Great… not only is the recession hurting my income today but it is likely to have a much larger economic impact on education (and thus earning potential) of future generations. It a NY Times article last week titled “Facing Deficits, Some States Cut Summer School” many schools are cutting back or closing their summer school programs to save money. This is being done in spite of $100 billion in stimulus money being pumped into education and the Secretary of Education urging states and districts to keep their summer school programs open.
Summer school you say? Who really really cares about summer school… unless of course you are talking about the classic 1987 movie Summer School with Marc Harmon and Kristy Alley. The reality is that summer school can be critically important to those kids coming from low-income households. In our most recent bout, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell we learned that the knowledge gap between the kids from the poorest families to the richest families is almost exclusively attributed to what knowledge is gained or lost during the summer (not technology in the classroom or classroom size). As the Times article points out, children of working parents will be at the mall or in front of the TV instead of in the classroom preparing them for the next grade level.
If Gladwell’s analysis is correct, why is it that state governments or school districts would make such a short sighted decision? Perhaps his research hasn’t made it back to the education establishment?