This summer, I’ve been in the process of writing my seventh book — the third volume in my series on student motivation (I’m over halfway there — Yay!).
As part of that writing, I’ve been going over a number of articles I’ve saved over the past year, and, tonight, I began reviewing resources on The Best Resources On The “Summer Slide” list.
As I reviewed them, I was reminded of an extremely important fact that I must have forgotten, and is best expressed in a piece published by Education Week a couple of months ago:
These findings are backed-up by extensive research, much of which you can find on my “Best” list, and it reinforces why I set-up online virtual summer school classrooms for my students.
We used to have over a thousand students attending summer school classes — not because they had to be there, but because they wanted to come. But those days are long-gone, and this year we had four classes, primarily for students who had failed a class and needed to make it up.
So, if all the research says most of the achievement gap is due to summer learning loss, it boggles my mind even more that we are spending huge amounts of resources on countless school reform boondoggles like Race To The Top, Value Added Measurements (VAM), the “next generation” of standardized testing, etc…
The research shows that summer learning programs are very inexpensive since they can be effective at stemming learning loss by even lasting for only six weeks. Shouldn’t those wasted monies be spent there?
Oh, I forgot — the U.S. Department of Education prefers spending money on programs that have no research backing up their effectiveness….