Contractors: MDRC, Public/Private Ventures, Bloom Associates, and Survey Research Management
The 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program, established in 1999, is a state-administered grant program to provide opportunities for academic enrichment to meet state and local student academic achievement standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and mathematics. This Title IV, Part B program of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is funded at $1 billion in FY08 and targets high poverty schools with priority given to schools in need of improvement. Thus, an evaluation of Harcourt's Mathletics and Success For All's Adventure Island—two academic programs designed for the afterschool setting—provides appropriate information for the program.
Building off of a 2005 national evaluation of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program in which grantees were found to offer predominantly homework help that did not produce academic impacts, this study tests the efficacy of two structured and intensive academic programs designed for the after-school setting.
The evaluation consists of two parallel studies at the elementary school level (25 programs for each study, one testing the math program—Harcourt Math—and one testing the reading program—Success For All). The evaluation includes initially 1000 students who were randomly assigned to receive treatment and 1000 to receive the typical support (e.g., general help in a variety of subjects). A subset of the sites continued the program for a second year in which students were randomly assigned a second time to receive one year of treatment in the first year of program operation; to receive one year of treatment in the second year of program operation; to two years of services; and to zero years of the academic program.
Duration: 5 years (October 1, 2003–September 30, 2008)
Current Status: The first report was released in June 2008 and the second report was released in September 2009 (see http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20084021/).