More than 40 percent of Wausau School District students are attending summer school this year. That’s about the same proportion of students who took summer classes last year, and it’s considered pretty good participation for the Summer Learning program.
It should be 100 percent. A three-month summer vacation is bad for students, and it’s especially bad for at-risk students.
The problem with a long summer break is that, when students are out on vacation for months on end, they tend to forget a lot of what they’ve learned. Research shows that they are especially likely to forget things that require memorization, such as multiplication tables or grammatical rules.
Locally, Madison appears unable to change any material aspect (the stillborn proposed Madison Preparatory Academy IB Charter School) of its agrarian era K-12 organization, one that spends double the national average per student and has long tolerated disastrous reading results.