Examines evidence that summer programs can help counter the "summer slide" that disproportionately affects low-income students and contributes to the achievement gap; identifies obstacles to program provision; analyzes costs; and offers recommendations.
- Successful Strategy: Summer learning programs can mitigate summer learning losses and even lead to achievement gains.
- Observation: Summer learning loss is disproportionate and cumulative in low-income students, and it contributes substantially to the achievement gap, particularly in reading.
- Observation: In order to be effective, summer learning programs need to be high-quality (having individualized instruction, parental involvement, and small class sizes), and students need to attend regularly (strategies include offering engaging enrichment activities, providing transportation, and offering full-day programs).
- Observation: Partnerships with school districts and community-based organizations can strengthen summer learning programs in terms of cost, leveraging funding, and providing opportunities for enrichment.