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Review finds mixed academic results for expanded learning programs

A review of 30 studies on after-school and summer programs across the country found mixed results regarding their benefits on student academic performance.

Students who were below grade level in English gained the most from these programs, according to some of the studies. Middle school students with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder also improved their social and emotional skills.

Yael Kidron and Jim Lindsay of the American Institutes for Research conducted the comprehensive review, “The effects of increased learning time on student academic and nonacademic outcomes: Findings from a meta-analytic review,” for the Regional Educational Laboratory of Appalachia. A brief by the authors summarizes their findings.

Although the programs were generally slightly positive for elementary school students’ literacy and math achievement, the programs at the middle school level had a small negative effect on literacy and no discernible effect on math achievement, according to some studies.

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