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Close the Achievement Gap

Katie Brohawn
Learn more about the research on expanded learning opportunities.
Email Katie Brohawn
Senior Director of Research
or call (646) 943-8845

Dozens of empirical studies from the past decade show the same results, particularly among disadvantaged students: more learning time, in the form of high-quality after-school and summer programs, leads to greater achievement, better school attendance and more enthusiastic learners. Research on the highest-performing charter schools by Dr. Roland Fryer and others finds additional learning time to be a critical element of their success, closely correlated with higher achievement.

After-School Evidence

A recent review by Dr. Joseph A. Durlak and Dr. Roger E. Weissberg of 68 studies of after-school programs that followed evidence-based practices found that they were: "associated with significant improvements in self-perceptions, school bonding and positive social behaviors; significant reductions in conduct problems and drug use; and significant increases in achievement test scores, grades and school attendance."

An independent four-year analysis of TASC-model after-school programs found that participants improved their achievement in math, attended school more often and improved their attitudes toward learning, compared to non-participants.

Students who participated for at least two years and attended at least 60 days of programming per year experienced the greatest gains on test scores. Disadvantaged African-American and Hispanic students showed the greatest academic gains, providing evidence that programs helped to close the achievement gaps.

ExpandED Schools Evidence

TASC commissioned an independent evaluation of a three-year pilot to expanded learning time in 10 New York City public schools, beginning in 2008.

Evaluators found that 85% of teachers in participating schools said that learning improved. Schools that implemented expanded learning time with fidelity to our model experienced statistically significant improvement in school attendance relative to the experience of comparison schools, and great gains on state tests among 3rd-through-5th graders.

ExpandED Schools launched in New York City, Baltimore and New Orleans in the 2011-12 school year. An evaluation of the first year of this national demonstration found that students improved their math achievement, outpacing gains in all three cities. In New York City, chronic absenteeism dropped and the number of students with exemplary attendance increased in ExpandED Schools. They also surpassed citywide gains in school safety, communication, engagement and academic expectations as measured by parents, teachers and students.


Math Achievement improved in ExpandED Schools faster than citywide averages.