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American Education Research Association study: More than half of US students experience summer learning losses five years in a row

31 Jul

In Location, location, location: Brookings study of education disparity based upon neighborhood https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/location-location-location-brookings-study-of-education-disparity-based-upon-neighborhood/ moi said:

The increased rate of poverty has profound implications if this society believes that ALL children have the right to a good basic education. Moi blogs about education issues so the reader could be perplexed sometimes because moi often writes about other things like nutrition, families, and personal responsibility issues. Why? The reader might ask? Because children will have the most success in school if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of societies’ problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family. There is a lot of economic stress in the country now because of unemployment and underemployment. Children feel the stress of their parents and they worry about how stable their family and living situation is. Sabrina Tavernise wrote an excellent New York Times article, Education Gap Grows Between Rich and Poor, Studies Say http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/10/education/education-gap-grows-between-rich-and-poor-studies-show.html?emc=eta1

Hisao Kodachi, Nikkei staff writer wrote in COVID-19 worsens education inequality between rich and poor: Online learning widespread in high-income nations but not in developing ones:

TOKYO — Schools in more than 100 countries and regions remain completely closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, widening the education gap between advanced economies and middle- and low-income nations unable to provide online learning.

In June, most of the schools in Uruguay reopened, as they did in Japan, with children in Australia and Vietnam also getting back to the physical classroom.

However, these countries represent the minority. According to UNESCO, only 49, or 23%, of 210 countries or regions were able to completely reopen pre-elementary to high school education as of July 18. Fifty-four countries and regions, including the U.S., U.K., Germany and China, have partially reopened schools.

But in 51% of countries and regions, schools are still completely closed. Roughly 1.07 billion children live in these areas, accounting for more than 60% of the children in the world.

Lingering school closures are particularly common in Asian, African and South American developing countries. When the countries and regions are categorized by income levels, about 90% of low- and lower-middle income locations are still not able to reopen schools nationwide, due to COVID-19.

The closure of schools affects education in a negative way. A study by researchers from institutions such as Brown University estimates that for the academic year starting this fall, U.S. elementary school students will only achieve 37% to 50% of the math proficiency that they should have.

According to research carried out by professor Harris Cooper at Duke University and others, children from low-income families experienced a reduction in math test scores over summer vacation, even before the pandemic. School closures have continued for more than four months in some countries — far longer than summer breaks — and this long absence will certainly have a negative effect on education levels.

The World Bank estimates that absent effective policy from governments, school closures lasting five months will lower the lifetime earnings of these children by a total of $10 trillion.

School closures have also highlighted the issue of inequality, especially in emerging economies.

In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte in May laid out his priorities in keeping the country safe. “For me, vaccine first. If the vaccine is already there, then it’s OK,” he said, insisting that until there is a vaccine available, schools cannot be reopened.

However, if school closures continue, according to nongovernmental organization Save the Children, 10 million children in the developing world will not be able to go back to school. This will have significant effects on such issues as child labor and child marriage, because, as the pandemic and related economic fallout continue, there will be more incentive to work and earn rather than to learn.

Another area where inequality has been shown up starkly is online education.

Nikkei compared UNESCO data on where schools have reopened with a study on online education opportunities by the Center for Global Development, a U.S. think tank. The analysis shows that 91% of high-income countries had some sort of online classes taking place as an alternative to in-school learning. In low-income countries, this was a mere 54%….

Inequality in education influences the competitiveness of the country decades later. While countries are striving to strike the balance of preventing new infections and reopening the economy, education for the future must also be considered.                                                      asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Datawatch/COVID-19-worsens-education-inequality-between-rich-and-poor

Science Daily reported the American Education Research Association (AREA) study, More than half of US students experience summer learning losses five years in a row: These students on average lose nearly 40 percent of their school year gains:

Following U.S. students across five summers between grades 1 and 6, a little more than half (52 percent) experienced learning losses in all five summers, according to a large national study published today. Students in this group lost an average of 39 percent of their total school year gains during each summer. The study appeared in American Educational Research Journal, a peer-reviewed publication of the American Educational Research Association.

“Many children in the U.S. have not physically attended a school since early March because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and some have likened the period we’re in now to an unusually long summer,” said study author Allison Atteberry, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado — Boulder. “Because our results highlight that achievement disparities disproportionately widen during the summer, this is deeply concerning.”

“Teachers nationwide are likely wondering how different their classes will be in the coming fall,” Atteberry said. “To the extent that student learning loss plays a larger-than-usual role this year, we would anticipate that teachers will encounter even greater variability in students’ jumping-off points when they return in fall 2020.”

For the study Atteberry and her co-author, Andrew J. McEachin, a researcher at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, used a database from NWEA, which includes more than 200 million test scores for nearly 18 million students in 7,500 school districts across all 50 states from 2008 through 2016.

The authors found that although some students learn more than others during the school year, most are moving in the same direction — that is, making learning gains — while school is in session. The same cannot be said for summers, when more than half of students exhibit learning losses year after year.

Twice as many students exhibit five years of consecutive summer losses — as opposed to no change or gains — as one would expect by chance, according to the authors.

The pattern is so strong that even if all differences in learning rates between students during the school year could be entirely eliminated, students would still end up with very different achievement rates due to the summer period alone.

“Our results highlight that achievement disparities disproportionately widen during summer periods, and presumably the ‘longer summer’ brought on by Covid-19 would allow this to happen to an even greater extent,” said Atteberry. “Summer learning loss is just one example of how the current crisis will likely exacerbate outcome inequality.”

Among the students studied, depending on grade, the average student loses between 17 and 28 percent of school-year gains in English language arts during the following summer. In math, the average student loses between 25 and 34 percent of each school-year gain during the following summer.

However Atteberry and McEachin focus their attention not on average patterns of summer learning loss, but rather on the dramatic variability around those means from one student to another.

“For instance in grade 2 math, at the high end of the distribution, students accrue an additional 32 percent of their school-year gains during the following summer,” said Atteberry. “At the other end of the distribution, however, students can lose nearly 90 percent of what they have gained in the preceding school year.”

“This remarkable variability in summer learning rates appears to be an important contributor to widening achievement disparities during the school-age years,” Atteberry said. “Because summer losses tend to accumulate for the same students over time, consecutive losses add up to a sizeable impact on where students end up in the achievement distribution.”

Atteberry noted that more research is needed to better understand what accounts for most of the summer variation across students. Prior research, including a 2018 study published in Sociology of Education, has found that race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status predict summer learning but, together, account for only up to 4 percent of the variance in summer learning rates….                                                                                                 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200709135545.htm

Citation:

Study: More than half of US students experience summer learning losses five years in a row

These students on average lose nearly 40 percent of their school year gains

Date:      July 9, 2020

Source:  American Educational Research Association

Summary:

Following U.S. students across five summers between grades 1 and 6, a little more than half (52 percent) experienced learning losses in all five summers, according to a large national study. Students in this group lost an average of 39 percent of their total school year gains during each summer.

Journal Reference:

Allison Atteberry, Andrew McEachin. School’s Out: The Role of Summers in Understanding Achievement DisparitiesAmerican Educational Research Journal, 2020; 000283122093728 DOI: 10.3102/0002831220937285

Here is the press release from AREA:

Study: More than Half of U.S. Students Experience Summer Learning Losses Five Years in a Row

 

 
 

For Immediate Release: July 9, 2020

Contact:
Tony Pals, tpals@aera.net
(202) 238-3235

Tong Wu, twu@aera.net
(202) 238-3233

Study: More than Half of U.S. Students Experience Summer Learning Losses Five Years in a Row

These Students on Average Lose Nearly 40 Percent of Their School Year Gains

Washington, July 9, 2020—Following U.S. students across five summers between grades 1 and 6, a little more than half (52 percent) experienced learning losses in all five summers, according to a large national study published today. Students in this group lost an average of 39 percent of their total school year gains during each summer. The study appeared in American Educational Research Journal, a peer-reviewed publication of the American Educational Research Association.

“Many children in the U.S. have not physically attended a school since early March because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and some have likened the period we’re in now to an unusually long summer,” said study author Allison Atteberry, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado—Boulder. “Because our results highlight that achievement disparities disproportionately widen during the summer, this is deeply concerning.”

“Teachers nationwide are likely wondering how different their classes will be in the coming fall,” Atteberry said. “To the extent that student learning loss plays a larger-than-usual role this year, we would anticipate that teachers will encounter even greater variability in students’ jumping-off points when they return in fall 2020.”

For the study Atteberry and her co-author, Andrew J. McEachin, a researcher at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, used a database from NWEA, which includes more than 200 million test scores for nearly 18 million students in 7,500 school districts across all 50 states from 2008 through 2016.

The authors found that although some students learn more than others during the school year, most are moving in the same direction­­—that is, making learning gains—while school is in session. The same cannot be said for summers, when more than half of students exhibit learning losses year after year.

Twice as many students exhibit five years of consecutive summer losses—as opposed to no change or gains—as one would expect by chance, according to the authors.

The pattern is so strong that even if all differences in learning rates between students during the school year could be entirely eliminated, students would still end up with very different achievement rates due to the summer period alone.

“Our results highlight that achievement disparities disproportionately widen during summer periods, and presumably the ‘longer summer’ brought on by Covid-19 would allow this to happen to an even greater extent,” said Atteberry. “Summer learning loss is just one example of how the current crisis will likely exacerbate outcome inequality.”

Among the students studied, depending on grade, the average student loses between 17 and 28 percent of school-year gains in English language arts during the following summer. In math, the average student loses between 25 and 34 percent of each school-year gain during the following summer.

However Atteberry and McEachin focus their attention not on average patterns of summer learning loss, but rather on the dramatic variability around those means from one student to another.

“For instance in grade 2 math, at the high end of the distribution, students accrue an additional 32 percent of their school-year gains during the following summer,” said Atteberry. “At the other end of the distribution, however, students can lose nearly 90 percent of what they have gained in the preceding school year.”

“This remarkable variability in summer learning rates appears to be an important contributor to widening achievement disparities during the school-age years,” Atteberry said. “Because summer losses tend to accumulate for the same students over time, consecutive losses add up to a sizeable impact on where students end up in the achievement distribution.”

Atteberry noted that more research is needed to better understand what accounts for most of the summer variation across students. Prior research, including a 2018 study published in Sociology of Education, has found that race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status predict summer learning but, together, account for only up to 4 percent of the variance in summer learning rates.

Policy leaders across the United States have experimented with different approaches, including extending the school year and running summer bridge programs, to address concerns with summer learning losses. These need to be further assessed for effectiveness, said Atteberry.

Researchers have pointed to gaps in resources such as family income, parental time availability, and parenting skill and expectations as potential drivers of outcome inequality. Many of these resource differences are likely exacerbated by summer break when, for some families, work schedules come into greater conflict with reduced childcare.

“Our results suggest that we should look beyond just schooling solutions to address out-of-school learning disparities,” Atteberry said. “Many social policies other than public education touch on these crucial resource inequalities and thus could help reduce summer learning disparities.”

This study was supported by funding from the Kingsbury Center at the NWEA, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and the Institute of Education Sciences.

###

About AERA
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national interdisciplinary research association devoted to the scientific study of education and learning. Founded in 1916, AERA advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education, and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good. Find AERA on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

In The next great civil rights struggle: Disparity in education funding moi said:

If one believes that all children, regardless of that child’s status have a right to a good basic education and that society must fund and implement policies, which support this principle. Then, one must discuss the issue of equity in education. Because of the segregation, which resulted after Plessy, most folks focus their analysis of Brown almost solely on race. The issue of equity was just as important. The equity issue was explained in terms of unequal resources and unequal access to education.

People tend to cluster in neighborhoods based upon class as much as race. Good teachers tend to gravitate toward neighborhoods where they are paid well and students come from families who mirror their personal backgrounds and values. Good teachers make a difference in a child’s life. One of the difficulties in busing to achieve equity in education is that neighborhoods tend to be segregated by class as well as race. People often make sacrifices to move into neighborhoods they perceive mirror their values. That is why there must be good schools in all segments of the city and there must be good schools in all parts of this state. A good education should not depend upon one’s class or status.

I know that the lawyers in Brown were told that lawsuits were futile and that the legislatures would address the issue of segregation eventually when the public was ready. Meanwhile, several generations of African Americans waited for people to come around and say the Constitution applied to us as well. Generations of African Americans suffered in inferior schools. This state cannot sacrifice the lives of children by not addressing the issue of equity in school funding in a timely manner.

The next huge case, like Brown, will be about equity in education funding. It may not come this year or the next year. It, like Brown, may come several years after a Plessy. It will come. Equity in education funding is the civil rights issue of this century.

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/the-next-great-civil-rights-struggle-disparity-in-education-funding/

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