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Maximizing Education Reform in the Stimulus Bill: Enhancing Summer Learning Programs MS Word PDF - A joint paper from the Education Commission of the States and the National Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University identifies how states can use summer learning programs to maximize new federal funds while also increasing their chances of receiving additional federal funding through the Race to the Top awards program. (Jeff Smink and Mike Griffith, Education Commission of the States and National Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University, April 2009)...

Impacts of a Summer Learning Program - A growing body of evidence indicates that the test scores of low-income children drop significantly relative to their higher-income counterparts during the summer months. This study evaluates the effectiveness of the Building Educated Leaders for Life (BELL) program – a summer program designed to improve academic skills, parental involvement, academic self-perceptions, and social behaviors among low- income children and families. The study found that children in the BELL treatment group gained about a month’s worth of reading skills more than their counterparts in the comparison group during the summer. The study also found evidence of positive impacts on the degree to which parents encouraged their children to read. No impacts were found on academic-self perceptions or social behaviors. (Duncan Chaplin and Jeffrey Capizzano, The Urban Institute, August 2006) ...

Summer Learning Opportunities in High-poverty Schools - Extended learning opportunities (ELO) programs provide an increasingly important link between the needs of low-income students and the demands of standards-based educational reforms, as they support the academic and social development of students during nontraditional school hours. This report profiles five summer ELO programs that have contributed to improved student achievement in high-poverty schools. (Council of Chief State School Officers, January 2005)...

Summer Learning Loss: The Problem and Some Solutions - This two-page paper, by Harris Cooper, discusses how American students suffer significant learning loss during the long summer break. Citing studies on the subject, the author details how and why knowledge retention occurs during this time, with reading skills deteriorating most among those who are disadvantaged, and loss of math skills appearing in all groups. Cooper lists three commonly advanced ideas to eliminate summer learning loss: extending the school year, noting that students in the U.S. spend less time in class than students in most other industrialized countries; expanding summer school offerings; and modifying the school calendar. The author summarizes the strengths and limitations. (Harris Cooper, ERIC Digest, May 2003)...

Making Use of Summer Time MS Word PDF - This "Stateline" article examines how state policy might support the seven features of effective summer school programs suggested by the Southern Regional Education Board in the report Summer School: Unfulfilled Promise. (Kathy Christie, Phi Delta Kappan, March 2003. Reprinted with permission.)...

Ending Social Promotion: Results from Summer Bridge - The authors examine the effects of Chicago's Summer Bridge Program on student reading and math achievement, from the program's launch in 1997 through summer 2000, and provide data on program costs and instructional practices, as well as participating student and teacher characteristics and opinions. The findings indicate that students, particularly 6th and 8th graders, made substantial test score gains during the program, but that children in low-achieving schools saw smaller increases than those in high-achieving schools. The researchers note, however, these accelerated learning rates did not continue into the regular school year. (Melissa Roderick, Mimi Engel, Jenny Nagaoka, with Brian A. Jacob, Sophie Degener, Alex Orfei, Susan Stone and Jen Bacon, Consortium on Chicago School Research, February 2003)...

Finding Alternatives to Failure: Can States End Social Promotion and Reduce Retention Rates? MS Word - Using data from the 16 member states of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), this report analyzes the negative consequences of social promotion – for both the student and the community – and presents several strategies for helping struggling students reach and remain at grade level. (David R. Denton, SREB, January 2001)...

Summer School: Research-based Recommendations for Policymakers - This paper begins with an overview listing future trends predicting an increase in summer school enrollment by American students, including the changing structure of the American family, the pressures of remaining globally competitive and the increasing emphasis on higher academic standards. The author discusses the historical roots of the current nine-month school calendar and the problem of summer learning loss associated with it, before touching on the concept of summer school and its overall goals. The author examines the effectiveness of summer programs and discusses the ramifications these findings have for crafting effective future policies and practices. The author concludes that despite the differing levels of benefit that various summer programs hold for separate segments of the student population, overall their value is positive. (Harris Cooper, SERVE, 2001)...

Conference Proceedings of the First Annual Conference on Summer Learning and the Achievement Gap - This July 2000 conference, sponsored by Johns Hopkins University, brought together researchers, policymakers and practitioners to review the latest findings on the impact of summer school on student learning. The conference report will be available online in fall 2000. (Center for Social Organization of Schools, July 2000)...

Ending Social Promotion: Results from the First Two Years - A study of Chicago's program to end social promotion found that 56% of students who attended the mandatory Summer Bridge Program improved enough to be promoted to the next grade. But it also showed that many of those same students were not able to maintain progress and, a year later, were at risk of failing again. (Melissa Roderick, Anthony S. Bryk, Brian A. Jacob, John Q. Easton, and Elaine Allensworth, Consortium on Chicago School Research, December 1999)...


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