Early survey response from New Albany students about a program requiring them to do summer reading is somewhat negative. Is anyone surprised?
Taking a survey of students about whether they want to do school work during the summer is sort of like asking them if they like doing the dishes or scrubbing the toilet.
That doesn’t mean all of those things aren’t important, however.
Before school ended in May, most of the students from the three New Albany schools in grades 3-12 were given summer reading assignments that were due on the second day that students returned to school for the fall.
The program was a major change from prior years when only students in the gifted/advanced placement English class had required reading assignments during the summer.
We know some parents also have reacted negatively toward the summer reading program. We think that largely is a case of not understanding the importance of summer programs. Many schools around the nation have them and their effectiveness is well documented.
Students regress in their reading comprehension skills over the summer. Required summer reading programs lead to higher state test scores and better ACT scores.
Our schools need more academic rigor, especially in our high schools, if students are going to be prepared for college work or for entering today’s more skilled work force.
We support Dr. Charles Garrett, New Albany superintendent, and the New Albany Board of Trustees’ decision to implement the required summer reading program. We’re confident the program will be refined and continued next year.