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Expertise Area

Out-of-School Time

RFA has an expansive portfolio of out-of-school time (OST) program and system-level research and evaluation built over the last decade that includes local Philadelphia-based evaluations as well as national multi-site OST research initiatives. We conduct research and provide actionable feedback to OST program and system-level stakeholders. RFA prioritizes examining program quality and understanding contextual factors that contribute to or impede access, equity and quality implementation in OST.

RFA has an expansive portfolio of out-of-school time (OST) program and system-level research and evaluation built over the last decade that includes local Philadelphia-based evaluations as well as national multi-site OST research initiatives. We conduct research and provide actionable feedback to OST program and system-level stakeholders. RFA prioritizes examining program quality and understanding contextual factors that contribute to or impede access, equity and quality implementation in OST.

We have conducted complex research studies of systems-level (city-wide and district-wide) education and youth development initiatives in major cities across the country, including projects in Atlanta, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Newark, New York City, and Philadelphia.

Since 2011 RFA has served as the evaluator of 21st Century Community Learning Centers for upwards of 19 afterschool providers where we assess program implementation and outcomes and then summarize findings and provide recommendations for future programming. In addition, RFA is partnering with Mathematica Policy Research to conduct a federally funded national study of 21st Century Community Learning Centers and leading a research study for the Wallace Foundation to examine system-level out-of-school time coordination efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our deep understanding of OST programming can be seen in our projects and reports. We use our data to make recommendations and guide decisions affecting students, families, and teachers. OST programming can play a crucial part in the healthy development of children and youth and that is why we are dedicated to using research to support access, quality and equity in OST systems and programs.

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Related Projects

Evaluation of Engineering Women in Natural Science (EngWINS), an Afterschool STEM Mentoring program

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Afterschool Programs: A Review of Evidence Under the Every Student Succeeds Act

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An Evaluation of Congreso de Latinos Unidos’ Exito Program at Kensington CAPA High School

Read More Out-of-School Time

Community Perceptions, Quality Assurance, and Literacy Practices in the City of Philadelphia’s Out-of-School-Time System

Read More Out-of-School Time

Evaluating Women in Natural Sciences (WINS) for the Academy of Natural Sciences

Read More K-12

An Evaluation of Parents as Teachers: Philadelphia Parents as Teachers (PPAT)

Read More Out-of-School Time

After-School Science Programming in West Virginia: An Evaluation Funded by the National Science Foundation

Read More Out-of-School Time

An Evaluation of Family Centers: School District of Philadelphia

Read More Out-of-School Time

A Capacity Building Project with Art Educators: National Arts and Education Consortium (NAEC)

Read More K-12

A Study of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA): The Logan Square Neighborhood Association and The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Read More K-12

A Pilot Study of Young Children’s Mathematical Learning In and Out of School

Read More Out-of-School Time

An Action Research Project: Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Project with the Philadelphia Schools

Read More Out-of-School Time

An Evaluation of the School District of Philadelphia’s Faith Partnerships Program

Read More K-12

21st Century Grants: Tracking the Implementation and Success of Academically-Oriented After-School Programs

Read More Out-of-School Time

Afterschool Arts Programming in the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of America: A Mixed-Methods Evaluation

Read More Out-of-School Time

When the Maker Movement Meets STEAM: Evaluating Maker Jawn in Philadelphia’s Free Library

Read More Out-of-School Time

Related Publications

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Executive Summary: Raising the Barre & Stretching the Canvas

As part of an ongoing, multi-million dollar Wallace Foundation initiative to improve and expand arts learning opportunities for young people, the Wallace Foundation, in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), developed…

Publication

Supporting Literacy in Out-of-School Time: Summary of Evidence

The City of Philadelphia’s Citywide Out‐of‐School‐Time (OST) Initiative was launched in February 2017 to better coordinate and focus the capacities of OST programs on the needs of the city’s children. The first phase of this initiative…

Publication

Charter School Special Education Funding in Pennsylvania

For many years there have been calls to reform how Pennsylvania funds special education both for school districts and charter schools. While some modest changes were recently legislated, they applied exclusively to new state special…

Publication

Summary of 21st Century OST Learning Community Workshops

During the summer and fall of 2015, RFA hosted three Learning Community Workshops to provide opportunities for Philadelphia’s 21st CCLC providers to further discuss the findings from the “citywide” report as well as their implications…

Publication

Creating a Comprehensive Picture of School Performance

For more than two decades, states have been required to report publicly on the academic performance of schools and districts. These school rating systems have received increased public attention amid growing concerns about the prevalence and…

Publication

Teachers in the School District of Philadelphia: Tables on Teacher Retention and the Distribution of Teachers’ Certification Levels and Experience in the District by School Type, Poverty Level, and School Racial Composition

This report summarizes findings from an analysis carried out by the authors on a data set representing all teachers employed in the School District of Philadelphia over the three-year period 1999-2000 to 2001-2002. In addition,…

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Teacher Quality Inequitable in Philadelphia’s Schools

This article reports on a series of teacher quality reports published by Research for Action. According to a new analysis of data on Philadelphia teachers, schools that have a student population with 10 percent or…

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A Guide to Facilitating Action Research for Youth

This guide, developed for Youth United for Change, to facilitate action research for youth includes a case study of Oakland youth and provides a framework for supporting youth action research. The guide describes action research,…

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Home to School: Numeracy Practices and Mathematical Identities

Drawing on a perspective of mathematics as situated social practice, we focus on 4 children in an urban preschool classroom and follow those children between home and school sites to shed light on urban children’s…
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