Our roots are in the movement to equalize educational opportunities for all kids. Founded as The After-School Corporation in 1998 through a challenge grant from the Open Society Foundations (then the Open Society Institute), we were the first organization that set out to build a citywide system of daily comprehensive after-school programs for kids in kindergarten through high school. We created a model for daily after-school programs that community organizations, such as settlement houses and Boys and Girls Clubs, operate in New York City public schools every day that school is in session. We proved that high quality, effective after-school programs that keep kids safe while parents work could be scaled to reach large numbers of students.
Results Lead to Policy Change
Policy Studies Associates conducted an independent, five-year evaluation of TASC programs, which found that high quality programs demonstrably improve kids’ school achievement, attendance and engagement.
By showing results, TASC influenced a national movement for the development of sustainable and high-quality after-school, summer and expanded learning opportunities.
We also influenced policy change by showing how private investment could leverage more efficient, more effective use of public investments in both education and youth development. In our first decade we leveraged more than four dollars in private and public spending for every dollar the Open Society Foundations invested in our founding grant. We laid the foundation for New York City to build the nation’s largest publicly funded after-school system through its Out-of-School Time initiative.
Better Learning Opportunities and Results
At the end of our first decade, we challenged ourselves to apply the evidence from the most effective after-school programs to improving the full school-day experience of kids who are disproportionately failing to prepare successfully for college and careers. We found that in the most effective after-school programs, the host school and its community partner operated as one team with a common vision and set of goals for student progress. Together the principal, teachers, parents and community educators planned after-school activities that reinforced and expanded on what kids learned during the school day. They shared responsibility and accountability for supporting and educating the whole child.
- Improves student outcomes
- Gives less advantaged students a range of opportunities to develop their talents, comparable to what middle class families arrange for their children.
- Keeps kids safe and learning through the afternoon hours while parents work.
- Provides what everyone wants for their children: a well-rounded education, quality instruction and a fighting chance to succeed.
We built ExpandED Schools on this foundation of shared school-community planning, responsibility and accountability for educating the whole child.
In 2008 we began to pilot a longer school day in what grew to be 17 New York City elementary and middle schools. Our partners in Expanded Learning Time/New York City were the New York City Departments of Education and Youth and Community Development, as well as visionary principals and their partnering community organizations. We commissioned an independent evaluation of the three-year pilot and found:
- Students out-performed city and state peers in improving their math and English proficiency.
- 85% of teachers surveyed said students’ learning improved.
We also found that it’s possible to expand the learning day in a way that’s cost-effective even in a tough economy. By blending education and youth development funds with private investments, we can give kids at least 35% more learning time for 10% of the cost of the school day.
In the 2011-2012 school year, The Wallace Foundation and the Open Society Foundations committed major private funding to a national expansion or our longer school day model, which we re-named ExpandED Schools. We now work with a network of schools and school systems across the country that have embarked on expanding learning time, with five demonstration schools in New York City, three in Baltimore and two in New Orleans.