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Research,  September 25, 2007

The Untapped Power of Summer to Advance Student Achievement

"Now that the fall school year is underway, many students are catching up from what is now defined as 'summer learning loss.' A report by Dr. Beth M. Miller, released by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, reveals that summer enrichment opportunities have a much more profound impact than previously believed on the academic achievement of young people.

The Learning Season: The Untapped Power of Summer to Advance Student Achievement reports that children experience learning loss over the summer months, and these losses are much greater for children from low-income families than they are for other children.

Among The Learning Seasonís findings: The test-score gap between children from low-income and middle-income families is attributable in large part to summer learning loss; Children are actually losing some of their previous learning over the inactive, summer months; Schooling, a universal and accessible institution, of course affects student learning. However, school alone cannot compensate for societal inequities, especially during the weeks and months when they are closed.

There is growing evidence that well-designed, intentional summer programs can minimize summer learning loss; they can also go a long way toward developing a young personís engagement in learning, leading to long-term increases in school attainment and achievement.

To hear a discussion with Dr. Beth Miller about summer learning and the implications of out-of-school time learning on 'traditional' education, visit"

Posted by wrivenburgh on September 25, 2007 | Research