July 2010 Archives

A Senate subcommittee added $100 million to the proposed fiscal 2011 appropriation for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program yesterday. This sounds good, right? But not so fast, as after-school advocates say the addition may actually take money away from after-school programs and shift those dollars to efforts to support longer school days and years. Calling the subcommittee vote a "a grave and potentially costly error," Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant asserted in a statement released today: "At a time when 15 million children and youth in this country have no safe, supervised activities after the school days ...


The jury (or Congress) may still be out on fiscal 2011 funding for the Obama administration's Promise Neighborhoods program, but it's certainly popular with nonprofits and universities. According to ed.gov, the U.S. Department of Education has received 339 applications for its one-year Promise Neighborhood planning grants. The department plans to award up to 20 planning grants of $400,000 to $500,000 each. Click here, and you can see the applicant pool broken down geographically, by organization type, and by priority area. For instance, you'll see that California has the most applications (45), with New York coming in ...


Time magazine writes about summer learning loss and new ways of approaching summer school.


The Afterschool Alliance is one of many groups urging Congress to pass child-nutrition legislation as soon as possible. "With 1 in 4 kids at risk of hunger and 1 in 3 obese or overweight, the time for action is now," the Alliance and more than 100 other national organizations assert in this ad. Other advocates include the American Academy of Pediatrics, 9to5-National Association of Working Women, Catholic Charities USA, and the National PTA. My Education Week colleague Christina Samuels has details on the Improving Nutrition for America's Children Act of 2010, which cleared a key House panel this month and ...


Education Week has an interesting story on online credit recovery that I highly recommend to anyone interested in new ways to reach high school students at risk of failure or dropping out. Perhaps, this topic isn't the traditional coverage area for this blog, but I see it as another piece of the larger out-of-school-time puzzle. Reporter Mary Ann Zehr reports that Boston, Chicago, and New York City already or soon will be offering online credit-recovery programs for high school students who have fallen behind in their course credits. She says policies vary on whether students must be in school taking ...


Creativity is the unifying theme for the programs featured in a variety of recent news and feature articles.


A report finds a growing need to develop research questions and methods to evaluate out-of-school STEM programs.


Providing high-quality after-school and summer learning is one way to improve in-school learning.


Easily accessible, interesting after-school programs that are relevant to teens and adolescents are most likely to attract older minority youths and keep them coming back, a new study finds. In a brief titled "Recruiting and Retaining Older African American and Hispanic Boys in After-School Programs: What We Know and What We Still Need to Learn," Public/Private Ventures, or P/PV, explores successful strategies that groups use to attract and retain middle- and high school-age minority youths in after-school programs. The report recommends that, in creating new after-school programs, organizations conduct a needs assessment to identify "what older minority boys" ...


Long, long ago, I promised to keep readers updated on news of expanded learning from publications around the country. Well, sorry—those updates had a way of getting delayed by other, more pressing deadlines. But today I return to news of note in the expanded learning realm. Read on for details and links. This piece from wickedlocal.com (gotta love that URL!) asks why an extended-learning program in Framingham, Mass., is being abandoned. The article doesn't definitively answer the question, but does make clear that expanded learning can pose challenges. It's "not as simple as adding two hours to the ...


After a short break last week, I'm now scrambling to get back on top of all the expanded learning news out there—much of which, understandably, centers on summer learning. On that note, I'll point you to this piece by The Washington Post's Jay Mathews on the need to rethink old visions of summer school. It might be time to shed our discomfort with the notion of summer school for all, and see whether it helps our kids, particularly those in districts such as D.C. Mathews, who also serves on the board of Education Week's nonprofit parent company, references...


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