Summer Learning Loss: The Problem and Some Solutions
By: Harris Cooper (2003)
Research on summer learning loss
In sum, what do we know? (1) It is clear that students do forget mathematics material over the summer, and poor children lose reading skills as well. (2) Extending the school year by a few days is a questionable intervention, but we should not rule out the possibility that substantial increases in the length of the school year coupled with corresponding curricula reform could have a positive impact on student learning. (3) Summer programs are an effective intervention for purposes of academic remediation, enrichment, or acceleration, and a knowledge base has accumulated that can help make the most of summer school. (4) Modified school calendars may have a small positive impact on student achievement and a more noticeable impact on the achievement of disadvantaged children, but the existing research contains design flaws that render conclusions tentative at best. Further, there are many variables that might influence the effect of calendar variations that are yet to be tested.