Friday, July 10, 2009

The Summer Learning Loss Is Real For All Students

Summer Learning Loss is a real problem facing parents and educators according to The National Center for Summer Learning. "Two-thirds of the ninth grade achievement gap can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities during the elementary school years" (The National Center for Summer Learning, 2009). Just how much and what is lost differs from student to student. However, research has suggested youth who are engaged in some form of organized or parent monitored summer learning tend to avoid the summer learning loss.
The National Center for Summer Learning has suggested the adverse affect of summer reading loss can last a life-time. Additionally, research has implied the summer learning loss "affects nearly all young people" (The National Center for Summer Learning, 2009). Based on previous research studies The National Center for Summer Learning outlined three additional consequences associated with summer learning loss:

  • Two-thirds of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college (Alexander et al, 2007).
  • Most students lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement, while their middle-class peers make slight gains (Cooper, 1996). When this pattern continues throughout the elementary school years, lower income youth fall more than two and one-half years behind their more affluent peers by the end of fifth grade.
  • Most children – particularly children at high risk of obesity – gain weight more rapidly when they are out of school during summer break (Von Hippel et al, 2007).

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