Evaluation Report: Dallas City of Learning Student Outcomes, January 2020

The Center on Research and Evaluation at Southern Methodist University completed an evaluation of Dallas City of Learning (DCoL), the summer learning ecosystem in Dallas, Texas that comprises over 2,700 different summer learning opportunities for Dallas youth each summer. Findings empirically indicate that summer learning matters, and it matters for youth that need it the most. Attending summer programming that is associated with DCoL positively impacts students’ attendance and academic achievement. Specifically, there is a clear relationship between days of programming and these outcomes, indicating that the amount of programming matters – the more the better. Every little bit of summer programming does relate to better outcomes and the strongest and most consistent positive outcomes happen after about 30 days of programming, even when days are spread across 2 summers.

The objective of these analyses is to examine statistical associations between participation in summer programming and later student outcomes during the following school year(s). Six outcomes were explored: school attendance rates, beginning of year grade point average, STAAR reading, STAAR math, and Algebra 1 and English 1 End-of-Course exams.

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