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ERIC Number: ED498168
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Nov
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
High School Reform and High School Afterschool: A Common Purpose. Afterschool Alert. Issue Brief No. 23
Afterschool Alliance
High school students and those who try to educate them have a tall order to fill. High schools must help create the workforce of the future by turning out graduates who have the 21st century skills that colleges and employers demand, while overcoming the achievement gap that exists for poor and minority students and fighting social pressures such as drugs, alcohol, sex and violence. However, in both the education reform and after-school communities, conventional wisdom has been that it is more efficient to focus on younger children, with the thinking that the problems with high school will sort themselves out as a result, or, in the case of after-school, that high school students will not be interested in attending organized after-school activities. This report advocates for similar attention for high-school reform. Lacking the support of caring adults or seeing their future prospects as bleak, teens may fall victim to peer pressure and not make the best choices. However, research shows that teens are less likely to engage in criminal behavior, experiment with drugs, alcohol and tobacco, and more likely to postpone sexual involvement and avoid pregnancy when they can envision a positive future. This report cites examples of common outcomes sought by both high school reformers and after-school program providers, and how their approaches are similar and/or complementary: (1) Both seek to make the high school learning experience relevant to students' lives by offering real-world opportunities for work, community service and higher education; (2) Both seek to create smaller, safer learning environments that offer students individual attention and the chance to form meaningful relationships with their peers and caring adults; (3) Both place a premium on giving youth a voice in their education process and offering them choices and a chance to receive a more personalized education; and (4) Both understand the importance of community involvement in education. With such commonality of purpose, the report concludes that it makes sense for these two movements to work together to establish a high school system that produces graduates who are ready to tackle the challenges of the 21st century. (Contains 33 endnotes.)
Afterschool Alliance. 1616 H Street NW Suite 820, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 202-347-1002; Fax: 202-347-2092; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - General
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Afterschool Alliance, Washington, DC.