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ERIC Number: ED517711
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 36
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Supporting Student Success: The Promise of Expanded Learning Opportunities
NGA Center for Best Practices
Expanded learning opportunities (ELOs) support state education goals by providing safe, structured learning environments for students outside the regular school day. ELOs include after-school and summer learning programs, as well as before-school, evening, and weekend programs. Although research demonstrates that high-quality expanded learning opportunities can improve a variety of student outcomes, these programs are frequently disconnected from larger, state-level school reform efforts. To address this problem, in 2007, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) launched "Supporting Student Success: The Promise of Expanded Learning Opportunities" (S3), with support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. Competitive grants of $50,000 were awarded to leadership teams in six states: Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Rhode Island. These states were charged with bringing together high-level policymakers and stakeholders to foster the integration of expanded learning opportunities into their state education reform agendas. To date, the six states have successfully applied the grant funds to pursue strategic reforms in state-level ELO policy. Many of the S3 states faced a number of challenges in launching this difficult work, including state budget crises and shortages of funds for ELOs; changes in state leadership and personnel; and the need to navigate complex governance structures that made systemic reform difficult. Nevertheless, the six states accomplished a number of policy changes during the two-year grant period: (1) Colorado secured ELO representation on the state P-20 Council and launched a county-level initiative that served as a statewide model; (2) Iowa created its Afterschool Executive Council, which raised awareness of ELOs through a publication that offered state policy recommendations and identified gaps in ELO access, funding, and quality; (3) Massachusetts generated additional funding for the state's major after-school grants program and secured positions for ELO representatives on key state commissions and subcommittees for education reform; (4) New Hampshire piloted a program allowing high school students to earn credit for participation in ELOs, which resulted in a reduced dropout rate among participating students; (5) Ohio collected data on ELO funding and sustainability challenges that ultimately increased support for ELOs within the state; and (6) Rhode Island secured ELO representation on a gubernatorial task force and launched a pilot extended-school-day program. For policymakers seeking to better integrate ELOs into state education reform agendas, this report provides an overview of the lessons learned from the S3 project. It describes the major policy strategies and processes by which the six states were able to improve education outcomes through the S3 grant. (Contains 7 notes.)
NGA Center for Best Practices. 444 North Capitol Street Suite 267, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-624-5300; Fax: 202-624-5313; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
Authoring Institution: National Governors Association, Center for Best Practices; Council of Chief State School Officers; National Conference of State Legislatures
Identifiers - Location: Colorado; Iowa; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; Ohio; Rhode Island