7-5-10: Summertime and the Learnin’ Ain’t Easy
This conversation originally aired June 22, 2009.
When children get to elementary school, there is already an achievement gap between poorer students and their better-off peers. By the time they finish elementary school, that gap has grown significantly. But don’t blame it all on the schools – some research says that rich and poor students make similar gains during the school year, but that during the summer, poor children fall behind and children from wealthier families pull ahead.
Last Summer, Baltimore City’s Public School System and Department of Recreation and Parks, plus some community organizations, partnered to put together enriching, all-day activities to help keep children from falling behind before school starts again in the fall. Johns Hopkins University’s National Center for Summer Learning helped get that together.
Before the program started last summer we spoke about the issue of summer learning with Ashley Stewart, a policy analyst for Johns Hopkins University’s National Center for Summer Learning (which has now become the National Summer Learning Association) and Karl Alexander, then chair of the sociology department at Hopkins.