The Annenberg Institute for School Reform has developed a set of indicators to measure the success of expanded learning efforts that aim to improve the academic achievement of low-income students.

Expanded Learning LogoThe institute said it is creating these indicators to help define and clarify “a broad range of educational conditions and outcomes that are possible in implementing more and better learning time.” The indicators could also help educators improve their practices and provide key stakeholders with a way to measure whether initiatives are effecting positive change, according to the report released this month.

The report, Leveraging Time for School Equity: Indicators to Measure More and Better Learning Time, emphasizes that providing high-quality programs before and after school and during the summer for low-income students is an equity issue. “Educational and social equity are central to the More and Better Learning Time initiative,” the report says. “Minimizing disparities in educational opportunities at both the school and system levels is critical to minimizing disparities in academic achievement between different groups of students and among schools.”

The 24 indicators listed in the report fall within three categories –  student, school and system:

  • In the student category are indicators such as how students are performing across multiple academic measures and whether students have an opportunity to shape and determine how they spend their time.
  • In the school category are indicators such as teacher engagement with student learning and whether efforts have been made to create a positive school climate.
  • In system category, an indicator is whether a broad range of community partnerships have been developed, such as internship and mentoring opportunities, as well as services such as healthcare.

In addition to describing the indicators, the report explains why they matter and ways to measure each one.

The researchers considered hundreds of possible indicators before narrowing the number to 24. They based their selection on research findings regarding effective strategies and feedback from those involved in expanded learning programs.

“Our goal is not to provide an exhaustive list, but rather to help prioritize a series of indicators that align with the goals of the More and Better Learning Time initiative,” the report noted.

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