Getting to Work on Summer Learning: Recommended Practices for Success

Getting to Work on Summer Learning: Recommended Practices for Success

Getting to Work on Summer Learning: Recommended Practices for Success

Getting to Work on Summer Learning: Recommended Practices for Success

Excerpt

This report offers guidance to district leaders across the country who are interested in launching summer learning programs or improving programs that are already established. Our recommendations are based on the evaluations of summer programs in six urban districts in the summer of 2011. These districts—Boston; Cincinnati; Dallas; Duval County, Florida; Pittsburgh; and Rochester, New York—were selected for a multiyear demonstration project funded by The Wallace Foundation to assess their effectiveness in improving student achievement. They are among the nation’s most advanced in their experience with comprehensive, voluntary summer learning programs.

This is the second of five reports that will result from the evaluation. The first report, Making Summer Count: How Summer Programs Can Boost Children’s Learning (McCombs et al., 2011) synthesized the research on summer learning loss, identified the key features of effective summer learning programs supported by research, and investigated the ways that more than 20 program leaders were managing the challenges of implementing such programs. This second report offers lessons learned from detailed evaluations of the district programs in the demonstration project in the summer of 2011. These evaluations were designed to help the districts improve the programs they offered in 2012. We have since completed evaluations of the summer 2012 programs, so that districts could further strengthen their programs by the summer of 2013, during a randomized controlled trial to assess the programs’ effects on student performance. Three forthcoming reports will present the results of the trial. A PDF file containing the appendix material to this document is available on the RAND website’s product page for this research report (http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR366.html).

This study was undertaken by RAND Education, a unit of the RAND Corporation that conducts research on prekindergarten, kindergarten–12th grade, and higher education issues such as assessment and accountability, choice-based and standardsbased school reform, vocational training, and the value of arts education and policy in sustaining and promoting well-rounded communities.

This study was sponsored by The Wallace Foundation, which seeks to support and share effective ideas and practices to improve learning and enrichment opportunities for children. Its current objectives are to improve the quality of schools, primar-

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