ERIC Number: ED489354
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Nov
Reference Count: 0
After-School Programs. The Progress of Education Reform, 2005. Volume 6, Number 5
Weiss, Suzanne; Ed.
Education Commission of the States (NJ3)
Opportunities for children and youth to engage in activities during out-of-school hours come in various shapes, sizes and flavors. At one end of the spectrum are highly structured, five-day-a-week, school-based programs focused broadly on encouraging and supporting academic and social development. At the other end are assorted activities and services available on a less regular basis and/or designed around specific needs, interests and priorities--ranging from providing tutoring and homework help for struggling students to reducing delinquency, substance abuse and other problem behaviors. In recent years, there has been an upsurge in the number of after-school options available to students, with public schools taking the lead role in developing such programs--typically in collaboration with community youth-service agencies. The federal government has gotten into the business of supporting after-school programs, too, especially in low-income communities. Funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, an after-school program established by the Clinton administration, has increased dramatically over the years, from $1 million in 1997 to nearly $1 billion last year. Clearly, well-structured and comprehensive after-school programming is increasingly viewed as a unique and essential component of efforts to promote learning and social development for children of all backgrounds. But despite its rapid growth, enormous appeal and clear potential, the after-school movement so far lacks a solid basis for decision-making in areas ranging from program design to funding to the nature and extent of demand for programs and services. This issue of "The Progress of Education Reform" summarizes three recent reports on after-school programs. The three reports that are reviewed include: (1) "Critical Hours: Afterschool Programs and Educational Success" (Nellie Mae Education Foundation, May 2003); (2) "All Work and No Play? Listening to What Kids and Parents Really Want from Out-of-School Time" (Public Agenda, November 2004); and (3) "Making Out-of-School Time Matter: Evidence for an Action Agenda" (RAND Corp., June 2005). All three reports provide useful insights into what is known--and what is not--about the role, value and impact of after-school programs.
Descriptors: After School Programs, Educational Change, Adolescent Development, Academic Achievement, Middle School Students, High School Students, Parents, Minority Groups, Low Income Groups, Surveys, Program Improvement, Program Evaluation
Education Commission of the States, 700 Broadway, Suite 1200, Denver, CO 80203. Tel: 303-299-3600; Fax: 303-296-8332; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Sponsor: General Electric Foundation, Ossining, NY.
Authoring Institution: Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO.