**Spring 2020 Forecast: The COVID schools’ shutdown compounded by the inevitable “summer slide”.
**=============

*Originally posted on July 20, 2020 … and relevant today!*

In his 2008 bestseller Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell popularized the notion of an educational “summer slide”.

Referencing a tracking study of Baltimore City Public School students, Gladwell highlighted evidence that students’ standardized test scores in the fall were generally lower than their scores in the prior spring.

His observation: “Between school years, students’ accumulated learning is diminished”.

In other words, there is a statistically significant “forget factor” if learning isn’t reinforced and edged forward with summer enrichment activities (*think: summer school, educational camps, field trips, parental tutoring). *

**The summer slide is most pronounced for poor students who lack summer enrichment opportunities … and for all students in math. **

The black line below illustrates the math score drop-off for typical 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. On average, the typical summer slide in math skills is about 2%. That is, students are 2% less proficient in math after their summer vacations.

*Source: WSJ*

To make matters worse, note the red line on the chart … it illustrates the projected drop-off due to this year’s virus-induced school closings.

It’s estimated that students will be about 5% less proficient in math than they were when the schools closed … the combined effect of lesser learning during the schools’ shut-down period and an extended summer slide (with many schools declaring *no mas* in early June) .

**More specifically…**