To the Editor:
In their recent Commentary, Bolgen Vargas and Sandra A. Parker argue that a longer school day will better prepare students for high-tech jobs and prevent summer learning loss.
Summer loss is mostly concentrated in students living in poverty. Studies going back to 1975 consistently show that the major cause of summer loss in literacy among students living in poverty is a lack of access to reading material.
The most obvious solution is to invest in public libraries filled with books and other kinds of material that students will read, as well as librarians who will help young readers find what is right for them.
We are living in a golden age of literature for young people. Let’s take advantage of it.
Rossier School of Education
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, Calif.
A version of this article appeared in the August 05, 2015 edition of Education Week as More Books, Better Libraries Can Fight ‘Summer Loss’