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LA’s first ‘Summer of Learning’ touted as success

Craig Clough | September 24, 2014



summer of learning LAUSDWith around 50,000 students participating, the first Los Angeles Summer of Learning is being hailed as a success by officials involved with the program.

Modeled after a similar program launched last year in Chicago, Summer of Learning provided access for LA Unified students to 100 learning opportunities, online and in person, at LA parks, libraries, schools, museums and cultural institutions. The program was a partnership between the city, LA Unified and several private groups.

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti touted Summer of Learning as a success during an event last Friday at City Hall to celebrate the launch of AmeriCorps’ City Year Los Angeles program.

“The success of our students isn’t just the responsibility of a school district, it’s the responsibility of a city. That’s why we had 10,000 youth jobs this summer, 50,000 digital badges given out through the first Summer of Learning hand-in-hand with our school district — an education agenda that says you matter, we’ll find what your passion and purpose is, and we’re going to get you not only to stay in school, but to leapfrog ahead in the summertime.”

Charles Taylor Kerchner, a research professor in the School Educational Studies at Claremont Graduate University, wrote that the program was actually “more sophisticated and coherent” than the Chicago program because it “was much more integrated with the school system than was its counterpart in Chicago. LAUSD was the primary organizer of the project. In Chicago, the city and the non-profits drove the program,” Kercher wrote on edweek.org.

Kercher added, “LAUSD has tackled the difficult problem of linking Summer of Learning achievements with a student’s school record so that a teacher can see what his or her students did over the summer.” 

In total, about 52 community organizations participated in the program that offered some 131 digital badges, according to edweek.org.

The program is a partnership of public, private, and non-profit partners, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., The California Endowment, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The California Endowment donated $200,000 and JPMorgan Chase contributed $500,000.

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