Heading Back to School, After the Summer Brain Drain

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Kids are heading back to school, and many of them may know less now than they did in June. Preventing that knowledge loss, known as "the summer learning gap," though, can be difficult, especially for families who lack the resources of sophisticated camps and extra summer classes. Some California schools have tried switching to a year-round schedule, but that doesn’t always work, and has even correlated with lower test scores in some schools. As the school year begins, Forum looks at what research tells us about the summer learning gap and how to prevent it.


Jeannie Oakes, senior fellow, Learning Policy Institute; professor emeritus, UCLA

Paul von Hippel, associate professor of public affairs, LBJ School at University of Texas, Austin