take the stage should the star need a back-up. Recently, though, summer learning has moved into the spotlight — and at the same time, the script is changing. Instead of memorizing and mimicking the star’s lines, summer learning is writing its own script. Transcending the punitive and remedial model of summer school, summer learning’s new form is an artful blend of core academic learning, hands-on activities, 21st Century skills, arts, sports and meaningful relationships. (June 2009) ...

Ready for Fall? Near-Term Effects of Voluntary Summer Learning Programs on Low-Income Students' Learning Opportunities and Outcomes - Can a large, district-run, voluntary summer program improve student outcomes? Five urban districts participated in the study. Among findings: students who attended the programs returned to school with stronger math skills. However, there were no near-term effects in reading and social and emotional skills were unaffected. Summer learning programs proved popular with students and families if they were free, voluntary and combined academics and enrichment. (Jennifer Sloan McCombs, et al., Rand, December 2014)...

More Parents Report Enrolling Children in Summer Learning - An increased awareness of summer learning loss is contributing to growing interest in publicly supported summer programs. In 2013, 33 percent of families had at least one child in a summer program and in spring of 2014, 51 percent said they wanted their children to participate in such a program. Although 86 percent of parents support public funding, only 13 percent said their child's program was free. While the benchmark for childcare is considered to be 10 percent of weekly income, most summer programs exceed that. (Afterschool Alliance, 2014)...

The Effects of Increased Learning Time on Student Academic and Nonacademic Outcomes: Findings from a Meta-Analytic Review - Thirty studies were chosen to find out if increased learning time outside the academic day improved outcomes. Positive results weren't always produced, but some forms of instruction tailored to specific student types, lead to improvement. For example, increased learning time promoted achievement in math and literacy when instruction was led by a certified teacher in a traditional way, it improved literacy for under performing students and it improved social-emotional skills for students with ADHD. (Yael Kidron and Jim Lindsay, REL Appalachia, July 2014)...

Year-Round Learning: Continuity in Education Across Settings and Time Through Expanded Learning Opportunities - Instead of putting the entire burden of educating America's youth on schools, why not recognize the richness of education outside the classroom and spread the wealth? That is, spread the school day and spread the summer so learning is year-round. Do it with a coordination of public, nonprofit, and private budgets and it's possible all parties will save money. The third in a series on Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELOs), this brief from the Harvard Family Research Project and the National Conference of State Legislatures suggests such a plan allows amplification of school learning with hands-on activities, it allows for an individualized learning plan that recognizes a student's needs and interests, and it prevents summer learning loss. (Erin Harris and Ashley Wallace, National Conference of State Legislators, December 2012)...

Summer School: Unfulfilled Promise - Quality summer school is the last hope for failing students to avoid repeating a grade, according to this report from the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). Based on a survey of more than 1,000 middle schools and high schools, the report found wide variation in the funding, operation and existence of summer schools. Among other recommendations, the report suggests that states must make summer school an integral part of a year-round program at no cost to parents. It also concludes that summer school must meet clear standards for quality, program length and scheduling of classes. (David R. Denton, SREB, June 2002) ...

Bumper Summer School Crop Yields Mixed Test Results - As summer school wound down in late summer 2000, districts reported mixed results from unprecedented efforts to squeeze more instruction into the calendar. If a general trend stood out, it was the continuing growth of such programs, especially in big-city districts. (Robert Johnston, Education Week, September 6, 2000)...

Making the Most of Summer School: A Meta-Analytic and Narrative Review - This book synthesizes the findings of 93 evaluations of summer schools and examines the implications of these findings for future research, public policy and the implementation of summer school programs. It is not available online but can be ordered from the publisher....

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