Can silent reading in the summer reduce socioeconomic differences in reading achievement?

Citation:

White, T. G., & Kim, J. S. (2010). Can silent reading in the summer reduce socioeconomic differences in reading achievement?. In E. H. Hiebert & D. R. Reutzel (Ed.), Revisiting Silent Reading: New Directions for Teachers and Researchers (pp. 67-94) . Newark, DE, International Reading Association.

Abstract:

This chapter addresses an important issue for education policymakers and practitioners in the United States. The question we ask is whether socioeconomic differences in reading achievement can be reduced by programs that encourage silent reading in the summer months.1 In the years following school entry, children of low socioeconomic status (SES) lose ground in reading relative to their high-SES counterparts. This widening achievement gap may be largely the result of different rates of learning during the summer months (e.g., Alexander, Entwisle, & Olson, 2001; Cooper, Nye, Charlton, Lindsay, & Greathouse, 1996; Heyns, 1978). Even small differences in summer learning can accumulate across years resulting in a substantially greater achievement gap at the end of elementary school than was present at the beginning (Alexander, Entwisle, & Olson, 2004; see also Borman & Dowling, 2006; Lai, McNaughton, Amituanai- Toloa, Turner, & Hsiao, 2009).

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