In a new report, Making Summer Count: How Summer Programs Can Boost Children’s Learning, RAND synthesizes the evidence on summer learning.
The report explains that summer learning loss is cumulative and contributes substantially to the achievement gap.
Strikingly, the report states, “It may be that efforts to close the achievement gap during the school year alone will be unsuccessful.” These distressing observations are balanced with encouraging findings that “students who attend summer programs have better outcomes than similar peers who do not attend these programs.” The report issues a set of recommendations for policy-makers, school districts, and funders. These include: aligning school year and summer strategies, forming community partnerships, and investing in high quality staff and early planning.
Watch an interview on the report with the RAND Senior Policy Researchers Jennifer Sloan McCombs and Catherine H. Augustine.