Thursday, March 26, 2015

Saving 21st CCLC Funding

By Sam Piha

Sam Piha
Members of the US Senate are, again, threatening funding for the 21st CCLC program. The funding would be consolidated into a block grant available to school districts to use for multiple purposes.

To oppose this, the New York State Afterschool Network  (NYSAN) advises “Taking action is FREE and generates IMMEDIATE RESULTS!
  • Call your two senators and your representative! Calls take about 30 seconds and they matter. Offices track how many calls they get about each issue – we need more calls supporting 21st CCLC! All you have to say to the receptionist is 'Please maintain funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers in the ESEA reauthorization.' That’s it! You can call again weekly to maximize your impact.
  • Forward this email to your contacts! Program staff, parents, grandparents, and even participants can make a difference!"

Afterschool advocates have recommended that rather than focusing on the negative evidence that is being cited by 21st CCLC opponents, familiarize yourself and make use of the evaluation literature that supports the effectiveness of 21st CCLCs. You can go to the Afterschool Alliance website to find important research. 

We reached out to Jodi Grant, Executive Director of the Afterschool Alliance, to gather additional evaluation information. She replied:

“Here are the specific findings from other evaluations you can point to:
    Jodi Grant, ED
    Afterschool Alliance
  • An evaluation of Texas 21st Century Community Learning Centers found that the program positively impacted students’ school day performance. Students attending the program—both students with low levels and high levels of participation in the program— were more likely to be promoted to the next grade. The likelihood of being promoted to the next grade increased by 43 percent for students with low levels of participation in the program, and 47 percent for students with high levels of participation. Additionally, ACE students saw improvements in their Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) reading and math scores. (American Institutes for Research, 2013)
  • Students regularly attending Washington’s 21st CCLC afterschool programs saw improvements in their reading and math achievement, as well as a positive impact on their overall GPA, compared to their non-participating peers. (American Institutes for Research, 2014)
  • A statewide longitudinal evaluation of the After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens (ASSETs) program—California’s high school component of the 21st CCLC program— found that students participating in the ASSETs program received higher ELA and math assessment scores, and performed better on the ELA and math sections of the CAHSEE than non-participants. (CRESST, 2012)
  • Teachers of students participating in Wisconsin 21st CCLC programs reported more than two-thirds improved their class participation, 60 percent saw improvements in their motivation to learn and 55 percent improved their behavior in class. Teachers also reported that 48 percent of students improved in volunteering for extra credit or responsibility. (Wisconsin Department of Instruction, 2014)
These are just a few studies that show that 21st CCLC programs work.”

She also suggested this fact sheet and a briefing paper on afterschool evaluations.   

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