CCSSO, NSLA Launch Network to Support Summer Learning

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Washington, D.C. (April 26, 2021) – The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) are launching new efforts to support states with long-term strategies to transform how they leverage the summer months to improve student achievement.

The organizations have convened a network of nine states to promote community system-based strategies for summer learning. The partnership will also offer broad support to all states through webinars and dissemination of guidance and technical assistance.

State education leaders have worked to safely deliver an education to students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and are pursuing summer learning and enrichment programs that connect to broader accelerated learning efforts to support students.

The CCSSO-NSLA collaboration will offer a holistic approach to summer learning focused on assisting state education agencies and partners in using data for more impactful summer programs, advancing summer program quality, promoting exemplars of summer learning practices, and identifying and disseminating model policies and regulatory conditions that create equitable conditions for every student to succeed. This effort will be aligned and coordinating with the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Summer Learning and Enrichment Collaborative recently launched under Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

In addition to the universal assistance to all states, nine states joined a network committed to implementing a broad vision for equity in summer learning. Those states are Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia.

A large-scale study by RAND and The Wallace Foundation demonstrated that students with high attendance in free, five- to six-week, voluntary summer learning programs experienced educationally meaningful benefits in math and reading. Federal education aid provided through the American Rescue Plan will provide a dedicated $1.2 billion for summer learning and enrichment and an opportunity to expand access to millions of students, particularly our most vulnerable.  

“States are committed to offering an equitable educational recovery to all students, and summer learning will be a key first step in efforts to accelerate learning,” said CCSSO Chief Executive Officer Carissa Moffat Miller. “CCSSO is proud to support that work through partnerships like this one with experts at the National Summer Learning Association, work with the U.S. Department of Education, and other initiatives.”

“With historic funding for America’s recovery, state leaders have an unprecedented opportunity to reimagine and expand access to enriching summer experiences for every kind of learner,” said Aaron P. Dworkin, CEO of the National Summer Learning Association. “While the data on COVID-19 learning disparities is alarming, a growing body of research shows us that the most effective summer programs seamlessly blend academics, fun enrichment, and nutrition, along with social-emotional supports critical to helping students thrive in the school year ahead. We’re pleased to join CCSSO and a legion of leaders committed to making every summer count for all students during this pivotal moment in our country.”

This work is funded by The Wallace Foundation and MetaMetrics over the next two years.


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, Bureau of Indian Education, 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.

The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) is the only national nonprofit exclusively focused on closing the achievement and opportunity gaps by increasing access to high-quality summer learning opportunities. NSLA recognizes and disseminates what works in summer learning, develops and delivers community capacity-building offerings and convenes and empowers key actors to embrace summer learning as a solution for equity and excellence in education.

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