A Summer Slide: It’s Not About Water Anymore

A recent study by the National Center for Time and Learning dares to go against everything we Americans hold near and dear to our hearts: Summer. Summer is often an escape for students, and from students with which individuals can relax and rest themselves for the inevitably coming term. In this study, it is found that students of lower income brackets are at a direct educational disadvantage due simply to the fact that they do not have summer programs that keep them stimulated mentally. This lack of stimulation has been coined the ‘Summer Slide.’ Those of the middle and upper-middle class are able to afford summer programs that pertain to the interests of the students, directly feeding their appetite for knowledge and betterment.

In one study, by extending the school year by only 10 days, students tested higher than those who attended the normal length school year. This comes after the theory that longer years will help bridge the gap between economic brackets as far as time spent away from the learning environment. With this in mind, students who would have spent their summers as latch-key kids, with nothing to do but sleep in and play video games (however ideal that may sound) are instead pushing themselves to the next level of learning and being prepared for their future.

It is scary to think of a world where everyone is given the same advantages, and when it comes to those in different economic situations, this should not be so easily overlooked. This may be a clever idea, but if it can improve the life of a student as they enter adulthood it is something that could easily shape the next generation of Americans into successes or summer-infatuated couch mongers.

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