Summer vacation is in full swing. It’s a time that students anticipate for months, and when it finally arrives, well, the smiles say it all. The sad reality though, is that the extended free time comes at a huge price. The RAND Corporation reports that, on average, students lose one month of math and reading skills over the course of a typical summer. It probably comes as no surprise that socioeconomics play a large role in the overall effect.
A message from Melissa Johns, Breakthrough Silicon Valley’s Executive Director
As Executive Director of a college access organization serving many students of color, this has been an unsettling year. I’ve witnessed a rising tide of unrest on campuses across the nation. Students of color are demanding attention to racial and social issues that shape their college experiences.
Getting to college is a milestone for Breakthrough Silicon Valley students. It’s what they’ve worked toward for six years. But just getting there isn’t enough. Only one in ten low-income students will earn a bachelor’s degree by age 25, as compared to half of students from high-income families. That means that graduation is what really counts.
Imagine a straight-A student, a leader in her school community who dreams of attending a selective private college known for topnotch professors and an excellent classroom experience - a school like George Washington University, Macalester College, Mount Holyoke College, Trinity College, or Wesleyan University.
John* dreams of a career with a Silicon Valley tech start up. As a high school senior, he is busy crafting college application essays and eagerly considering the possibilities that lie ahead. By all rights, a bright future is his for the taking, especially considering the outstanding grades he has worked hard to earn over the last three years.
It has been difficult to miss the headlines about the widening racial achievement gap in California. While the previous STAR tests showed consistent progress in narrowing the gap between the performance of Latino and African-American students and their Asian and white counterparts, the new test results tell a rather different story.