New Presentation: Why Summer Learning Matters – to Boston and the Nation
By generating evidence that high-quality summer learning helps close the achievement gap between poor and affluent children, Boston programs can help change the national conversation, said Wallace Foundation President Will Miller at a one-day conference, Summer Learning: Bridging the Opportunity and Achievement Gap, hosted by Boston After School & Beyond on April 3, 2013. In his presentation, Miller cited research showing that summer learning loss—the loss of academic gains made by students during the school year over the course of the summer months—is a significant contributor to the achievement gap. He went on to describe the two-phase summer learning demonstration project that Wallace has undertaken with five school districts across the country, including Boston, to strengthen summer learning programs (phase 1) and evaluate their effect on disadvantaged students across each district (phase 2). Wallace is working on the project with a coalition of partners in Boston, including the school district, Boston After School & Beyond, community-based and member organizations, and foundations. Drawing on a recent report by the White House Council for Community Solutions and his own experience, Miller stressed that the long-term success of such a partnership depends on mutual trust.