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What's Lucy Reading?

Lucy Friedman

Lucy Friedman is TASC's president.

Greg J. Duncan and Richard J. Murnane, in their new book, note that American kids have long had unequal access to excellent schools. "What is different today from several decades ago," write the education professor and the economist, "is the much greater lifelong cost to students of an inadequate education. Differences in educational quality are now much more likely than in the past to magnify the gap in life outcomes between children from high- and low-income families."

In "Restoring Opportunity: The Crisis of Inequality and the Challenge for American Education," the authors draw from their investigation of successful high-poverty schools that "it takes more than simply providing good instruction for six hours per day. Typically the school day starts early in these schools, usually with breakfast for the children. It continues until late in the afternoon, providing time for remediation of lagging skills and exposure to enrichment activities."

In their chapter on solutions, they write that "...the extended day and extended year programs in effective, high-poverty schools are well-integrated parts of a coherent strategy to continually build children's skills. Another benefit of such a comprehensive approach to schooling is that the school becomes the center of children's daily experiences, which reduces their exposure to the lures and dangers of the neighborhood."

I recommend a close look at this infographic.



To the list of Promising Programs I would add summer learning programs, such as Horizons (horizonsnational.org). The affiliate with which I am associated (horizonsatharley.org) has a 20 year track record of results from closing the summer learning gap, increasing grade-ready reading and math abilities, successful high school and then college attendance.

Thanks for the comment. Agreed that summer learning is a critical piece of restoring opportunity.

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