Books are Enough

The Power of Free, Self-Selected Reading

Duval County off Track with Common Core Summer

Concerning Article: “Not Your Typical Summer School: A Summer Camp Fights Learning Loss Using The Common Core”

The Duval County summer program experiment  is both unnecessary and without research. Common Core experimentation is not something we need to engage in. If the goal is to prevent summer learning loss we already know what to do. More classroom instruction over the summer is not the answer. If schools were not testing up to 80 days a year in Florida we would have a lot more time.  I just wish Principal Angela Maxey knew the research. The author of the article AND Jennifer McCombs from Rand are mistaken when they claim there is little research on voluntary summer programs and preventing summer learning loss.

We have tons of research over DECADES that free voluntary reading programs lead to big gains for students. Jacqueline Brown lamented the funding problems but also fails to realize the research. Let me just get you started. There are a lot more studies.

What is STUNNING- but not unexpected really- is that folks in Florida are bereft of any research base knowledge as they trudge ahead like zombies.

*1975 Barbara Heyns – Lack of access to books (free voluntary reading) over the summer is really harmful to low income kids. This study explores the differences in reading development between low and middle income students.

*Jimmy Kim (Harvard) – Over 25 years after Heyns:  This study shows that students who read more over the summer made more reading gains.

*Fay Shin: Study with middle school students involved in “book floods”- massive voluntary reading program over the summer

REQUIRED READING: Has ANYONE in the STATE OF FLORIDA (outside of me) read the great research based book by Stephen Krashen and Fay Shin called “Summer Reading: Program and Evidence”?

The best way to spend a few dollars would be to have Angela Maxey, Jennifer McCombs, Jacqueline Brown and EVERYONE AT the Florida Department of Education (sic) read the book I suggested.  Sadly, even if they did read it, it would do no good. The state is on a meteoric journey to Common Core. And we all know how that ends. I find it insulting and malpractice that these students in Duval are not on the road to being book-loving citizens- our goal. Students who are book lovers from an early age and continue to have the time to read and access to books throughout their school years rarely have problems.

PS: Next time you do an article like this- contact me or someone else who knows the entire story. Propaganda and parlor game puff pieces about “Common Core” are  not proper. Thanks!

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