SOURCE: MetaMetrics, Inc.

MetaMetrics, Inc.

July 16, 2013 10:06 ET

State Education Agencies Partner With MetaMetrics to Fight Summer Reading and Math Loss

Over Twenty States Implement Summer Learning Initiatives Using Free Lexile- and Quantile-Based Tools

DURHAM, NC--(Marketwired - Jul 16, 2013) - "Summer loss" or "summer slide" in reading and mathematics has gained national attention and been the center of many policy agendas. Research indicates that summer loss in reading ability primarily impacts low-income students(1), and all students in math(2). In fact, almost two thirds of the "achievement gap" or "opportunity gap" between low-income students and their more affluent peers can be explained by the twelve contiguous summers of lost learning activities(3).

In 2012, MetaMetrics®, developer of the widely adopted Lexile ® Framework for Reading and Quantile® Framework for Mathematics, and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), a nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the United States, joined forces to combat the summer loss epidemic by offering the "Chief's Summer Reading Challenge". The Chief's Summer Reading Challenge is a national state-lead initiative that raises awareness of the summer loss epidemic by highlighting compelling research on the importance of personalized reading activities, along with providing access to a variety of free online resources to support targeted reading. For more information on the Chief's Summer Reading Challenge, visit www.Lexile.com/chiefs-challenge.

In the first year, twelve state education agencies (SEAs) participated in the Challenge. This year, twenty-three state education chiefs requested assistance from MetaMetrics to combat summer reading loss. Each of these SEAs used MetaMetrics' free online resources including the popular "Find a Book" tool to match readers with high-interest, ability appropriate texts. "Find a Book" helps librarians, educators, parents, children build custom reading lists from over 150,000 literary and informational titles based on interest and Lexile range (reading ability.) Users are also able to check the availability of books at their local library using the tool.

"We are encouraged to see the increased number of states seeking our support in the fight against summer loss," said MetaMetrics president and co-founder, Malbert Smith III, Ph.D. "Clearly, if we are to address the 'achievement gap' and help every student to become college and career ready, summer learning is a critical component. These freely available resources can cultivate a love of reading and math over the summer months."

In many cases, summer learning initiatives extended beyond the boundaries of state education agencies. Robert Hammond, Colorado Commissioner of Education and the Colorado State Library urged educators and families to help students retain and develop academic skills by reading during summer vacation. In Mississippi, the Mississippi Department of Education collaborated with the Mississippi PTA to use Lexile-based tools. In both Florida and Kentucky, First Ladies Ann Scott and Jane Beshear were at the forefront of promoting the summer reading campaigns in their states. Governors Sam Brownback of Kansas, Pat Quinn of Illinois and Mary Fallin of Oklahoma took a personal interest in changing the summer reading landscape by actively supporting summer reading campaigns. Governor Quinn, along with Secretary of State Jesse White and State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch, encouraged the use of "Find a Book" to "keep students' brains active before school resumes in the fall."

"Summer reading maintains the reading skills children gain during the school year and prepares them to more easily and quickly adapt and continue learning when school doors open this fall," said State Superintendent Koch of Illinois.

In addition to its "Find a Book" tool, MetaMetrics also released a new Quantile-based resource to support mathematics learning over the summer. The Summer Math Challenge is intended to reinforce math skills to students who have just completed grades two through five. The free, six-week math skills program is based on grade-level state standards and Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. The program provides daily emails that include math activities, resources and tools. In its first year, fourteen SEAs incorporated the Summer Math Challenge into their summer learning initiatives. For more information on the Summer Math Challenge, visit www.Quantiles.com/summer-math.

About MetaMetrics
MetaMetrics is focused on improving education for learners of all ages and ability levels. The organization develops scientific measures of academic achievement and complementary technologies that link assessment results with real-world instruction. MetaMetrics' products and services for reading (The Lexile® Framework for Reading, El Sistema Lexile para Leer), mathematics (The Quantile® Framework for Mathematics), and writing (The Lexile Framework for Writing) provide unique insights about academic ability and the potential for growth, enabling individuals to achieve their goals at every stage of development. Connect with the organization at: http://blog.lexile.com.

About CCSSO
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.

(1) Fairchild, R., McLaughlin, B., & Brady, J. (2006). Making the Most of Summer: A Handbook on Effective Summer Programming and Thematic Learning. Baltimore MD: Center for Summer Learning.
(2) Cooper, H., Nye, B., Charlton, K., Lindsay, J., & Greathouse, S. (1996). The effects of summer vacation on achievement test scores: A narrative and meta-analytic review. Review of Educational Research, 66 (3), 227-268.
(3) Alexander, K. L., Entwisle, D. R., & Olson, L. S. (2007). Lasting Consequences of the Summer Learning Gap. American Sociological Review, 72, 167-180.

Contact Information

  • For more information:
    Elizabeth Lattanzio
    919-354-3482
    Email Contact