The Impact of Summer Learning Programs on Low-Income Children’s Mathematics Achievement: A Meta-Analysis

Research Rundown Issue: April '21
Publisher: Annenberg Institute at Brown University
Date Published: April '21


A meta-analysis of 37 studies of K-12 summer math programs found that students who participated had significant improvement in math and social-emotional outcomes. The researchers found a positive impact for students who were in both high and low-poverty settings. The authors conclude by noting that, in the current policy context, summer programming may be an effective way to mitigate learning loss that was incurred during COVID-19 school closures, and help students get back on track for long-term recovery.

Why This Matters in Minnesota

There is a growing list of studies that show that learning loss due to COVID-19 is something that we cannot ignore—and Minnesota must work to quickly ramp up programs to support academic recovery. Both the Senate and House education omnibus bills have provisions to provide funding for Minnesota math corps and early childhood literacy programs. And last month, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP), which will send $1.3 billion to Minnesota’s schools and the Department of Education (MDE). ARP requires MDE to use some of their money for summer enrichment and learning programs, and districts must use at least 20% of their funds for addressing learning loss. These funds are in addition to the two previous stimulus bills, some of which Governor Walz has said will be used for summer programming. As MDE and districts are planning for the summer, it’s imperative that they collaborate with families, students, and educators to ensure they are balancing immediate and long-term needs.

Read the full analysis