A federal study of curriculum materials used in two “enhanced” after-school programs has found that a mathematics program produced significant gains in student achievement, while a reading program did not.
Students who took part in the enhanced math program for one year showed significantly more improvement than their peers in a regular after-school program. A second year in the program, however, produced gains no greater than those for students enrolled in a regular after-school program. The study examines students in grades 2-5 who were enrolled in after-school programs in rural, suburban, and urban communities in 10 states.
The math program, known as Mathletics, was developed especially for the study by Harcourt School Publishers, based in Orlando, Fla., and was used in 15 after-school centers. The reading program, called Adventure Island, was also developed for the study, by the Baltimore-based Success for All Foundation, and was taught in 12 after-school centers.
The study was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences and conducted by the New York City-based MDRC research organization.
The first year of the study included a sample of about 4,000 students in the treatment and the control groups; the second year included about half that number.
A version of this article appeared in the October 07, 2009 edition of Education Week as Study Finds Mixed Success for ‘Enhanced’ After-School Lessons