SHARED FEATURES OF HIGH-PERFORMING AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS: A FOLLOW-UP TO THE TASC EVALUATION

2005. Authors: Jennifer Birmingham, Ellen M. Pechman, Christina A. Russell, Monica Mielke
Policy Studies Associates, Inc.

This study examined high-performing after-school projects funded by The After-School Corporation (TASC), to determine what characteristics, if any, these projects shared. Evaluators reanalyzed student performance data collected during the multi-year evaluation of the TASC initiative to identify projects where the TASC after-school program was especially likely to have contributed to improvements in students’ academic achievement. Once these 10 projects were identified, evaluators visited each project to learn more about program structures and practices and whether the 10 projects shared common features. Interview and observational data revealed that, while these highperforming after-school projects were identified through their participants’ achievement gains, the projects did not primarily focus on academics. Across the 10 projects, evaluators found shared characteristics around programming, staffing, and support systems.