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A randomized controlled study following 5,000 low-income, predominantly African-American and Hispanic students from third to seventh grade in five urban school districts located in Boston, MA; Dallas, TX; Duval County, FL; Pittsburgh, PA and Rochester, NY, assessing the impacts of no-cost, voluntary summer learning programs on academic performance and social and emotional skills. Students who had high attendance in the summer programming saw significant near term benefits (gains in the fall after the summer program) and long-term benefits (gains seen through the following spring after the summer program) in math after summer programming in 2013 and 2014, near and long-term benefits in language arts after summer 2014, and positive benefits to their social and emotional skills after summer 2014.
School’s Out New York City (SONYC) is New York City’s city-wide afterschool program for middle school students, developed as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign commitment to expand afterschool opportunities in 2014. According to surveys, program and school staff report improvements in youth social and emotional development and leadership skills. Families reported high levels of satisfaction with their program, with 97 percent saying they would recommend it to other families.
An evaluation of 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) programs in Pennsylvania using federally reported 21APR data (where APR stands for “Annual Performance Report” and the 21APR system collects information on 21st CCLC grantees and centers) and PA Grantee Reports to examine attendance and behavior; academic achievement in reading, math, and credit completion; and student and parent program satisfaction. The evaluation found that among students who regularly attended the program, 44 percent improved their reading grade from fall to spring and 43 percent improved their math grade from fall to spring. Based on teacher reports, 47 percent of regular program attendees improved their in-school behavior, and 56 percent of attendees improved homework outcomes. Overall, parents and students were both overwhelming “very satisfied” with their, or their child’s, experience in the program.
A statewide evaluation of 21st CCLC programs in Arkansas using student, parent, and staff surveys, as well as annual performance reports, found that programs provided an environment where students felt that they were supported academically and were able to develop positive social and emotional skills. Additionally, among students who participated in 21st CCLC programs between 30-59 days, an overwhelming majority either increased to or remained in the “Proficient” or “Advanced” category for the state assessment in English Language and Literacy (87 percent) and math (97 percent).
A statewide evaluation of Illinois’ 21st CCLC programs during the 2014-15 school year found that based on teacher surveys, a strong majority of students regularly participating in programs (attending a program for 30 days or more) saw improvements in academics, behavior, and engagement in school. For example, teachers reported that students made improvements in their academic performance (elementary schoolers- 71 percent, middle/high schoolers- 61 percent), behavior in class (elementary schoolers- 63 percent, middle/high schoolers- 55 percent), motivation to learn (elementary schoolers- 63 percent, middle/high schoolers- 53 percent), and regular school day attendance (elementary schoolers- 57 percent, middle/high schoolers- 51 percent).
A statewide evaluation of Colorado’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs during the 2014-15 school year found positive gains related to student participants’ academic performance, engagement in school, and school-day behavior. Teachers reported that among students regularly attending the program and who were in need of improvement, a strong majority improved their academic performance (76.4 percent), class participation (71.8 percent), classroom attentiveness (68.9 percent), homework completion (68 percent), motivation to learn (66.5 percent), relationships with their peers (62 percent), and behavior in class (63.7 percent). The evaluation also included results from the 2013-14 school year and showed that students in both academic school years showed similar gains.
A statewide evaluation of Iowa’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs examined student attendance and behavior as well as academic gains in reading and math. On average, 66.1 percent of students improved in reading and 75 percent improved in math compared with the national average of 49 percent. In addition, 63 percent of regularly attending program participants improved their behavior compared with the national average of 56 percent.
A statewide evaluation of Missouri’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs during the 2015-16 school year examined outcomes related to participants’ academic performance, engagement, and behavior. The evaluation found that almost all 21st CCLC sites reported that at least half of their students maintained or improved their reading/communication arts, math, and science grades. Additionally, a majority of sites reported that at least 70 percent of their students reported a “medium to high level” of reading efficacy and math efficacy, and 56 percent of sites reported that at least 70 percent of their students reported a “medium to high level of interest and engagement in STEM.” Students in the programs also reported strong personal and social skills and a commitment to learning.
A statewide evaluation of West Virginia’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs during the 2014-15 school year to examine the program’s impact on participating students’ academics and school day behavior. Key findings of the report include—based on teacher surveys—approximately 3 in 4 students improved their homework completion and participation in class and approximately 7 in 10 improved their academic performance, behavior in class, and engagement in learning. The evaluation also included findings from surveys of program directors to evaluate the successes, challenges, parent participation, and relationships with partners of 21st CCLC programs. Results from program directors showed that student involvement and high attendance were their greatest successes, and personnel issues was the biggest challenge. Furthermore, programs desired more professional development training—specifically in sustainability and personnel issues, greater parent engagement, and improvements in the 21st CCLC database collection system.
An evaluation of eight 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) programs in the Fairbanks North Star Borough school district during the 2014-15 school year. Student academic performance and parent involvement for regular program attendees are evaluated using enrollment records, student grades, GPA, attendance, Alaska Measures of Progress (AMP) test results, teacher surveys, parent and student surveys, program staff interviews, and program site visits. The evaluation found that participation in the afterschool programs increased the attendance of regularly attending students with below average attendance records and increased participating high school students’ GPAs. Parent surveys showed that students’ participation in the program led to their parents feeling more comfortable in their child’s school and more involved in their child’s education.