Summer programs in large urban districts showed benefits for math performance but flat results in reading and social-emotional development, according to preliminary findings from the first longitudinal study of such initiatives.
The RAND Corp. study, known as the National Summer Learning Project, provides data from the first summer of a six-year randomized, controlled trial of programs in Boston; Dallas; Duval County, Fla.; Pittsburgh; and Rochester, N.Y. The study was funded by the Wallace Foundation, which also supports coverage of extended learning, leadership, and arts education in Education Week.
Researchers compared 5,637 students who completed 3rd grade in the spring of 2013 and applied for the summer programs in their respective districts. Of those, 3,194 were randomly assigned to the program, while 2,445 students were not offered a spot.
The study found that low-income students who attended a district-led program showed gains in mathematics skills equal to about 20 percent of a typical student’s growth during one year.
A version of this article appeared in the January 07, 2015 edition of Education Week as Summer Learning