Evaluation of Two Out-of-School Programs in Pittsburgh Public Schools

No Child Left Behind’s Supplemental Educational Services and State of Pennsylvania’s Educational Assistance Program

by Ron Zimmer, Rachel Christina, Laura S. Hamilton, Deanna Weber Prine

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Programs that provide services to children outside of school hours have grown tremendously in recent decades. Historically, non- and for-profit organizations provided many of these programs and often did not coordinate their efforts with the school district. However, out-of-school programs have been transformed through federal, state, and local programs-most notably through the No Child Left Behind Act supplemental educational services (SES). Pennsylvania has also set up its own out-of-school programs, including one known as the Educational Assistance Program (EAP). Both programs offer tutoring services for students. In this report, data is used from parent focus groups, surveys of SES providers and EAP schools, and student achievement data program to examine the implementation and effectiveness of these programs. Overall, the analysis suggests that less than 25 percent of eligible students participate in SES and EAP programs and factors perceived by parents as inhibiting participation include unclear information about eligibility for and cost of the program, disciplinary issues, and provision of transportation. Parents also cited increased competition for student time as they get older and take on a wider range of activities, e.g., sports and jobs, as a reason for not participating in the programs. Finally, the analysis provides strong evidence that the programs do have a positive effect on student achievement in math, with more limited evidence of an effect in reading. The largest effect occurs in math for students who participate in both programs, and that effect is substantial.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Operation of programs

  • Chapter Three

    Participation in SES and EAP

  • Chapter Four

    Achievement analysis

  • Chapter Five

    Summary and conclusions

The research reported here was funded by Pittsburgh Public Schools and conducted by RAND Education.

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