The summer gap : what replaces the school day and how does it widen literacy achievement disparities in the fall?
Nguyen, Colleen Ramsey.
Thesis (M.P.P.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. Summer learning loss is a long-observed phenomenon but only recently has it been studied systematically and rigorously. Research suggest that more disadvantaged students continue learning during the summer and less advantaged students hold steady or lose some of their skills. Only by accurately measuring seasonal learning rates and its determinants can reforms be successfully implemented. This study utilizes recent data, the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study - Kindergarten Cohort, to investigate changes in literacy achievement over the summer between kindergarten and first grade. This study builds on recent work that controls for intervening instruction in what has previously been labeled the "summer break" and examines the effects of summer factors that may approximate the positive aspects of school: childcare arrangements, household rules and structure, and literacy and other educational activities, in addition to demographic characteristics of children and their households. My analysis suggests that overall summer literacy gains are flat once intervening time in school is taken into account. Children of higher socioeconomic status, however, indeed continue to learn over the summer but the observed differences in summer activities and arrangements between them and lower-SES children do not explain most of the variation in literacy achievement gains.
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