Teachers Combat Summer “Brain Drain” as School Year Begins

Some students, especially low-income students, have lost several months of educational progress over the summer.

summer_learning(Baltimore, MD) — Despite their fresh notebooks and a ready supply of sharpened pencils, many students didn’t start this new school year prepared to move ahead. Research shows that many of them, particularly low-income students, are starting school months behind where they were last spring, causing teachers to spend weeks of the new academic year going over content instead of tackling new material.

As Jeff Smink, Vice-president of Policy of the National Summer Learning Association, wrote recently in the New York Times, “The American ideal of lazy summers filled with fun has an unintended consequence: If students are not engaged in learning over the summer, they lose skills in math and reading. Summers off are one of the most important, yet least acknowledged, causes of underachievement in our schools.”

A report released by the RAND Corp. this summer found that high-quality summer learning programs can curb these losses and even boost student achievement. A number of school districts—including Baltimore, Chicago, and Pittsburgh—are tracking how their expanded investments in summer learning programs impact students’ readiness for the new academic challenges they face. Earlier this year, for example, Baltimore City Schools reported that more than 60 percent of middle-schoolers who participated in newly created summer programs retained or gained skills.

“The start of the new school year is an exciting time, and students and teachers should be ready to use that momentum to move ahead,” said Matthew Boulay, the Association’s Interim CEO. “Summer learning loss is cumulative, so this drain on our teaching resources happens year after year, putting our students and our nation at a permanent disadvantage.”

The mission of the National Summer Learning Association is to connect and equip schools and community organizations to deliver quality summer learning programs to our nation’s youth to help close the achievement gap. The organization serves as a network hub for thousands of summer learning program providers and stakeholders across the country.

Comments


  1. Teachers Combat Summer “Brain Drain” as School Year Begins | International Education News | Renascence School International | Panama City | private preschool, elementary school, middle school

    [...] to spend weeks of the new academic year going over content instead of tackling new material.”(more)    Comments (0) Go to main news [...]


  2. Brencis

    America needs year round schooling.


  3. 9-07-11 | Daily Digest on Education

    [...] Education News. Teachers Combat Summer “Brain Drain” as School Year Begins.                                                                                            Some students, especially low-income students, have lost several months of educational progress over the summer. [...]

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Tuesday

September 6th, 2011

Staff Reporter EducationNews.org

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