Study Shows Math Materials Have Impact in After-School Programs

By Mary Ann Zehr — October 01, 2009 1 min read
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EdWeek just published a story I wrote about a federal study that shows math materials used in after-school programs had a notable impact on student learning while reading materials did not.

The math materials were developed by Harcourt School Publishers and the reading materials were created by the Success for All Foundation.

But as Robert Slavin, the chairman of the Success for All Foundation, pointed out to me, the findings could have more to do with the difficulty of demonstrating gains in reading in an after-school program than the quality of the materials.

Elizabeth J. Warner, the project officer for the report, which was commissioned by the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education, said that the researchers learned how carrying out instruction during an after-school program is different from doing so during the school day. “This experience suggested to us you have to be cognizant of the after-school setting,” she told me in an interview, “These are people who come in at the end of the day. They don’t have a lot of prep time.”

From year one to year two of the study, the 27 after-school programs involved experienced a fair amount of turnover of both teachers and students.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.