Outliers, the great book by Malcolm Gladwell highlighted a study that demonstrated
(1) the value of supplemental education (education outside the school setting)
(2) the inequality of education.
In simple sum, parents from affluent backgrounds – like many in the Connecticut and New York suburbs – were able to supplement the education of their children during the summer in ways that those from more challenged socioeconomic backgrounds could not.
Students who started out with similar abilities in elementary school gradually were eventually separated in abilities not by what they learned in the school year but what they learned in the summer.
So, Student Affluent and Student Impoverished started 1st grade with equal abilities and stayed that way through 1st grade. But in the summer between 1st and 2nd grade, Student Affluent would get reading and math tutoring and would be ahead of Student Impoverished at the start of 2nd grade. This pattern would continue. Students would increase at the same rates during the school year and the affluent students would increase their abilities in the summer.
Not a political statement, as I’m distinctly Independent, but I certainly wish we all had the same opportunities. Life is not fair economically and, in a myriad of other ways. Ask any child, rich or poor of an alcoholic.
What we can do – at The Learning Consultants — is continually provide scholarships to those from challenged backgrounds and help those who are in position to help their children.
The current Coronavirus will be one extended summer. Parents who are able to help their children during this time will be giving their children a large advantage over those that do not. This, of course, does not necessarily mean providing tutoring for their children. Parents can be the educators as well. But we are expert educators.