To welcome in the new year, we posted a blog asking a number of afterschool leaders, "Looking into the future, what do you believe are the most important challenges and opportunities facing the afterschool movement?". Below is part 2, where we share responses of other afterschool leaders.
The After School Corporation
Professor of Education
New York University
Vice President and Director of
National Center for Community Schools
Children's Aid Society
Challenges: Competition for funding; over-emphasis on standardized testing as the only measure of success; policy-makers searching for the quick fix rather than the real deal; and growing inequality as represented in nearly every phase of American life.”
President & ED
Boston After School
The major challenge we face is the field’s fragmented nature. However, this challenge can become an opportunity when you look see fragmentation as diversity of approach and consider the vastly different learning needs of young people. For this to happen, we need to unify ourselves in ways that allow policy-makers, school leaders, and funders to pursue a coherent and scalable solution. In Boston, we do this through common standards and measurement. In a sense, we are creating the equivalent of a box score for baseball or an exchange for the stock market. This shared measurement platform allows programs to shine. More than 50 organizations, serving thousands of young people, have stepped up to meet this challenge by collecting and sharing data so that we can identify programs’ strengths and address challenges, both as individual programs and as a unified network of providers."