Students from different income levels achieve at roughly the same rate when schools are open, yet achievement gaps widen when schools are closed. For middle-class children, summer is full of enrichment opportunities that are often out of reach for poor students. In the cover story of the Spring 2018 issue of American Educator, Sarah Pitcock explains why it's time to support disadvantaged students and families beyond the school year and into summer.
Building on this article are two others that explore why summer learning is vitally important. The first article is a Q&A with a teacher in Boston Public Schools who supports students in a district-run program focused on academics and enrichment. The second article, by researchers from the Rand Corporation, explains what educators and policymakers should know about effective summer programming.
The next article examines why teacher leadership matters for student learning and how specific aspects of teacher decision making contribute to school performance.
The issue also includes an article about a program of the National Writing Project that teaches students to back up their assertions with evidence and engage in civic life, as well as an article highlighting National History Day, an organization that encourages students to view current issues through the prism of history to better understand their cause and effect.
The next two articles focus on union-member engagement. In the first, a local union leader reflects on the power of organized labor in Texas, and in the second, a professor examines how teacher unions are central agents of modern democracy.
The magazine concludes with an article on the threats to public education that endanger the very core of our democracy.
The complete Spring 2018 issue of American Educator is available online.