Every Summer Counts: A Longitudinal Analysis of Outcomes from the National Summer Learning Project

Every Summer Counts: A Longitudinal Analysis of Outcomes from the National Summer Learning Project

Students who regularly attend high-quality voluntary summer learning programs experience both short- and long-term benefits in language arts and math, a report commissioned from RAND Corporation by the Wallace Foundation finds. Based on student data from five urban school districts, the study, Every Summer Counts: A Longitudinal Analysis of Outcomes from the National Summer Learning Project (81 pages, PDF), found that after a single summer in a summer learning program, students with good attendance records outperformed their peers in math but not in language arts, social-emotional outcomes, or attendance and suspension rates. After a second summer, high-attendance participants outperformed their peers in both math and language arts during the school year, with more time on task and higher-quality instruction correlated with better outcomes. The report's recommendations for school districts include offering summer learning programs with a focus on students from low-income families and low academic achievement over multiple, consecutive summers; offering at least five weeks of programming with at least three hours of academic instruction per day; and ensuring strong student attendance, productive use of instructional time, and high-quality instruction.