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Summer vacation is an educational problem

The Oregonian

Forty years of educational research conclude that summer learning loss is one of the most important causes of the achievement gap in America. Beyond its deleterious impact on student achievement, summer learning loss has enormous negative consequences for school finances and efficiency. Despite the scope of this problem, the issue of summer learning loss has few champions – it seems to be one of those problems that policymakers find easier to ignore than to deal with. At the federal level, there are no programs with dedicated funding for summer education. At the state and local level, funding constraints limit the number and size of summer programs. You could even say that summer learning is missing entirely from the school reform agenda. Yet, innovative school districts, program providers and community-based organizations have shown that creative solutions abound. In places like Grand Rapids, Mich., Birmingham, Ala., and Newark, N.J., program leaders are working with school district officials, local funders and community partners to design new approaches to summer learning.

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