Research by Topic
Summer Learning and Out-of-School Programs
Below are selected research studies that look at issues related to summer learning and out-of-school programs. The resources are listed alphabetically by author and include links to the item or to where it can be purchased.
Lasting Consequences of the Summer Learning Gap
Alexander, K.L., Entwisle, D.R., and Olson, L.S. (2007). Lasting Consequences of the Summer Learning Gap. American Sociological Review, vol. 72, April, 167–180.
This study offers new insights as to why low-income children lag behind their more privileged classmates in high school graduation rates and college attendance. In a study of 790 Baltimore Public School students, sociologists found the difference in children's future academic success can be explained, in part, by their experiences during their summer vacations.
Lessons Learned From the CORAL Initiative — Advancing Achievement: Findings from an Independent Evaluation of a Major After-School Initiative
Arbreton, A., Sheldon, J., Bradshaw, M., Goldsmith, J., Jucovy, L., and Pepper, S. (2008). Lessons learned from the CORAL initiative — Advancing Achievement: Findings from an Independent Evaluation of a Major After-School Initiative. Oakland, CA: The James Irvine Foundation and Public/Private Ventures.
This evaluation of CORAL — Communities Organizing Resources To Advance Learning, an after-school program in five California cities — finds a relationship between high-quality literacy programming and academic gains. It also highlights the role that quality out-of-school-time programs play in the ongoing drive to improve academic achievement.
Tracking an Emerging Movement: A Report on Expanded-Time Schools in America
Farbman, D.A. (2009). Tracking an Emerging Movement: A Report on Expanded-Time Schools in America. Boston, MA: National Center on Time and Learning.
The National Center on Time & Learning has released a report documenting the state of expanded-time schools in America. The report draws from their new national database of schools that have broken from the conventional school calendar in order to improve educational outcomes.
Getting to Work on Summer Learning: Recommended Practices for Success
Augustine, Catherine H., Jennifer Sloan McCombs, Heather L. Schwartz and Laura Zakaras. Getting to Work on Summer Learning: Recommended Practices for Success. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2013. http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR366. Also available in print form.
This five-year demonstration project examines whether summer learning programs can reduce summer learning loss and promote achievement gains. This report synthesizes the key lessons learned about how to establish and sustain effective programs. The most emphatic recommendation is to start planning early, no later than January, and include both district and summer site leaders in the process. Many problems identified by the researchers — from weak teacher training to ineffective transportation — could be traced to a rushed planning process.
Structuring Out-of-School Time to Improve Academic Achievement
Beckett, M., Borman, G., Capizzano, J., Parsley, D., Ross, S., Schirm, A., & Taylor, J. (2009). Structuring out-of-school time to improve academic achievement: A practice guide (NCEE #2009-012). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/publications/practiceguides.
Out-of-school time programs can enhance academic achievement by helping students learn outside the classroom. The five recommendations in this guide are intended to help district and school administrators, out-of-school program providers, and educators design out-of-school time programs that will increase learning for students. The guide also describes the research supporting each recommendation, how to carry out each recommendation, and how to address roadblocks that might arise in implementing them.
Learning Time in America: Trends to Reform the American School Calendar
Farbman, D. (2011). Learning time in America: Trends to reform the American school calendar. Boston, MA: National Center on Time & Learning .
This report shows that while some states and local governments have reduced learning time in response to severe budget pressures — typically by reducing the number of days in the school year — others have prioritized expanding learning time to better prepare students for success in high school, college and the workforce. Schools, school districts, and states around the country are developing and implementing innovative and cost-effective ways to expand learning time for students in an effort to boost students' academic achievement and provide a well-rounded education, according to the most comprehensive study of time and learning policies ever conducted.
Essential Elements Of Quality After-School Programs
Hammond, C. and Reimer, M. (2006). Essential Elements Of Quality After-School Programs. Alexandria, VA: Communities In Schools (CIS)
This report, commissioned by Communities In Schools from the National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University, reviews existing research to identify afterschool programs that have been found through scientific studies to be effective and the core elements that contributed to their effectiveness.
Time Well Spent: Eight Powerful Practices of Successful, Expanded-Time Schools
Kaplan, Claire, and Roy Chan. Time Well Spent: Eight Powerful Practices of Successful, Expanded-Time Schools. Rep. Boston: National Center on Time & Learning, 2011.
This report reshapes the field for expanded-time schools by outlining specific practices that can lead to dramatic increases in student achievement and preparation for success in college and the workforce.Time Well Spentoffers an in-depth examination of 30 expanded-time schools serving high-poverty populations with impressive track records of student success, and demonstrates how these schools leverage their additional time in order to implement other critical reforms.
Making Summer Count: How Summer Programs Can Boost Children's Learning
McCombs, J., Augustine, C., Schwartz, H., Bodilly, S., McInnis, B., Lichter, D., Cross, A. (2011). Making Summer Count: How Summer Programs Can Boost Children's Learning Santa Monica, CA: Rand Education.
A review of the literature on summer learning loss and summer learning programs, coupled with data from ongoing programs offered by districts and private providers across the U.S., demonstrates the potential of summer programs to improve achievement as well as the challenges in creating and maintaining such programs. School districts and summer programming providers can benefit from the existing research and lessons learned by other programs in terms of developing strategies to maximize program effectiveness and quality, student participation, and strategic partnerships and funding. Recommendations for providers and policymakers address ways to mitigate barriers by capitalizing on a range of funding sources, engaging in long-term planning to ensure adequate attendance and hiring, and demonstrating positive student outcomes.
The Learning Season: The Untapped Power of Summer to Advance Student Achievement
Miller, B. (2007). The Learning Season: The Untapped Power of Summer to Advance Student Achievement. Quincy, MA: Nellie Mae Education Foundation.
This report shows that summer enrichment opportunities have a much more profound impact than previously believed on the academic achievement of young people.
Leading After-School Learning Communities
National Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals. (2006). Leading After-School Learning Communities: What Principals Should Know and Be Able to Do. Washington DC: Author.
By collaborating with after-school programs and accepting them as vital partners in education, principals can strengthen their schools and move closer to the overriding, common goal of maximizing learning for every child. This executive summary highlights successful components.
On the Clock: Rethinking the Way Schools Use Time
Silva, E. (2007). On the clock: Rethinking the way schools use time. Washington, DC: Education Sector.
This report examines both the educational and political dimensions of time reform. It presents the findings of a wide range of research on time reform, discusses the impact of various time reforms on the life of schools and beyond, and makes recommendations for policymakers about how to best leverage time in and out of school to improve student achievement.