Remember when summer was a delicious three-month break from reading, writing and math? Now it’s more likely seen as that period between school years in which too many kids forget too much of what they just spent months learning.
There’s even a name for it — “summer learning loss” — but it doesn’t affect all students in the same way, even if this phenomenon has been made out to be broadly based.
Middle-class students actually see learning gains over the summer, according to Johns Hopkins researchers, while students from low-income families see a significant slide, concentrating the problem on poor children.
Approximately two-thirds of the ninth-grade achievement gap between disadvantaged students and others is said to be the result of summer learning loss during elementary school, according to Johns Hopkins researcher Karl Alexander. And, according to this 2011 Rand report, “Making Summer Count: How Summer Programs Can Boost Children’s Learning”: