’Summer learning loss’ is a long-standing belief in education. But is it real?

August 16, 2019 • Filed under Press Coverage Highlights

By Valerie Strauss, Reporter, Washington Post

Published: July 16, 2019

Is summer learning loss real?

Not a year goes by that we don’t hear about how students — especially those from low-income families — suffer sometimes significant learning loss during the summer and that this loss fuels the achievement gap. Research studies have supported the notion, and many in the education world take it for granted that summer learning loss is real — and a real problem.

Some in the field, however, are questioning the premise. Paul T. von Hippel, for example, is doing just that in a new piece in Harvard University’s EducationNext journal. An associate professor in the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, von Hippel says that he once was a “big believer” in summer learning loss but is no longer. He wrote in part:

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