Throughout Massachusetts right now, there is a tale of two summers playing out.
Parents with financial means are organizing camps, vacations, and lessons for their children. These experiences will stimulate curiosity, build background knowledge, contribute to social and emotional development, and expand social networks. They will also prepare young people for the school year ahead. Young people from low-income families too often can’t or don’t find these opportunities, participating at just half the rate of their wealthier peers.
Policy leaders often focus too narrowly on the four walls of the school and overlook decades of research on this main driver of the achievement gap.