Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

After-School Article Leads to ‘Story Behind the Story’

January 22, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

The article “High-Quality After-School Programs Tied to Test-Score Gains” (Nov. 28, 2007) led me to a somewhat surprising story behind the story. The article was about a study that showed significant improvement in test scores and other measures in children who participated in after-school programs. This is a subject of interest to me, so I downloaded the study and read it.

The text of the study read essentially as the article described it. At the end of the text, however, there are tables that give statistical data on student gains on different measures. While the tables show positive gains on math test scores, the cells for reading tests are left empty.

The explanation below the tables states that cells were left empty if there was no statistically significant gain shown in that area. So what this means is that the high-quality after-school programs had a positive impact on math test scores, but no significant impact on reading test scores.

The fact that the study appears to show these after-school programs have no measurable effect on literacy seems to me to be as significant as the finding that the programs have a positive impact on math. It stands in stark counterpoint to the gist of the discussion in the study and in your article, which both seem to be telling us that after-school programs really do work.

In fact, the contrast is so stark that I wrote to the study’s authors to be sure that I did not misinterpret the tables. They confirmed my reading of their data. They did not explain why they did not talk about the literacy finding in their write-up.

I am an enthusiastic reader of Education Week, and look for it to be, as you say, the “newspaper of record” for American education. Thus, it raises concern to me that research I read about in your paper may turn out to be significantly different from what was reported.

John K. DiPaolo

Executive Director

Beginning With Children Foundation

New York, N.Y.

A version of this article appeared in the January 23, 2008 edition of Education Week as After-School Article Leads To ‘Story Behind the Story’

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Your Questions on the Science of Reading, Answered
Dive into the Science of Reading with K-12 leaders. Discover strategies, policy insights, and more in our webinar.
Content provided by Otus
Mathematics Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Breaking the Cycle: How Districts are Turning around Dismal Math Scores
Math myth: Students just aren't good at it? Join us & learn how districts are boosting math scores.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How To Tackle The Biggest Hurdles To Effective Tutoring
Learn how districts overcome the three biggest challenges to implementing high-impact tutoring with fidelity: time, talent, and funding.
Content provided by Saga Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: March 20, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 13, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: February 21, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: February 7, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read