Neighborhood and Summer School Effects on Summer Learning
Jie Min

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



Rice University

Primary Discipline

Educational achievement gaps change by season. While students from different class backgrounds learn at similar rates when school is in session, over the summer class-based achievement gaps grow the fastest. The story is different for race-based achievement gaps. Black/white achievement gaps tend to widen more during the school year than over the summer. However, researchers have largely overlooked Latinos and Asians, which are currently the largest and fastest-growing immigrant groups in the United States respectively, and they have not considered the role of neighborhoods or summer school programs. Can they mitigate the summer learning experiences of minority students? Using data from the Houston Independent School District (HISD), this dissertation will: (1) compare summer learning trends across all four large racial/ethnic groups?white, black, Latino, Asian?with special attention to immigrant children who are English Language Learners; (2) investigate the neighborhood mechanisms that influence students' summer learning experiences and examine whether neighborhood effects vary with the season; and (3) evaluate the effectiveness of summer programs.
About Jie Min
Jie Min is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at Rice University. Her interests include education, race and ethnic relations, immigration, and urban sociology. Her research attempts to understand the mechanisms causing educational inequality as well as to seek strategies to ameliorate academic achievement gaps. Jie Min is also affiliated with the Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC), a Research-Practice Partnership between Rice and eleven Houston area school districts. In HERC, she has investigated crucial questions grounded in the needs of education practitioners, such as patterns and consequences of student mobility for educational attainment, and predictors and outcomes of long-term English language learners. She has also worked on a project focusing on the education heterogeneity among Vietnamese Americans in the United States. She has worked with both nationally representative data as well as regional administrative and assessment data provided by partner school districts. Her dissertation investigates summer learning in the seventh largest public school district in the United States. In the long term, she hopes to ``translate`` her research into products that can easily be understood by educational policymakers, principals, teachers, and parents, so that educational practitioners could make more effective use of research evidence.

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