Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Reading Gaps

Recent research questions the impact of poverty or summer reading slumps on reading achievement gaps. Von Hippel and his colleagues found that schools that attempt to relieve summer learning loss by more evenly spacing their 180 school days across the year are not associated with narrowed achievement gaps, However, schools that expanded their traditional school calendar to 210 days—often including some summer school or Saturdays—were associated with better achievement.
     In national data from the 2010 federal Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, there were no differences in the rates of reading progress for students in low- and high-poverty schools, in summer or during the school years from kindergarten through grade 2. Rather, the gap in reading performance seen at the start of kindergarten stayed fairly consistent throughout early elementary grades.
     Likewise, an analysis of data from the Northwest Evaluation Association's adaptive Measures of Academic Progress showed that reading achievement gaps between low- and high-poverty schools in in 15 states widened by about a third from kindergarten through grade 8, but it grew at the same rates in summer and the during the school year. More generally, expanded learning time has been associated with better achievement.

     von Hippel, P. T., & Hamrock, C. (2019). Do test score gaps grow before, during, or between the school years? Measurement artifacts and what we can know in spite of them. Sociological Science, 6, 43-80.
     Reardon, S. F. (2011). The widening academic achievement gap between the rich and the poor: New evidence and possible explanations. Whither opportunity, 91-116. 
     Herbers, J. E., Cutuli, J. J., Supkoff, L. M., Heistad, D., Chan, C. K., Hinz, E., & Masten, A. S. (2012). Early reading skills and academic achievement trajectories of students facing poverty, homelessness, and high residential mobility. Educational Researcher, 41(9), 366-374.

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