August 20th, 2012

WATCH: Providence Summer Scholars

Note: The original version of this piece contained an editing error, as John Merrow details here. The new version above is corrected.

Providence, Rhode Island is a failing school district. Less than half of middle school students are reading on grade level, and fewer than a third are meeting targets in math. For districts like Providence, summer school is a critical time to help students catch up.

Like most districts, Providence had been offering remedial classes to students over the summer — but as in many districts, it wasn’t working, and so Providence decided to try something different. Its new program is called Summer Scholars.

Students participate in hands-on, field learning experiences that feel more like camp than summer school. Students and teachers seem to like it more, but how much are students really learning?

Download Transcript (PDF)

This program is made possible by the following funders:
Grade Level Reading Fund of the Tides Foundation, The Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.


CCListen: The Future Of Summer Learning

PASA Executive Director Hillary Salmons talks to John Merrow about her organization, the difference between “summer school” and “summer programs,” and any pressures she feels in terms of testing, even in the summers. Join the discussion!

RIWatch: The Game Of ‘Survival’

In Providence, Rhode Island, survival isn’t determined by who’s the fastest or the strongest, but by who can stay on a sheet of newspaper. Matthew Pierce, an 8th grade science teacher at Roger Williams Middle School, explains to Learning Matters the rules of “Survival,” a game he created to teach his students about habitat loss and teamwork. Watch and comment!

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