Program

Mar 02, 2011

OVERVIEW

The Teach Baltimore program was founded in
1992 to create a high quality, intensive summer learning opportunity for
students in Baltimore City. It is a summer program that provides reading and
writing instruction to low-income elementary students. The program has three
goals: to prevent summer learning loss in elementary school students, to promote
committed volunteerism for college students, and to create an easily replicable
program. Participants in the program are involved for multiple summers. An
evaluation of Teach Baltimore found that participants in the program experienced
academic gains. However, another evaluation found that students assigned to the
program for three summers did not do significantly better on a reading
assessment than control students.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population:
Kindergarten and first graders in low-income
elementary schools

The Teach Baltimore
program is an academically intensive summer program that recruits and trains
university students to provide approximately eight weeks of reading and writing
instruction to low-income elementary students. The program has three goals.
First, Teach Baltimore works to prevent summer learning loss and promote the
academic achievement of student participants. Second, the program works to
focus college volunteerism to an effective commitment. Third, Teach Baltimore
works to be a prototype program that can be easily replicated.

The program targets
students most at-risk for summer learning loss. These students are provided
instruction in small groups of eight. The program provides 2.5 hours of reading
and writing each morning and the curriculum is supplemented with other
activities to keep participants interested. Classroom instructors are
university students who are trained in a two-week pre-service program.
University students do not need to be education majors but need to be positive
and motivated. University students are provided a $1,000-$1400 living allowance
for the summer.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Borman, G. D.,
Rachuba, L. T., Fairchild, R., & Kaplan, J. (2002). Randomized evaluation of
a multi-year summer program: Teach Baltimore
. Year 3 report (draft).
Baltimore, MD: Center for Summer Learning, Johns Hopkins University.

Borman, G.D.,
Overman, L.T., Fairchild, R., Boulay, M., & Kaplan, J. (2004). Can a multiyear
summer program prevent the accumulation of summer learning losses? In G.D.
Borman & M. Boulay (Eds.). Summer Learning: Research, Policies, and Programs
(pp. 233-253). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Evaluated
population: Two cohorts, the first from 1999
and the second from 2000, of Teach Baltimore students who were in kindergarten
and first grade were evaluated. All students were from 10 high-poverty urban
schools in Baltimore.

Approach:
In the 1999 cohort, 293 students were randomly
assigned to the Teach Baltimore program and 135 students were randomly assigned
to a control condition. In 2000, 145 kindergarten students were randomly
assigned to the experimental group and 113 were randomly assigned to the control
condition. In total, 686 students were involved in the evaluation (428
experimental students, 258 control students). Evaluated students attended the 8
elementary schools in the Baltimore City Public School System.

The researchers
collected student background data using school databases. Variables included
gender, race/ethnicity, free-lunch eligibility status, and attendance rates.
Data were also collected using telephone surveys with parents. The Comprehensive
Test of Basic Skills was administered to students to determine achievement
through reading vocabulary and reading comprehension scores. Data were collected
in the spring before students began the program and again the fall after
students had completed the program. Throughout the fall semester, participants
were contacted to obtain updated information.

Results:
At randomization, the experimental and control
groups were found to be equivalent. Results of the study indicated that for the
2000 cohort, the program had no impact on achievement at program end in the
fall, and no impacts were found the following spring. However, after the second
summer of intervention, there was a slight improvement. Similar results were
found with the 1999 cohort except significant outcomes were not found until
after the third summer. The researchers concluded that the program has a
cumulative impact over multiple years.

Borman, G.D.,
Rachuba, L., Hewes, G., Boulay, M., & Kaplan, J. (2001). Can a summer
intervention program using trained volunteer teachers narrow the achievement
gap? First-year results from a multi-year study. ERS Spectrum, 19(2),
19-29.

Evaluated
Population: 
428 Baltimore students in kindergarten and first grades. All
students were from 10 high-poverty urban schools in Baltimore.

Approach:
This study reported the first-year results of an ongoing, three-year evaluation
of the Teach Baltimore (TB) program. The ultimate goal of the evaluation was to
assess the long-term impact of a multi-summer intervention on academic
achievement for low-income students. A total of 135 students were in the control
group while 293 were assigned to the treatment group and received the Teach
Baltimore program. In general, TB applicants had higher attendance rates than
non-applicants. On all other demographic measures, however, the groups were
considered similar. Teach Baltimore was offered from June through August of that
summer. Five sites offered the program and all were centrally located in
relation to the ten participating schools.

The evaluation
began in the spring of 1999, when all kindergarten and 1st grade
students attending ten high-poverty urban schools received applications forms
for the TB program. Students who applied were then randomly assigned to either
the control or experimental group. Approximately 79 percent of students in
Baltimore qualified for the program according to free or reduced lunch status.
Demographic information on participants was collected from Baltimore Public
Schools as well as parents’ reported level of education.

Data were collected
to measure spring to fall reading achievement growth. In the spring, all
kindergartners, regardless of application, completed the Comprehensive Test of
Basic Skills (CTBS), which measures reading vocabulary and reading
comprehension. Schools administered the CTBS for 1st graders. Over
the course of three years, all treatment and control participants will take the
CTBS norm-referenced reading achievement tests. There will be a total of 7 tests
and these will be administered at the beginning and end of each summer, as well
as at the end of the 3rd or 4th grade year.

Results: The
analysis incorporated all treatment participants and all control participants.
Teach Baltimore participants reported greater gains in reading achievement than
control students, although none of these outcomes were statistically
significant. Also, students in the treatment group outperformed students in the
control group on the posttest (after adjusting for pretest performance), but
these differences were also not statistically significant. Attendance rates
should be noted since they affect the results. Twenty percent of kindergarten
students never attended, and 34 percent had attendance rates between 1 percent
and 75 percent. The remaining 46 percent attended more than 75 percent of the
time. For first graders, 23 percent never attended, 31 percent attended between
1 percent and 75 percent of the time and 46 percent attended more than 75
percent of the time.

Borman,
G.D., & Dowling, N.M. (2006). Longitudinal achievement effects of multiyear
summer school: Evidence from the Teach Baltimore randomized field trial. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 28,25-48.

Evaluated
population: 
The sample included 686 kindergarten and first grade students
from ten high poverty, urban schools. The sample was 96 percent African
American, two percent white, one percent Asian, and one percent other.
Forty-nine percent of the sample was female, and 85 percent received free lunch.

Approach:
Students were randomly assigned to receive three summers of the intervention or
to the control condition. Data were collected on reading skills, including
vocabulary and comprehension, before and after each of the three summers.

Results:
Intent-to-treat analyses revealed no treatment impact on vocabulary, reading
comprehension, or total reading score. (However, non-experimental analyses of
students who complied with the treatment found that they had significantly
higher vocabulary, reading comprehension, and total reading scores on the final
post-test, compared with control group counterparts.)

SOURCES FOR
MORE INFORMATION

Link to program
curriculum:

http://www.summerlearning.org/index.html

References

Borman, G.D., & Dowling, N.M. (2006).
Longitudinal achievement effects of multiyear summer school: Evidence from the
Teach Baltimore randomized field trial. Educational Evaluation and Policy
Analysis, 28,
25-48.

Borman, G.D.,
Overman, L.T., Fairchild, R., Boulay, M., & Kaplan, J. (2004). Can a multiyear
summer program prevent the accumulation of summer learning losses? In G.D.
Borman & M. Boulay (Eds.). Summer Learning: Research, Policies, and Programs
(pp. 233-253). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Borman, G. D.,
Rachuba, L. T., Fairchild, R., & Kaplan, J. (2002). Randomized evaluation of
a multi-year summer program: Teach Baltimore
. Year 3 report (draft).
Baltimore, MD: Center for Summer Learning, Johns Hopkins University.

Borman, G.D.,
Rachuba, L., Hewes, G., Boulay, M., & Kaplan, J. (2001). Can a summer
intervention program using trained volunteer teachers narrow the achievement
gap? First-year results from a multi-year study. ERS Spectrum, 19(2),
19-29.

KEYWORDS:
Summer Program, Education, Elementary School , Literacy, Service Learning,
Kindergarten, College Students, Civic Engagement, Community Service, Skills
Training, Academic Achievement, Urban, At-Risk, Child Care, Early Childhood
Education, School-Based, Cognitive Development, Early Childhood (0-5), Middle
Childhood (6-11).

Program
information last updated 3/2/11.

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