The major indicator for this measure of success is the percent of children who maintain reading and math gains over the summer.
As much as two-thirds of the achievement gap between students with lower and higher socioeconomic status in 9th grade can be explained by summer learning loss in early elementary school, specifically in reading and math comprehension. Summer learning loss has been found to predict high school dropout rates, high school track placement, and enrollment in four-year colleges later in a student’s life. Children living in high poverty are significantly more likely to experience summer learning loss by late elementary and middle school.
- Kuhfield_2019_Surprising New Evidence on Summer Learning Loss: National analysis of 3.4 million K-8 students during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years. Measured summer learning loss as defined by reading and math achievement. Found that the strongest predictor of summer learning gains or losses was how learning much a student gained during the previous academic school year. Students living in high poverty had significantly more summer learning loss by later elementary and middle school than those not living in poverty.
- Kim and Quinn_2013_SummerReadingMetaAnalysis: Meta-analysis of 41 summer-based reading interventions between 1998 and 2011, spanning children in grades kindergarten through 8, in both the United States and Canada. Findings include improved reading comprehension, fluency and decoding among students who participated in a summer reading program. Summer reading programs had larger positive effects on children with lower incomes.
- Olson et al_2007_Lasting Consequences of the Summer Learning Gap: Study of 326 first grade children enrolled in Baltimore public school in 1982 who were monitored until the age of 22. Data was stratified by socioeconomic status (SES) and racial composition. Analyzed out of school summer learning in academic achievement (student reading and math comprehension). Compared academic gains of school-year learning to those of out-of-school summer learning to measure the effect of summer slide. Results showed that about two-thirds of the achievement gap between low and high SES students in 9th grade could be explained by summer learning loss in elementary school. Out-of-school summer learning differences in elementary school also predicted high school dropout rates, high school track placement, and enrollment in four-year colleges later in life.
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