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What's Lucy Reading?

Lucy Friedman

Lucy Friedman is president of ExpandED Schools.

Groundbreaking study from the Wallace Foundation and the RAND Corporation finds high-quality summer learning programs benefit high-attending students in math and reading.

 

Robert Putnam has written extensively about the disparity of outcomes between kids growing up in poverty and those with means, and convened working groups to identify evidence-based ideas to reduce inequality. Earlier this year, the Closing the Opportunity Gap initiative released a report that focuses on multiple areas such as family and parenting, early childhood and communities. Of course, I read the K-12 Years section with great interest, which reiterated what we know to be true: “Schools have the potential to be strong levers for further increasing equality of opportunity.” The report advocated for a longer school day in order to provide tutoring and enrichment classes, and viewed partnerships with community organizations as key.

It began with an assignment in a third-grade classroom. Teacher Kyle Schwartz asked her students to complete the sentence: I wish my teacher knew____. She didn’t expect to be moved so deeply by what students revealed. She shared her experience online and her lesson became a viral movement that spanned the globe. Her new book, named after that simple question, explores issues that affect students all over the country and offers strategies on ways to help students tackle these challenges.

The Wallace Foundation just released a report, Learning from Summer: Effects of Voluntary Summer Learning Programs on Low-Income Urban Youth. The largest study of its kind on summer learning explores the impact of two consecutive summers of academic and enrichment programming on students’ subject knowledge as well as their social and emotional skills. It found that high-quality summer learning programs can help disadvantaged students succeed in school, but attendance is crucial to delivering these benefits.

 

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