Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Out-of-School Help for Summer Learning Lapse

August 14, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

As the executive director of the Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University, I welcome the attention brought to the issue of summer break by your recent article “Much of Learning Gap Blamed on Summer” (July 18, 2007). Our center works closely with Karl L. Alexander, whose research is highlighted in the article, and we support his recommendation for expanded learning time during the summer months.

At the same time, it’s important to recognize that learning need not take place exclusively within school walls. Many capable organizations can jump in to help close the nation’s achievement gaps. In fact, many of the most successful summer programs offer a combination of engaging academic and enrichment activities that take place in camps, libraries, museums, and other community institutions across the country.

High-quality summer programs reinforce what is taught during the school year. Just as importantly, they equip and inspire kids to explore what the school year’s time crunch doesn’t always allow, such as new interests and hobbies, the arts, technology, and community service. These activities help stimulate a love of learning and develop the types of innovative and creative thinking skills that a new global economy demands.

Now is the time to include out-of-school-time learning as an essential component of education reform. Rather than detract from schooltime efforts, this reform would complement and strengthen school-year learning. As research by Mr. Alexander and others makes clear, closing the achievement gaps that plague our schools will not be possible until summer learning opportunities for disadvantaged youths become a policy priority.

Ron Fairchild

Executive Director

Center for Summer Learning

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, Md.

A version of this article appeared in the August 15, 2007 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
Strategies for Incorporating SEL into Curriculum
Empower students to thrive. Learn how to integrate powerful social-emotional learning (SEL) strategies into the classroom.
Content provided by Be GLAD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Leadership in Education: Building Collaborative Teams and Driving Innovation
Learn strategies to build strong teams, foster innovation, & drive student success.
Content provided by Follett Learning
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Principals, Lead Stronger in the New School Year
Join this free virtual event for a deep dive on the skills and motivation you need to put your best foot forward in the new year.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: June 12, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: May 29, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: May 8, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: April 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read