May 2011 Archives

While U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), now focuses on federal concerns on Capitol Hill, his mayoral work developing after-school programs in Providence, R.I., have been lauded by, and influential on, the out-of-school-time community for the past decade-plus. Cicilline, a Rhode Island native, was elected the mayor of Providence in 2002 with the promise of turning around the city's downtrodden neighborhoods, reducing the crime rate, and, importantly, reforming the city's education system with a focus on building high-quality after-school programs. He launched the Providence After School Alliance in 2004, which, through public and private support, developed a citywide ...


Out-of-school-time programs and school day programs operate in separate silos, with OST programs pushed to "prove [their] worthiness" to "have a seat at the education table," wrote Helen Janc Malone yesterday in the "Futures of School Reform" blog on our Education Week site. "This shows a misunderstanding of what these programs are designed to do, a narrow definition of what constitutes learning, and an over-eagerness to measure every form of knowledge acquisition against the same yardstick," she writes. Malone's post, "Prove It!" is from the blog associated with a seven-part Commentary series organized by the Harvard Graduate School of Education ...


Jennifer Davis, president of the National Center on Time and Learning, talks about lessons learned from schools using expanded learning time models, suggestions for districts who are interested in ELT, and notable efforts underway around the country to redesign schools' use of time.


Participants emphasized that strengthening accountability, improving data tracking, and building community partnerships and sustainability were fundamental to developing expanded learning time programs, but that there wasn't a definitive answer for how to add time to deliver better education.


A few weeks ago, the bipartisan Time for Innovation Matters in Education Act was proposed in both houses of Congress, which, if passed, will establish a competitive grant program for states that want to add at least 300 hours to the school year in their underperforming schools. Under the act, states can apply for grants that they will distribute to schools, districts, and community organizations for "expanded learning time" initiatives used to redesign their school calendars with additional hours. State education agencies and local districts will decide how schools will add the time, but in general, the hours are to ...


Next month, more than 1,350 Cincinnati at-risk students will spend an extra month in school, in the district's third annual Fifth Quarter summer extended-learning program, which has proved to reduce summer learning loss and ease students' transition into the next grade level. The program, which was initiated by schools Superintendent Mary Ronan to help promote turnaround in underperforming schools, was just profiled in a report from the Coalition for Community Schools, part of the Institute for Educational Leadership, which helps facilitate community partnerships with schools around the country to provide enhanced educational opportunities. Cincinnati schools are all included in ...


To be successful, after-school programs need to complement, but not resemble the school day, a new article from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development says. While improvements in academic performance may be the effects of good after-school programs, those that have the strongest impact on achievement do not make academics the focus. The article, written by Jane David, appears in ASCD's May issue, "Schools, Families, Communities," and reports that though there has been a significant increase in after-school programs in the past decade-plus, the quality is very disparate. Analyzing several past studies on after-school programs, David found strong community ...


After-school programs in Chicago are receiving funding from billionaire-inventor James Dyson to run engineering and technology courses at their sites this fall, as reported by the Chicago Tribune. Dyson, who developed a well-known line of vacuum cleaners and other appliances, has pledged a half-million dollars for the course at 20 after-school programs that will teach kids how to design their own engineering projects and encourage interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects. If successful, Dyson said the program will likely be replicated at other after-school programs in large, urban districts around the country, particularly those with high percentages ...


High school and college students from Chicago's South Side expressed concern about finding summer jobs to several state legislators at a summit on teenage unemployment on Monday. According to the Chicago Tribune, there will be a loss of 18,000 summer jobs for young people in Illinois due to federal funding cuts, which have reduced or eliminated many city and state youth-employment programs around the country. According to the National Summer Learning Association, the summer months are a peak time for academic learning loss and delinquent behavior, particularly for low-income youths. In addition to providing an income, summer jobs for ...


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