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ERIC Number: EJ1173455
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0148-432X
The Case for Summer Learning: Why Supporting Students and Families All Year Is Vitally Important
Pitcock, Sarah
American Educator, v42 n1 p4-8, 39 Spr 2018
For many people, the word "summer" evokes easier days, a time when life slows down. So does the term "summer break," a time parents, teachers, and students alike value as a well-deserved respite from the labor of the school year. Unfortunately, a growing body of evidence shows that summer is far from a time to recharge for many families. Instead, it's a time of loss and lack, a time of struggle and stress. With half of all public school children today living in low-income households, the reality is that summer is actually no vacation at all. The truth is, public schools are a critical lifeline for low-income students and families. When they are open, students of different income levels--rich, poor, and middle class--achieve at roughly the same rate. When they are closed, achievement gaps widen and a variety of academic, health, and social-emotional outcomes decline. So why are schools closed in the summer? This article provides a brief history of the summer break, describes recent research on and advocacy for summer learning, and examines why, despite growing understanding of the issue and support for summer learning, it is still not a priority.
American Federation of Teachers. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-879-4400; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A