Ready News: January 13, 2021

Measure, Use, Improve! Data Use in Out-of-School Time

Opportunities to support young people’s learning and development are normally shared and spread across various spaces, places, and delivery modes in schools, community organizations, and families. We have robust ways to measure and evaluate learning in school systems, but how do we measure the impact of out-of-school time (OST) settings? A new book, Measure, Use, Improve! Data Use in Out-of-School Time shares the experience and wisdom from a broad cross-section of OST professionals, ranging from internal evaluators to funders to researchers to policy advocates. The book’s chapters touch on a range of topics, including how to build support for learning and evaluation within OST programs, creating and sustaining continuous quality improvement efforts, authentically engaging young people in evaluation, and securing funder support for learning and evaluation.

Measure, Use, Improve! makes the case for investing in building systems of evaluation and continuous quality improvement to deepen the impact of out-of-school time programs. The book’s authors share conceptual frameworks that have helped inform their thinking, walk through practical examples of how data in OST has strengthened their organizations, and offer advice to colleagues.

Each chapter features a range of experts in OST data and evaluation, including the Forum for Youth Investment’s Trevor Davies, who contributes to a chapter on giving data a voice through coaching. Improving program quality is widely considered the ultimate goal for conducting program evaluation; however, whether the collected data can result in actual changes often remains questionable. Based on over a decade of experience in implementing a statewide evaluation system for OST programming that incorporates a coaching network, this chapter, “Giving Data a Voice through Coaching: The Michigan Example,” presents a case study that illustrates how evaluation enhanced the effectiveness and intentionality of coaching to support quality in the Michigan 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) programs.

Read more.

Order a copy of the book.



Who Gets to Thrive? The Science of Learning and Development as a Tool for Anti-Racism

Free Webinar Series Part 4: Who Gets to Thrive? Accelerating Equity for All Learners in All Settings
January 22, 2020, 3:00 PM-4:00 PM EST

The Science of Learning and Development (SoLD) Alliance is inviting field leaders to join a series of conversations, “Who Gets to Thrive? The Science of Learning and Development as a Tool for Anti-Racism.” Next Friday, January 22, part 4 of the series discussion will explore the science and art of meaning making – one of the competencies most strongly associated with adolescents’ development of identity and agency – and the ways in which diverse settings can cultivate it in order to support BIPOC students and disrupt racist approaches within all learning environments.

Panelists include Robert Jagers (Vice President of Research, CASEL), Mary Helen Immordino-Yang (Director of the USC Center for Affective Neuroscience, Development, Learning and Education (CANDLE)), and Jazzman Anderson (Digital Divide Instructor, YouthBuild, McLean County). The discussion will be moderated by Karen Pittman (Co-Founder of the Forum for Youth Investment, SoLD Alliance Governing Partner).

Register today.


Every Summer Counts: A Longitudinal Analysis of Outcomes from the National Summer Learning Project

A new study on the Wallace Foundation’s National Summer Learning Project (NSLP) conducted by the RAND Corporation reveals short- and long-term benefits of summer learning, with high attenders experiencing the most benefits.

The longitudinal study followed nearly 6,000 students in five school districts across several years, making it the largest and longest study of summer programming. The project was designed to explore whether and how voluntary summer programs with both academics and enrichment opportunities can benefit students.

Three years after summer programs, academic benefits decreased in magnitude and were not statistically significant but remained meaningful for high attenders.

Read the new report.



SEL Roadmap: Actions for a Successful Second Semester

At the start of the 2020-2021 school year, schools faced the layered impact of school closures, COVID-19, and racial inequities amplified by the nationwide mobilization for racial justice. To aid in the transition, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) collaborated with more than 40 partners to illuminate a way forward with its report titled Reunite, Renew, Thrive: SEL Roadmap for Reopening School (July 2020), centered on relationships and built on the existing strengths of a school community.

As we enter the second half of the year, CASEL offers three strategies adapted from the SEL Roadmap to re-examine efforts for a successful second semester. The new resource, “Refocus on the SEL Roadmap: Actions for a Successful Second Semester,” offers guidance on how to:

  • Partner with staff, students, families, and communities to examine data from the first semester.
  • Refocus on adults.
  • Maintain supportive learning environments and promote students’ SEL.

Read the report.



Video: Social and Emotional Learning in Action

As part of the Wallace Foundation’s Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative, six communities across the country are exploring whether and how children benefit when schools and out-of-school-time programs work together to build students’ SEL skills, and what it takes to make this happen.

A new video highlights key insights and findings from the RAND Corporation’s report on the first two years of the initiative, titled Early Lessons from Schools and Out-of-School Time Programs Implementing Social and Emotional Learning, the most comprehensive study to date of a social and emotional learning implementation effort.