Expanded Learning Opportunities

After-School Programs for High School Students: An Evaluation of After School Matters

This report from Northwestern University summarizes findings from a randomized controlled trial study of After School Matters (ASM), a program which offers paid apprenticeship-type experiences in a wide array of areas, such as technology, the arts, and sports. Apprenticeships were located across 10 Chicago public high schools. Youth in the treatment group reported significantly higher self-regulation and significantly fewer problem behaviors than youth in the control group. The program did not impact academic outcomes.

Evaluation of the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development Out-of-School Time Programs for Youth Initiative: Implementation of Programs for High School Youth

This report from Policy Studies Associates, Inc., describes program implementation and youth experiences in programs for high school youth delivered through the Out-of-School Time Programs for Youth (OST) initiative of the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD). Across all OST high school programs, academic enhancement activities and recreational activities were most commonly offered. Programs also provided opportunities for youth to learn about careers and college, participate in internships, and gain understanding of both their local and global communities.

STEM Learning In Afterschool: An Analysis of Impact and Outcomes

This report from the Afterschool Alliance looks at afterschool programs designed to improve science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills, especially in students from underrepresented populations. The report analyzes evaluation reports on a variety of afterschool STEM programs and finds that benefits of these programs include improved attitudes about STEM fields and careers, increased STEM knowledge and skills, and higher likelihood of graduation and pursuing a STEM career.

Meeting Five Critical Challenges of High School Reform: Lessons from Research on Three Reform Models

This report from MDRC looks at how three different high school reform models--Career Academies, First Things First, and Talent Development--addressed five challenges found to be obstacles to successful reform implementation in low-performing high schools. According to this report, the pillars of high school reform are structural changes to improve personalization and instructional improvement. The report offers tangible solutions as well as supporting evidence and various resources.

Emerging Evidence on Improving High School Student Achievement and Graduation Rates: The Effects of Four Popular Improvement Programs

The National High School Center released methods for improving low-performing high schools based on some of the most rigorous research currently available in the school reform arena. This research brief identifies lessons learned as well as key practices used to strengthen high schools and is based on evaluations of four widely used high school improvement programs - Career Academies, First Things First, Project GRAD, and Talent Development.

Ninth-Grade Remediation Programs: A Synthesis of Evidence-Based Research

After a thorough literature search, researchers identified 22 rigorous quantitative studies of ninth-grade remediation programs, 10 of which qualified for the full review according to the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC)’s Study Design and Implementation Assessment Device (DIAD). The 10 studies included in the full review were too divergent in the focus and construction of the programs they assessed for the authors to reliably draw conclusions about the overall magnitude and direction of effect sizes.

Out-of-School Time Programs: A Meta-analysis of Effects for At-risk Students

Schools and districts are adopting out-of-school-time (OST) programs such as after-school programs and summer schools to supplement the education of low-achieving students. However, research has painted a mixed picture of their effectiveness. To clarify OST impacts, this synthesis examined research on OST programs for assisting at-risk students in reading and/or mathematics. Researchers analyzed 35 OST studies that employed control or comparison groups and met other inclusion criteria.


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