24 August 2010
|The Honorable Tom Harkin
Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
731 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
|The Honorable Thad Cochran
Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies
113 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Chairman Harkin and Vice Chairman Cochran,
We, the undersigned providers and advocates for high quality after school, summer, and expanded learning programs, write to express our thoughts on the fiscal year 2011 Labor, Health, Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Senate Appropriations Committee bill. We greatly appreciate the substantial increase of $100 million for the 21st Century Community Learning Center program (21st CCLC) that will enhance the ability of local communities to provide more students with the academic enrichment they need to stay engaged and succeed in school.
We support the Committee’s intent to allow local flexibility in choosing how to use additional learning time before, after school, in the summer or to extend the school day, week or year. We commend the Senate for recognizing that students need more time and multiple ways to learn. As the after school community has demonstrated all over the country for many years, high quality expanded learning opportunities play a significant role in boosting students’ success.
While our first choice for addressing this shift in policy would be through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, if this shift in policy does occur in the Appropriations process, the 21st CCLC statutory language should be amended to ensure that all expanded learning programs must be high quality, should build off and embrace the significant body of research and practice in successful after school and summer learning programs, should be designed to meet specific student needs and deliver measurable results, and must involve community-based partners in order to differentiate approaches to student learning. Community based organizations bring a wealth of distinct approaches that support social and emotional growth, which is essential to academic achievement. Furthermore, community partners complement the instructional approaches of teachers by customizing experiences that build background knowledge and allow students to activate learning, while also building the foundational skills for success in school, college, and careers.
The language also should clarify that local control over which model to implement is retained so that districts can make the best use of learning time, both mandatory and voluntary, and bridge the gap between the teacher’s work day and the student’s learning day. The report language should also be amended to reflect the new statutory intent.
Specifically, we believe the following policies must be included in the final appropriation language in order to effectively expand learning opportunities under the 21st CCLC program.
- Provide local options. Local communities should have full authority without state or federal preference or direction to make their own decisions about whether to use 21st CCLC for (1) before school, after school, or summer learning programs and/or (2) A redesign of the school day or year that includes the creative integration of academic enrichment strategies that build on effective after school and summer learning approaches.
- Ensure strong partnerships. Strong partnerships between schools and community partners should be required, and both CBOs and LEAs should continue to be eligible to apply for funds.
- Ensure high quality. Expanded learning programs should:
- deliver services through a variety of high-quality and effective strategies, including after-school, before school, summer and extended day, week or year, that integrate academics, enrichment and skill development through hands-on experiences that make learning relevant and engaging;
- complement, not replicate, the regular school day, by offering a range of activities that capture student interest and strengthen student engagement in learning, which promotes higher class attendance, reduces risk for retention or drop out, and increases chance for graduation;
- actively address the specific learning needs and interests of all students, especially those who may benefit from approaches and experiences not offered in the traditional classroom setting.
We support these policies because they are critical to ensuring high quality after school and expanded learning programs funded through the 21st CCLC. Employing these policies will ensure students have not just for more time for learning, but the right kind of time: engaged learning time. As cited by the Education Sector, “the research shows that the correlation between time and student achievement gets stronger with more engaged time.”
|After-School All-Stars, Los Angeles||Ana Campos, President and Executive Director|
|After School Matters, Chicago
||David Sinski, Executive Director
|Baltimore’s Safe and Sound Campaign
||Hathaway Ferebee, Executive Director
||Tiffany Cooper Gueye, CEO
|Big Thought, Dallas||Gigi Antoni, President and CEO|
|Boston After School and Beyond
||Chris Smith, Executive Director
|Center for Strategic Community Innovation, Berkeley
||Dina Hatchuel, Executive Director
|Central Valley Afterschool Foundation
||Lindsay Callahan, Executive Director
|Children Now, California
||Ted Lempert, President
|Children’s Aid Society
||Richard R. Buery, Jr., President and CEO
|Collaborative for Building After-School Systems
||Jessica Donner, Director
|Dallas AfterSchool Network||Tanya McDonald, Executive Director|
|DC Alliance of Youth Advocates||Jeannie Shaughnessy Hodges, Executive Director|
|DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corp||Ellen London, CEO and President|
|Federation for Community Schools, Illinois||Suzanne Armato, Executive Director|
|Greater New Orleans Afterschool Partnership||Gina Warner, Executive Director|
|Jamestown Community Center, San Francisco||Claudia Jasin, Executive Director|
|League of California Afterschool Providers||Steven Amick, Executive Director|
|Muhammad Ali Center||Greg Roberts, President and CEO|
|New Day for Learning, San Francisco||Margaret Brodkin, Director|
|New Jersey After 3||Mark Valli, President and CEO|
|Out-of-School Time Resource Center, Philadelphia||Nancy Peter, Director|
|Partnership for Children and Youth, Bay Area||Jennifer Peck, Executive Director|
|Partners in Out-of-School Time, Charlotte||Claire K. Tate, Executive Director|
|Prime Time Palm Beach County||Suzette L. Harvey, Executive Director|
|Providence After School Alliance||Hillary Salmons, Executive Director|
|Rhode Island After School Plus Alliance||Adam Greenman, Executive Director|
|South East Texas Afterschool Association (SETAA)||Shawn C. Petty, President|
|Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center||Michael Funk, Executive Director|
|Temescal Associates||Sam Piha, Founder and Principal|
|The After-School Corporation (TASC), New York City||Lucy N. Friedman, President|
|The After-School Institute, Baltimore||Rebkha Atnafou, Executive Director|
|THINK Together, L.A., Orange, Riverside Counties||Randy Barth, Founder and CEO|
|United Neighborhood Centers of America||Patrick Lester, Sr. Vice President for Public Policy|
|United Neighborhood Houses of New York||Nancy Wackstein, Executive Director|
|United Way of New York City||Alex Martinez, Chief of Staff|
|United Way Worldwide||Steve Taylor, VP and Counsel, Public Policy|
|West Dallas Community Centers, Inc.||Cheryl L. Mayo, Executive Director|
|Woodcraft Rangers, Los Angeles||Cathie Mostovoy, Executive Director|
|A World Fit for Kids||Normandie Nigh, Executive Director|
Add Your Organization to the Sign-on Response Letter
Please contact Jennifer Peck, Executive Director, Partnership for Children and Youth, to add your organization to the list of signers. Thank you.