U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES)
This mid-way evaluation study examines whether two structured, academic-focused after-school programs in reading and math could lead to better academic outcomes for students than general programs that offer homework help and site-produced activities. Students in grades two through five enrolled in the after-school math program received an average additional 49 hours of math instruction over the course of the school year, and students enrolled in the reading program received an average 48 hours more of reading than did students attending regular after-school program activities.
While the researchers found a statistically significant difference in academic outcomes for students in the math program, they found no such difference for students in the reading program. The pilot was expanded to include a second year of implementation and data collection, using both students who participated in the first year of the program and new students, in the hope that the new wave of data will “shed light” on both cumulative impact and on the impact of a more mature program on new students. The study was conducted by MDRC in collaboration with Public/Private Ventures and Survey Research Management. Free, 232 pages. (800) USA-LEARN, http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pdf/20084021.pdf.