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Stemming the Slide: How Summer Presents Unique Challenges and Opportunities for Underrepresented Students


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2015 NPEA Conference Presentation

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Stemming the Slide: How Summer Presents Unique Challenges and Opportunities for Underrepresented Students

  1. 1. Summer Starts in September National Partnership for Educational Access Conference April 17, 2015 Dara Murray Manager of Program Quality and Evaluation On twitter: @summerlearning #summerlearning
  2. 2. NSLA seeks to: • Improve the quality of summer learning opportunities • Expand access to summer learning • Increase demand for summer learning
  3. 3. Why am I here? You are here because instructional quality matters.
  4. 4. WHY SUMMER MATTERS Summer Learning Research
  5. 5. Why Summer Learning What happens to a child when they are not engaged in positive, supportive activities in the summer?
  6. 6. Afterschool and Summer Faucet Theory: learning resources are turned on for all youth during the school year because of equal access to public education.
  7. 7. Afterschool and Summer  During the summer, the faucet is turned OFF for low-income youth.  A limited flow of resources in the summer has major implications for summer program quality.
  8. 8. The Effects of Summer Learning Loss  Since 1906, numerous studies have confirmed that children experience learning losses in math and reading without continued opportunities for skill building over the summer (White, Heyns, Cooper, Downey, Alexander)  More than half of the ninth grade achievement gap in reading can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities during the elementary school years (Alexander, Entwisle, & Olson, 2007)  Summer learning losses have later life consequences, including high school curriculum placement, high school dropout, and college attendance (ibid.)
  9. 9. “Virtually all of the advantage that wealthy students have over poor students is the result of differences in the way privileged kids learn when they are not in school….America doesn’t have a school problem. It has a summer vacation problem …” Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers, pp. 258 - 260
  10. 10. Summer Learning and the Achievement Gap What’s the reading gap look like in grade 9? • 3.4 grade equivalents difference on average • 6.6 grade equivalents difference between low- income youth who eventually drop out vs. higher- income who eventually enter college
  11. 11. New York Times, Feb 9, 2012, Education Gap Grows Between Rich and Poor, Studies Say, Sean F. Reardon, Stanford University, Whther Opportunity Rising Inequality and the Uncertain Life Chances of Low-Income Children.
  12. 12. Summer & College Enrollment Arnold, Fleming, DeAnda, Castleman, and Wartman (2009)  Big Picture Longitudinal Study (BPLS) • Significant support during high school for college application, financial aid, admissions and selection process (95-100% college acceptance rate)  Education pipeline breaks down the summer between HS graduation and college entrance for low-income youth (70% actually enroll in any college)  Relationships (parental ambivalence or hostility, peer pressure, thin college social networks)  Resources (financial to supplement the aid package)  Lack of knowledge (how to follow up with college, having the correct information about the college)
  13. 13. Summer & College Enrollment During the summer before college, low-income youth need:  Continuing availability of expert guidance and support re: college admissions from both the HS and the college  Continuing assistance for students in finding the best possible pathway for their skills, interests, and postsecondary goals  Ongoing social and emotional supports for students and their families  Intensive and consistent financial guidance to interpret documents and make decisions among alternatives
  14. 14. Summer’s Influence on Teaching and Learning In a survey of 500 teachers – • 66% said it takes them at least 3-4 weeks to re-teach skills lost during the summer at the beginning of the school year • 77% agreed or strongly agreed that students who participate in summer learning are better prepared for school in the fall • 72% agreed or strongly agreed that PD from working in a summer program helps to improve school year practice
  15. 15. Why Summer Learning?  Compelling research base  Laboratory for innovation in teaching & learning  Support for working families  Spans transition periods  Growing importance in the education reform / time and learning debate  Significant opportunity for partnerships
  16. 16. The Good News • High-quality programs can reduce summer learning loss and lead to achievement gains (McCombs, 2011) • Gains can endure for two years after participation • Summer learning programs can contribute significantly to young people’s health as well as learning • Some evidence that summer reading programs, when coupled with supports, can also reduce learning loss and lead to gains. (Kim, 2004, 2006, 2008; READS Program)
  17. 17. Making Summer Count Literature Review and Best Practices from Summer Learning Research Getting to Work on Summer Learning Lessons learned from Summer Learning Demonstration Project in Five School Districts Resources from RAND and Wallace
  18. 18. Characteristics of High Quality Programs • Smaller class sizes (1:5- 1:8) • Providing individualized instruction • Involving parents • ~150 hours per summer, at least two consecutive summers • High-quality instructors (involve professional educators) • Aligning school year and summer curricula • Including content beyond remediation • Tracking effectiveness • Remove structural barriers (transportation, full-day programming) • Entice students
  19. 19. Latest Research from The Wallace Foundation and the RAND Corporation Ready for Fall? Features first set of findings from the Summer Learning Demonstration Project in Five School Districts
  20. 20. In Math:  Attendance  Instructional time In English Language Arts:  Instructional Quality  Orderly sites  Instructor teaching similar school-year grade Wallace Study Report Key Findings conducted by the RAND Corporation
  21. 21. Researchers Agree on What It Takes to Support Development The National Research Council & Institute for Medicine list the following key features of positive youth development settings:  Physical and psychological safety  Appropriate structure  Supportive relationships  Opportunities to belong  Positive social norms  Support for efficacy and mattering  Opportunities for skill-building  Integration of family, school and community efforts - Community Programs to Promote Youth Development, 2002
  22. 22. QUALITY IMPROVEMENT CYCLE Focus on Quality
  23. 23. The Basics: At the Program Level Continuous Quality Improvement
  25. 25. Weikart Center’s Pyramid of Program Quality
  26. 26. Transition: CASP SLPQA  The comprehensive Assessment of Summer Programs (CASP)  The Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA)  The new Summer Learning Program Quality Assessment (SLPQA)
  27. 27. DEVELOPING THE SUMMER LEARNING PQA A partnership between the Weikart Center and the National Summer Learning Association
  28. 28. Organizational Expertise and Reach Weikart Center National Summer Learning Association ExpertiseandReach  Research-based system-building model with an emphasis on quality and a manager-led quality improvement intervention  Valid, reliable metric & process for assessment and improvement at the point of service  80+ networks in 40+ states  Summer program system-building including tools and supports for designing, launching, and sustaining summer programming  Comprehensive rating scale for quality in program infrastructure and point-of-service  National leader and agenda-setter for summer learning; Deep footprint in CA with stakeholders
  29. 29. Purpose of Summer Learning PQA  Adapt tools to provide relevant, high-impact support to summer programs. • Short schedule (4-8 weeks) • Staff time shortage • Youth in programs for longer hours  Connect summer process to ongoing school-year process. Improve youth experience in summer programs.
  30. 30. Quality Construct: What is the SLPQA? 1. A measure designed to assess the quality of summer programs and identify staff training needs. 2. A set of items that measures youth access to key developmental experiences. 3. A tool which produces scores that can be used for comparison and assessment of progress over time. 4. Both a standard for instruction in summer learning program offerings and a measure of performance against that standard.
  31. 31. SLPQA Domains 1. Safe Environment 2. Supportive Environment 3. Interaction 4. Engagement 5. Supplemental Scales 1. Math 2. Literacy 6. Project Director Interview
  32. 32. Safe Environment  Emotional Safety  Healthy Environment  Emergency Preparedness  Health and Nutrition
  33. 33. Supportive Environment  Warm Welcome  Program Flow  Active Learning  Skill-Building  Reframing Conflict  Managing Feelings
  34. 34. Project Exploration - Chicago
  35. 35. Interaction  Belonging  Collaboration and Leadership  Adult Partners
  36. 36. Breakthrough Collaborative
  37. 37. Engagement  Planning, Choice, Reflection  Learning How to Learn  Higher Order Thinking
  38. 38. Supplemental Scales  Math  Literacy
  39. 39. Project Director Interview  Planning  Staff Training  Family Connections  Individualization
  40. 40. Summer Learning PQA – Next Steps Phase III:  Development of SLPQA Form B  Finalization of SLPQI Handbook  Integration into Online Scores Reporter  Finalization of Training and Technical Assistance Offerings
  41. 41. Summer 2014 Pilot Preliminary Evaluation Results  93% (n=14) site coordinators stated they were able to successfully implement SLPQI  77% (n=10) stated they felt the SLPQA provided an accurate assessment of their site  85% (n=11) said the scores on the interview portion were meaningful for PWD  67% of site coordinators stated the SLPQA did a better job of assessing academic practices than the standard YPQA
  42. 42. Summer Program Improvement Some Steps to Consider After This Session…  Spend time reviewing materials more carefully!  Share the report and tool with colleagues!  Visit Weikart’s website ( May 2015 to download the tool and guidebook!  Join us as partners as we continue this important work!
  43. 43. Order your copy at Limited quantities available! SUMMER STARTS IN SEPTEMBER Summer Program Planning Guide
  44. 44. The NSLA website contains great free resources!
  45. 45. Download the guide:
  46. 46. Resource on Summer Funding Download at NSLA’s latest resource, Moving Summer Learning Forward: A Strategic Roadmap for Funding in Tough Times, includes:  Descriptions of and links to applicable federal, state, and local funding streams  Examples of how to use local partnerships and private funding to leverage public resources  Spotlighted strategies and examples of funding in action  Case studies of how high-quality district and community - based summer learning programs obtained funding
  47. 47. Lessons on Summer Learning and More 52 Free reports, toolkits, videos & more
  48. 48. Follow us at SummerLearning Like us on SmarterSummers Subscribe to us at SummerLearning Find on social media to keep updated #SummerLearning NSLA
  49. 49. Thank You! Dara Murray Manager of Program Quality and Evaluation (410) 856-1370