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ERIC Number: EJ1147479
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 23
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0032-0684
What Difference Does an Hour Make? Examining the Effects of an After School Program
Farmer-Hinton, Raquel L.; Sass, Daniel A.; Schroeder, Mark
Planning and Changing, v40 n3-4 p160-182 2009
The use and scope of after-school programs (ASPs) have always varied with the local context. Historically, affluent families used ASPs to provide enrichment for their children. During the Civil Rights and Black Nationalist movements, African Americans used ASPs for cultural and educational activities. In recent times, ASPs have been used for latchkey children who are responsible for their own care after school. However, in this accountability era, the way that students spend their after-school hours has changed, particularly for academically and socioeconomically vulnerable students. ASPs in poor schools focus more on remediation than counterpart programs in affluent schools. In addition, public and private funders of ASPs require measurable improvements in student outcomes, particularly student test scores. Further, the No Child Left Behind (2001) legislation mandates after-school instruction for students attending consistently underperforming schools. Unlike prior moments in the history of after-school programming, this accountability era dictates the use and scope of after-school programs as extended learning opportunities for students most academically and socioeconomically vulnerable. Similarly, in response to declining test scores of low performing students across Chicago, the Lighthouse after-school program was implemented in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). The program became an answer to several concerns such as parental need for after-school care, supervised recreational time, and an extra meal for students in need. However, the use and scope of the program was created within the context of the accountability era in Chicago. In 1996, CPS ended social promotion by requiring third, sixth, and eighth graders to meet district-wide test score requirements or fail. While high stakes accountability measures have been heavily criticized, ending social promotion in CPS provided academically at-risk students with extra instructional time after school. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of the Lighthouse program. The effects of Lighthouse are important because the literature is "mixed" in terms of the impact of ASPs on students' academic performance. An important challenge has been for ASPs to synchronize their efforts with regular school day instruction. The effects of Lighthouse add to the literature because some clarity is needed on whether leveraging the resources of the regular school day will lead to increased learning for students.
Department of Educational Administration and Foundations. College of Education, Illinois State University, Campus Box 5900, Normal, IL 61790-5900. Tel: 309-438-2399; Fax: 309-438-8683; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois (Chicago)
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Iowa Tests of Basic Skills
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A