Letter

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

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints

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.

Vol. 27, Issue 20, Page 29

Published in Print: January 23, 2008, as After-School Article Leads To ‘Story Behind the Story’
Related Stories

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories

Viewed

Emailed

Recommended

Commented

Sponsor Insights

Vocabulary Development for Striving Readers

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >