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					A Report to the After School Project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation   By Tony Proscio and Basil J. Whiting


How Four Large American Cities Approach Scale and Quality in After-School Programs
How Four Large American Cities Approach Scale and Quality in After-School Programs

                               A report to the After School Project
                               of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
                               by Tony Proscio and Basil J. Whiting

4     Executive Summary

9     Overview: Snapshot of an Expanding Universe
      Tony Proscio and Basil J. Whiting

24    New York City: The After-School Corporation
      Tony Proscio

38    Los Angeles: LA’s BEST
      Basil J. Whiting

54    Chicago: After School Matters
      Tony Proscio

66    San Diego’s “6 to 6”
      Basil J. Whiting

79    Acknowledgments

80    About the After School Project
Executive Summary

         HE PROLIFERATION OF BEFORE- AND                 borhoods and public schools across the city, at least
           AFTER-SCHOOL SERVICES across the              at some grade levels.
           United States testifies to a growing            In New York and Chicago, where a patchwork of
demand among working parents, educators, child- many before- and after-school programs has
welfare advocates, and public officials for super-       emerged over many years, recent initiatives could
vised activity for young people beyond the normal be models for — or at least presage — more coher-
school day. Although the demand is widespread,           ent ways of organizing after-school services city-
and out-of-school-time programs are multiplying, wide. And in Los Angeles, a well-known and now
very few cities have any coherent, firmly estab-         well-established initiative for troubled elementary
lished system for funding, promoting, or regulat- schools has been the stimulus for a citywide
ing these activities. The programs constitute, in        bureaucratic structure for potentially comprehen-
most places, a patchwork of independent efforts          sive before- and after-school programming. Though
cobbled together by individual neighborhoods             none of these systems is yet fully formed, all are at
and schools, funded by a hodgepodge of often             a stage where other states and localities might begin
unrelated grants and contracts, and certified or         to find in them a set of useful models, lessons, or at
evaluated by no single authority.                        least ideas and experiences to ponder.
   Yet in at least four large cities, a more deliberate,   This paper examines these four emerging systems
organized system for out-of-school programs is           in some detail, beginning with an overview that
beginning to emerge. In one, San Diego, that sys-        synthesizes the main patterns and themes, and end-
tem now offers before- and after-school programs         ing with individual studies of each program. The
in every elementary and middle school in the city        four are:
(though not yet to every interested student in every
school). In three others — New York City, Los              The After-School Corporation (TASC) in New
Angeles, and Chicago — ambitious after-school            York City. TASC channels public and private fund-
programs are beginning to resemble a broad-based ing to after-school programs in just under 18 per-
system, touching a significant percentage of neigh- cent of the city’s 1,100 elementary, middle, and
high schools, as of the end of 2003. The programs       the Chief Executive Officer and her staff work. Its
are jointly sponsored by the school and a nonprofit     school-level functions, however, are carried out and
organization, which have wide latitude in designing     supervised by an Operations Office that is grafted
curricula, recruiting staff, and planning activities.   onto the Los Angeles Unified School District and
All programs operate from 3 to 6 p.m. on all regu-      now resides in a major branch devoted to expand-
lar school days. New York City and State provide        ing before- and after-school programming at all
considerable funding through TASC for these activ-      levels throughout the district. Staff in the schools
ities, but many other, smaller after-school efforts     and regional supervisors, plus the Chief Operating
also operate in city schools with separate funding      Officer of LA’s BEST, are all on the payroll of the
from the city and state. TASC is an independent         Los Angeles Unified School District.
nonprofit organization created in 1998 by a private
foundation, and does not yet have the status of a        After School Matters (ASM) in Chicago. ASM
recognized, permanent, citywide delivery mecha-        owes its existence, most of all, to Maggie Daley,
nism for New York City after-school programs.          wife of Mayor Richard M. Daley, who first con-
                                                       ceived and created a network of summertime and
  LA’s BEST in Los Angeles. Founded in 1988 and after-school arts programs for teenagers in the early
thus one of the oldest well-structured, large-scale    1990s. Convinced that teenagers are poorly served
programs in the country, LA’s BEST intentionally       by most after-school programs nationwide, Mrs.
operates only in elementary schools in designated      Daley set out in 2000 to expand the arts model to
“high risk” neighborhoods. Of the 227 schools that a system of paid apprenticeships in sports, com-
meet that definition, the program provides after-      puter technology, and communications, as well as
school services in 114. It is, in effect, a program of the arts, with facilities and funding provided by the
local government, though its structure is unusual,     mayor and the city agencies that govern the school,
and complex. LA’s BEST is mainly governed, pro-        park, and library systems. After School Matters, an
moted, and substantially funded by a nonprofit         independent nonprofit whose board is chaired by
corporation housed in the Mayor’s Office, where        Mrs. Daley, channels these resources to programs
in the participating high schools. It also offers a       Although all four of these programs are big
less-structured network of recreational “clubs”        enough to constitute the leading or guiding model
where teens can drop in any time, without the          for a citywide system of after-school services, only
structure or rigors of the paid apprenticeships. At    San Diego’s “6 to 6” comes close to being the single
the end of 2003, After School Matters was operat-      comprehensive model or system for out-of-school
ing in about one-quarter of Chicago’s 100 public       programs in its city. The other three programs pro-
high schools.                                          filed here are beginning to acquire the critical mass
                                                       from which a complete system could be built, or at
   San Diego’s “6 to 6.” Not only is “6 to 6” the      least envisioned. Most of these programs face some
only program in this sample that reaches every         remaining organizational hurdles before they could
elementary and middle school citywide (plus one        reach every student for whom they’re intended.
high school), but it is the only one that universally Most struggle with limitations on space in schools
offers before-school services as well as after-school. or recreation facilities, some might have difficulties
It is a regular program of city government, incor-     in recruiting faculty for a dramatically larger pro-
porated into the city’s Department of Community gram. But all of them could grow substantially
and Economic Development. Activity in the              larger than they are today, and do it fairly quickly,
schools is carried out by nonprofit organizations      if there were simply more money available.
working under contracts with the department’s             All four programs make up their budgets from a
Division of Community Services. To serve every         tangle of different funding streams, some of them
school within the city limits, “6 to 6” must collab- from sources far removed from traditional educa-
orate not only with the San Diego Unified School       tion and youth development systems, such as juve-
District, but with nine other independent districts nile justice, recreation and health, employment
whose boundaries overlap with some portion of the and job training, and community development.
city. In some wealthier neighborhoods where after- All of them use school space rent-free and all
school activities are already plentiful, but where     except Chicago’s After School Matters draw sup-
many programs charge tuition, the city has chosen port from the federal 21st Century Community
to issue tuition vouchers to help lower-income         Learning Centers program. Beyond that, funding
families participate in existing programs, rather      for these programs varies in many ways from city
than to create new ones. San Diego’s “6 to 6”          to city and often from year to year in complex pat-
started in 1998.                                       terns that even their leaders sometimes struggle to
describe. Still, the fact that all programs draw from     funding, organizing and enlarging their scope of
essentially the same broad mix of different sources       operations, accounting to the various public and
of money suggests the emergence of a kind of              private agencies that support them, and maintain-
funding model, increasingly common but still              ing good relations with their ultimate constituents
dizzyingly complicated.                                   — parents and students — it would be remarkable
   All of these programs juggle multiple demands          indeed if they were found to have excelled at all
from multiple constituencies. Defining who their          their broader purposes.
“customer” is and what they are supposed to                 At this point, parents, schools, and cities increas-
achieve for their customers remains a challenge,          ingly demand after-school programs of at least
not only for these four programs but for the whole        decent quality and safety to fill in those workday
field of after-school activity. Most of the people        hours when, in most homes, no adult is around.
responsible for these programs would like to see          To meet that demand, cities and states, and per-
them broaden students’ exposures to the arts,             haps the federal government, will need to arrange
sports, and their social and physical environments;       a more coherent system of support for after-school
raise their educational performance; contribute to        care than now exists in most places. The programs
their healthy development; provide safe places for        here represent a credible start in that direction,
children before and after school; reduce chances          even before most of them are thoroughly evaluated.
that kids might engage in drugs, crime, or gangs;         Given that most of these programs are not yet a
make work days more manageable for parents; and           decade old (LA’s BEST, in its 16th year as this goes
promote interpersonal skills and self-confidence          to press, is the exception) it will be a significant
that will serve students in later years. But are all of   achievement if any or all of them manage to
those goals necessary or even achievable? If one or       enlarge their cities’ roster of available after-school
more of them isn’t met, does that reflect poorly on       services, ensure some basic standards of quality,
the program?                                              stabilize their funding, and serve more families
   Most of these programs are being evaluated with        than are being served today.
varying degrees of rigor on at least some of these
criteria (in L.A.’s case, several scholarly evaluations
have already been completed, with favorable results
on a number of factors). But considering the diffi-
culty they face in building and maintaining their

     …the popular demand for widespread after-school services has created something
     like an irresistible force for many local officials. The result is that after-school
     systems, albeit mostly piecemeal and still fragile, are forming in several places.

tive, inconclusive, or purely hypothetical.               When cities do manage to piece                      grams here and there. All are designed to
The reality, for most cities, is that there is         together some form of local after-school               be “systems” in the sense that Halpern and
still no coherent system of funding,                   system, Halpern writes, the results tend               others use the term: an integrated set of
administration, service delivery, regula-              to be:                                                 persistent funding streams, legal or regula-
tion, and policy formation for widespread                                                                     tory authorities, authorized providers, and
after-school activity. All these elements                 reliant on and actually made up of parts            auxiliary organizations (typically called
exist to some degree, but usually in a                    of other systems — social services, early           intermediaries) for training, consulting,
fragmentary or haphazard way. To estab-                   childhood care and education, public                quality assurance, and financial support.
lish out-of-school activities on a citywide               schools, parks and recreation, the cul-                The four cases are strikingly different
basis, with programs in all (or even most)                tural and arts sectors — that typically             from one another (the accompanying
schools, would mean organizing a system                   are larger, better funded (at least in rela-        table gives a rough summary of their
almost from scratch.                                      tive terms), and have their own dynam-              basic characteristics). Although we try, in
   Robert Halpern, human services                         ics and preoccupations.…When [these]                this introductory discussion, to make
scholar at the Erikson Institute in                       other systems are under stress, their mar-          comparisons and draw out common
Chicago, summarized the challenge in a                    ginal activities — including after-school           themes, it is worth pondering how quali-
2003 paper:                                               programs — are particularly vulnerable.3            fied most of the comparisons are, and
                                                                                                              how tentative are some of the themes.
     There is no one institutional locus, no              Yet as time goes on, the popular                    The main reason for this seems to be that
     widely accepted governance mecha-                 demand for widespread after-school serv-               each city is blending the “parts of other
     nisms, no over-arching goals, policies,           ices has created something like an irre-               systems” differently, each with its own
     or regulations guiding or constraining            sistible force for many local officials. The           particular mix of funding streams, bal-
     programs, and no commonly deter-                  result is that after-school systems, albeit            ance of government and nonprofit roles,
     mined decision-making structures or               mostly piecemeal and still fragile, are                and sources of political and administra-
     procedures. Boundaries are porous and             forming in several places. This paper                  tive leadership. The result, for example, is
     shifting. Leadership is diffuse and infor-        presents four examples of large cities where           that each reckons its costs in slightly dif-
     mal, based largely on length of involve-          something like a citywide system is taking             ferent ways. If one city gets its custodial
     ment in the field, and to some extent             shape. None of these yet offers service to             or security services directly from the
     self-selected. Different priorities and           every school-age youngster in every neigh-             school system, for instance, it may not
     requirements are stipulated by numer-             borhood at every age level. Some aren’t                include those items in its total cost of
     ous individual funders and sponsors,              intended to go that far; others are still              after-school service. Elsewhere, providers
     often without much attention to what              under construction and haven’t yet deter-              may have to pay for such services and
     others are requiring (or to the mission           mined how far they can go. But all four                thus have to put them in their budget.
     of longstanding after-school providers).2         are meant to be more than just a way of                Cost comparisons, like most other com-
                                                       funding or encouraging after-school pro-               parisons, are therefore meant to convey

2 Robert Halpern, “The Challenge of System-Building in the After-School Field: Lessons from Experience,” Chicago: Erikson Institute for Graduate Study in Child
  Development, 2003, p.3.
3 Ibid., p. 4.
                                                                                                                                                         OVERVIEW           11

  This focus on large-scale local programs reflects the reality of how after-school
  systems are actually developing in most of the United States.

 After-School Programs: A Quick Comparison
                                                New York City                         Los Angeles                          Chicago                             San Diego
                                                       TASC*                          LA’s BEST*                             ASM*                    San Diego’s "6 to 6"
 School levels served                                E/M/H                      High Risk E only                           HS only                              All E/M
 Number of funded slots**                            41,233                              19,000                             4,100                                24,519
 Number of students in city schools              1,050,000                      364,906 E only                  101,100 HS only                         135,794 in E/M
 Number of public schools served                         193                                 114                                24              194† public + 10 private
 Number of public schools in city                     1,164                   432 elementary,                    100 high schools                              193 E/M
                                                                        227 defined “high risk”
 Hours of program operation per day                   3-6 pm                          2:30-6 pm                            3-6 pm                  6-7:30am; 2:15-6 pm
 Days of operation per week                           5 days                              5 days                           3 days                                5 days
 Adult/student ratio                                    1:10                                1:20                              1:10                      1:15 E; 1:20 M
 Cost per funded slot                                $1,600                              $1,357                          $1,740‡          $979 (afternoon hours only)
 Locus of authority                                Nonprofit              Nonprofit Corporation                       Nonprofit +                     City Department of
                                                                          in Mayor's Office; LA                    3 city agencies                       Community and
                                                                          Unified School District                                                 Economic Development
 In-school operations conducted by              Community                      LA School District              ASM & Community                              Community
                                              Organizations                                                       Organizations                           Organizations
 Year started                                          1998                                1988                              2000                                  1998

 *    Many other before/after-school programs operate in these cities; the profiled programs are the largest and best known.
 **   These are estimates in some cases; actual enrollment and average daily attendance vary.
 †    San Diego’s "6 to 6" also serves one high school.
 ‡    Student apprentices in Chicago are paid an average stipend of $780 for a full year of participation, bringing the total cost to $2,520.

rough impressions. They do not reward                     program covers every elementary and                       the city limits. Yet calling even that por-
detailed scrutiny or analysis.                            middle school within the city limits, it                  tion of TASC’s effort a “city” program
   Even to refer to “cities” in this discus-              was necessary to enlist the cooperation of                could suggest more of a connection with
sion is a risky oversimplification. The Los               nine separate school districts whose                      municipal government than in fact exists.
Angeles after-school initiative, called LA’s              boundaries not only overlap with those of                 The drive for a citywide after-school pro-
BEST, covers the whole Los Angeles Uni-                   the city but also reach far out into the                  gram in New York did not, in fact, origi-
fied School District (LAUSD), a metro-                    metropolitan area. The New York initia-                   nate at City Hall, but in the offices of a
politan authority comprising nine                         tive, called The After School Corporation                 prominent international foundation. To
municipalities including Los Angeles,                     (TASC), serves many areas outside New                     this day, the effort is warmly welcomed
plus portions of 18 others. In San Diego,                 York City, though the profile in this                     and fairly well funded by the current
where the “6 to 6” out-of-school-time                     paper describes only its activities within                mayor and schools chancellor, but is not

     All…pay their costs with a combination of federal, state, and local dollars from a
     wide mix of government programs plus private donations.

officially engraved in any citywide policy.            not in all of them; New York’s TASC                     In the briefest strokes, these four cases
   Still, these definitional issues are                operates only where invited and lives                   and other, related trends seem to justify
minor, compared with the main charac-                  within a fixed budget that doesn’t stretch              the following conclusions:
teristic that makes all four initiatives sig-          to every interested school. But the efforts
nificant: All of them started at or near               in the three biggest cities are also designed             Large-scale after-school initiatives, though neither univer-
the municipal level, and all of them aim               to complement an already widespread                       sal nor inevitable, are gaining momentum in several cities
to serve a great percentage of the children            patchwork of other, independent after-                    and, by now, a growing number of states.
in some target age-range within their                  school programs in those same locales.                    Designing a system to bring after-school services to all,
local jurisdiction. This focus on large-               These other programs were largely set up                  or even most, schools and students is an unfinished and
scale local programs reflects the reality of           by individual schools or nonprofit groups,                still-daunting enterprise nearly everywhere.
how after-school systems are actually                  and the drive for a citywide system was                   Still, the early experiences of a few big-city pioneers
developing in most of the United States.               typically meant to encourage and expand                   are now far enough along to provide encouragement,
Until 2002, when Californians passed the               on them, not replace them. In short, these                a growing pool of experienced leaders, and some rea-
statewide after-school mandate called                  efforts demonstrate that it is possible,                  sonably affordable program models to make the job a
Proposition 49, nearly all serious                     even in the largest and most complex                      bit easier for places that are just starting or have not
                                                                                                                 yet begun.
attempts to develop broad and stable                   school districts, to extend the universe of
after-school systems for all or most stu-              available after-school care significantly, to
dents have been local, albeit with increas-            bring it to previously unserved neighbor-
ing amounts of state and federal support.              hoods and schools, and to introduce some                Funding: Sources and Uses
   For large cities especially, these four             elements of a real system: recurring fund-
examples demonstrate that size alone is                ing, general quality expectations, and cen-             IN THE 2003-04 ACADEMIC YEAR, the four
not a barrier to an expansive vision for               tralized support and regulation.                        cities in this study spent between $979
citywide after-school services. The exam-                 How each locality got to that point —                (San Diego4) and $1,700 (Chicago5) to
ples in this paper represent the three                 the marshaling of money and political                   serve an average student in an after-school
largest U.S. cities plus the seventh-largest,          support, the selection of goals, and the                program for a full year. All of them pay
San Diego. The most universal of the four              designing of a program to fit them — is                 their costs with a combination of federal,
initiatives, San Diego’s, covers every ele-            a separate story. Before delving into the               state, and local dollars from a wide mix of
mentary and middle school in the city.                 particulars of each of those stories, this              government programs plus private dona-
The rest are less comprehensive than that              overview attempts to draw together some                 tions. All of them rely on free use of
— Los Angeles’ program, for example, is                general patterns, themes, and caveats, as a             school buildings (and in Chicago’s case,
limited just to elementary schools defined             contribution to the still-percolating dis-              municipal parks, recreation facilities, and
as “high risk”; Chicago’s After School                 cussion about how far the universe of                   pools as well), for which the capital cost is
Matters works only in high schools, and                local after-school programs can expand.                 not reflected in the annual budget. The

4 To keep costs comparable, these figures refer to the cost of programs in the afternoon hours only. San Diego’s before-school services involve fewer hours and
  less cost — roughly $652 per slot per year. A student enrolled in both services for a full year would thus cost $1,631 to serve ($652 plus $979), but that would
  represent five hours of service a day, not three as in the other cities.
5 Chicago, the only city whose program concentrates on high school students and offers skills training, pays its enrollees an “apprenticeship stipend” for the days
  they attend. For the sake of comparability, the stipend isn’t included in this annual per-student cost. If it were included, it would bring the total to $2,520.
                                                                                                                                     OVERVIEW      13

  What all four cities [profiled in this report] have in common is that cost has been
  a decisive factor in limiting their ambitions for a truly citywide system…

costs associated with keeping the buildings        tractors who would prefer a richer service         increase significantly. (The one possible
open and usable — items like security,             model. Chicago’s program still reaches a           exception is Chicago, where the After
utilities, and custodial and engineering           minority of the city’s high schools, and           School Matters program is the newest in
services — normally are included, though           not much more than 10 percent of the               this sample, and may already be growing
these are accounted for differently from           student body at a typical school. All four         as fast as prudently possible.)
place to place. Because each system is gov-        cities have waiting lists, and all but San            It’s worth noting that although the cost
erned differently, the costs of management         Diego have unserved schools that they              per enrollee varies substantially among
and oversight are reflected differently in         still hope to reach. Each program has had          these four programs, all of them are far
the total budget. Sorting out the precise          to rein in some aspect of its desired level        less expensive than some estimates of the
differences from city to city would require        of service — the number of schools cov-            complete cost of a high-quality after-
a team of auditors, and even then would            ered, the number of students enrolled at           school program. To take one example, the
probably raise as many questions as it             each school, the content of the curricu-           Massachusetts advocacy group Parents
answers. The figures are therefore offered         lum, the adult/student ratio, the pay level        United for Child Care published a report
as rough estimates, and for the purpose of         for participating adults, the number of            in 2001 estimating “the costs and compo-
establishing a range of possible costs, not        days or hours of service provided, or some         nents of a high-quality out-of-school-time
to present an exact price-tag for any par-         combination of these — to live within the          program” in Boston at $4,349 per slot per
ticular kind of service.                           available budget.                                  year.6 That would include salaries, sup-
   What all four cities have in common is             At first glance, the idea that limited          plies, equipment, transportation, insur-
that cost has been a decisive factor in lim-       funding translates into limited service            ance, rent, and basic administrative costs
iting their ambitions for a truly citywide         hardly seems remarkable. Yet most discus-          of a “school-year-only program” — mean-
system, and has further limited the scope          sions treat funding as only one of several         ing that it would cover 38 weeks of after-
of what they can offer children in an              obstacles that must be overcome in build-          school care plus four weeks of full-day
after-school program. Each city has strug-         ing citywide after-school systems. The             care during school breaks and holidays,
gled, in different ways and with different         need for space, committed and gifted               but not the ten weeks of summer vaca-
results, to limit its ambitions to suit the        instructors, an accommodating bureau-              tion. Significantly, none of the four pro-
funds available. San Diego, for example,           cracy, top-level political will, and astute        grams profiled here approaches that many
offers less program enrichment than Los            management are all cited as factors that           hours of service. At least two of them —
Angeles (at least as measured by “extras”          can be every bit as limiting as money.             Chicago and Los Angeles, for different
like field trips), but it reaches every school     Each of the cities in this report has con-         reasons — specifically distance themselves
in the city and provides services before           fronted — and still confronts — these              from the mission of full-time child care in
school as well as after. New York’s TASC           other obstacles, all of which remain               the out-of-school hours. (We discuss,
program strictly limits the amount it will         important. But nearly all of them could            under a separate heading, the factors argu-
provide each school per enrollee, over the         be swiftly and substantially larger than           ing for and against such a mission.) Nor
occasional objections of nonprofit con-            they are today if funding alone were to            do most of them achieve or even aspire to

6 Samantha Wechsler, Amy Kershaw, Elaine Fersh, and Andrew Bundy, “Meeting the Challenge: Financing Out-of-School Time Programming in Boston and
  Massachusetts,” Parents United for Child Care, March 2001, p. 3.

     …Pay scales after school run far below those of regular work hours, offer no
     fringe benefits, and are probably not, by themselves, a main attraction for adults
     to join the staff.

the 10-to-1 child-to-staff ratio on which it     and skills training (including many state       Staffing: The Right Adults,
is based.                                        and local jobs programs and the federal         At an Affordable Cost
   All four programs rely on space offered       Workforce Investment Act); supporting
to them rent-free from their school sys-         families and children (social services,         MOST AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS —
tems, and thus do not include the cost of        child-development, and youth services           including all four of the examples in this
rent in their budget. The Los Angeles Uni-       funds, or the proceeds of the 1998              report — strive to form a relationship
fied School District conservatively esti-        tobacco settlement); or organizing and          between students and adults that is funda-
mates the value of rent-free space for LA’s      developing communities (principally the         mentally different from the standard stu-
BEST at some $23 million, or an addi-            Community Development Block Grant).             dent/teacher interaction of the school day.
tional $1,327 per funded slot. But that             Although virtually no one interviewed        Even the professional teachers who work
would still bring the total to $2,684 per        for this report believed that after-school      in after-school programs generally make
slot, 38 percent lower than the cost pro-        programs would someday enjoy a single,          this point. After a full day of classwork,
jected by Parents United for Child Care.         dedicated source for most of their funding      neither students nor teachers are eager for
The point is not that the Parents United         (few programs of any kind are so lucky),        just a continuation of the same regimen.
budget is a suitable goal, or even a realistic   most believed that a true “system” of           Most find that a more relaxed routine, in
one at this stage, merely that there is con-     after-school services would eventually          which students are more physically active,
siderable distance between the actual cost       require that this thicket of unrelated pro-     work in teams, interact more informally
of current large-scale after-school programs     grams would have to be simplified and           with adults, and mingle fun with learning,
and the kind of service that some experts        coordinated in some way, at least at the        is both more productive and more appeal-
and advocates might wish for.                    local level. In fact, that appears to be one    ing to kids. Especially for older partici-
   Apart from the scarcity of money, the         of the principal virtues of central, citywide   pants — the middle and high school
other distinguishing feature of funding          initiatives for after-school programs: They     students who can simply opt out of these
for after-school programs is that it comes       are able — with great effort and usually        programs if they aren’t satisfied — a pro-
from so many unrelated sources. The              with the backing of powerful officials —        gram that mixes fun with accomplishment
programs in this study blend dollars from        to blend dozens of funding sources into a       is usually considered essential.
philanthropic and government programs            simpler stream, so that individual schools         That means finding a front-line staff
that are officially designed for seemingly       and nonprofit groups can use the money          for after-school programs that can estab-
disparate purposes: preventing crime and         in a consistent way, without having to          lish a less formal relationship with stu-
delinquency (particularly programs of the        relate separately to every government pro-      dents and still maintain order, teach
U.S. Department of Justice); enriching           gram and private donor.                         skills, keep students’ attention focused on
public education (like the 21st Century                                                          the tasks at hand, adhere to schedules,
Community Learning Centers and other                                                             and develop or follow plans for produc-
programs of federal, state, and local edu-                                                       tive and interesting activities. In some
cation agencies); promoting employment                                                           schools, it’s also a plus if the participating
                                                                                                                         OVERVIEW     15

  Not surprisingly…the selection of adult staffers has been the subject of careful
  attention in each of the four cities we studied.

adults know the community, reflect its        Although pay scales in after-school pro-       their regular jobs. Although the amounts
ethnic composition, and maintain some         grams vary widely, hourly rates hardly         are somewhat higher than in other cities,
relationships with its other institutions     ever come close to those for a full-time       the principle is much the same: Pay scales
and activities outside of school. That has    teacher in a normal school day. In San         after school run far below those of regular
led, in many cases, to the recruitment of     Diego, for example, teachers working           work hours, offer no fringe benefits, and
parents and other community residents,        after school generally earn less than three-   are probably not, by themselves, a main
volunteers and older students, and people     quarters their daytime rate, and other         attraction for adults to join the staff.
with particular skills in, say, the arts or   employees earn well under half (some as           Not surprisingly, given the unusual job
sports. Regular teachers do, in some          little as 20 percent) of what a teacher        description, complex requirements, and
cases, stay on as after-school instructors.   would make during school hours. In New         low pay for after-school personnel, the
But they are almost always a minority of      York City, a small number of teachers          selection of adult staffers has been the
the staff, usually more highly paid than      work after school at their regular contract    subject of careful attention in each of the
other employees (though less than in          rate, but the great majority earn closer to    four cities we studied. In all but one case,
their day jobs), and sometimes serve          two-thirds that amount.                        the architects of after-school programs
mainly as consultants, making sure that          One slight variation from this pattern      have turned to nonprofit and community
after-school activities contribute to aca-    is in Chicago, where the after-school          groups to help recruit, train, and deploy
demic enrichment. In other cases,             apprenticeship programs for high school-       talented adults from outside the ranks of
though, teachers sign on as after-school      ers pay adult leaders a rate (up to $30        professional teachers. Many administra-
instructors specifically so they can do       an hour) that can be fairly close to a         tors pointed out that the nonprofit groups
something quite different from regular        teacher’s hourly wage. That is largely         usually have connections with the kind of
teaching. Many of them regard after-          because these adults are recruited not         adults who would do best in these pro-
school work as a kind of second career, in    from the parents, neighbors, and youth         grams — community-minded, interested
which they can exercise talents or inter-     workers typical of other after-school pro-     in kids, skilled in some relevant field of
ests markedly different from the ones that    grams, but more often from the ranks of        activity, or better still, all of the above.
prevail during the day.                       professional artists, sports trainers, and        Even in the one case where nonprofit
   Wages for after-school staff, mean-        business tech officials. That choice of fac-   groups are not key players, Los Angeles,
while, are generally well below those of      ulty no doubt contributes to the pro-          the administrators of LA’s BEST took
professional teachers in normal school        gram’s popularity with high school             care to create city job titles for the pro-
hours. Even when full-time teachers do        students, who get a chance to interact         gram that are markedly similar to those
stay on as instructors after school, they     with accomplished practitioners in their       in nonprofit youth service organizations.
usually do so at substantially lower wages    fields of interest. But even in this case,     The front-line staff of LA’s BEST is also
and, like nearly all other after-school       the wage rate for instructors in Chicago’s     more likely to reflect the race and ethnic-
staffers, they typically receive no fringe    programs is arguably a good deal lower         ity of the students. None of this is an
benefits for the additional hours.            than these same adults would make at           accident. When the program was first

     …a single locus of control and accountability…is still very rare…

created, its staff drew far more heavily        tion, and management divided among               be significantly different from the normal
from teachers and school personnel than         multiple city offices and an independent,        school routine — with different kinds of
from parents and community residents.           nonprofit intermediary organization.             activities and a less formal interaction
The result, as a top official put it, was a        The vision of a coherent “system” for         between adults and children. Virtually
program that was “too tight,” “an exten-        after-school services would seem, at least       every official involved in designing these
sion of the school day.” From that obser-       ideally, to call for a single locus of control   programs added that after-school programs
vation came the new staffing regimen,           and accountability. But that is still very       need to retain at least some independence
carefully designed to distinguish the pro-      rare; the actual arrangements these cities       from the school bureaucracy, which most
gram from regular class time and make it        have made are more complicated and, in           of them regard as too inflexible and too
more of a middle ground between school          some cases, less fixed than that, and have       fixated on academic pursuits, to the exclu-
and community, work and fun.                    no foreseeable plans for becoming neatly         sion of social, artistic, and recreational
                                                centralized or streamlined. One reason           ones. And as a practical matter, pay scales
                                                for the complexity may be that the multi-        in most school systems tend to be consid-
Locus of Control                                tude of funding sources demands a                erably higher than a typical after-school
and Coordination                                hybrid organizational structure that isn’t       program can afford. Every program in this
                                                too wedded to the methods and priorities         report pays teachers less after school than
EVERY CITY IN THIS REPORT has at least          of any one discipline. Being answerable          during the school day, at least in most
one public agency (or division of an            to educators, child care and youth devel-        cases. And most of them draw the major-
agency) officially responsible for some         opment agencies, employment programs,            ity of their personnel from outside the
aspect of after-school programs. Yet only       parks and recreation departments, librari-       ranks of full-time teachers, with the non-
in San Diego does such an office actually       ans, and elected officials requires a            teacher staff earning even less than the
govern most of what takes place in after-       command of different professional and            after-school teacher salaries.
school programs all over the city. Los          bureaucratic languages, metrics, and                Yet after-school programs must take
Angeles comes close to that level of cen-       philosophies. It’s surely easier, and may        place within school buildings, win coop-
tralized control, with policy leadership,       sometimes be necessary, for after-school         eration and funding from boards of edu-
fundraising, accounting, and external rela-     programs to handle at least some of these        cation and school administrators, and
tions handled by an independent non-            relationships through distinct staffs or         involve at least some rank-and-file school
profit group that resides in the Mayor’s        even separate, affiliated organizations.         personnel in order to run smoothly. A
Office, and with control over program              But another reason for the divided lead-      program run entirely within the school
content shared with an operations office        ership of many programs has to do with           system might have a hard time maintain-
located in the Los Angeles Unified School       the delicate relationship between “regular”      ing a separate identity from the normal
District. In Chicago and New York, lead-        school and after-school: Most organizers of      routine of the classroom, and might
ership is even less central than that, with     after-school programs (and, it seems, many       prove too costly. But a program entirely
various responsibilities for funding, regula-   students in those programs) want them to         outside the schools would require the
Overview: Snapshot of an Expanding Universe

        OR 35 YEARS, since the 1960s, the                     By then, of course, large government-                   alternative to TV or the streets, but most
        City of San Diego had kept its                     sponsored after-school1 programs were                      of them are too episodic to depend on
        school playgrounds open in lower-                  hardly new. One hundred miles to the                       every day. And they are far more com-
income neighborhoods to give kids a safe                   north, Los Angeles was nearing the tenth                   mon in wealthier neighborhoods than in
place to play after school. Each play-                     birthday of its seminal after-school pro-                  poor ones. Meanwhile, the risks of unsu-
ground had an adult supervisor from the                    gram called LA’s BEST, which by then                       pervised activity after school have surely
Park and Recreation Department who                         was in close to 100 schools in lower-                      grown far worse since those early experi-
threw out a few balls and kept an eye on                   income parts of the city. Antipoverty and                  ments of the 1950s.
things. It was a way of making the school                  anti-delinquency programs dating back to                      At the same time, cash-strapped
useful to the neighborhood in off hours,                   the 1950s featured various kinds of after-                 schools, especially in less affluent neigh-
and of giving kids an alternative to roam-                 hours programs in schools, at least for                    borhoods, have become increasingly eager
ing the streets or watching TV. But on a                   some neighborhoods and children. What                      for arts, athletics, and other so-called
few rainy days in the early 1990s, city offi-              was comparatively new, as San Diego dis-                   enrichment programs outside the school
cials began to notice something peculiar.                  covered on that series of rainy days, was                  day, as more and more normal hours are
   When the weather was inclement, the                     that a considerable number of families —                   taken up with basics like reading, math,
Park Department normally figured kids                      especially working parents with modest                     and science. So, just as parents increas-
wouldn’t want to play outdoors, and                        incomes — had come to regard out-of-                       ingly look to schools as a safe place for
therefore didn’t send the playground                       school-time programs not as an interest-                   their children to spend the last hours of
supervisors. But more and more, the kids                   ing social experiment or useful resource,                  the work day, schools themselves are
were showing up anyway. The sight of                       but as a necessity.                                        looking to the non-school hours as a way
clusters of wet children hanging around                       In 1970, 39 percent of mothers with                     to supplement their daytime curriculum.
rainy schoolyards with apparently                          children 18 years old and younger                             Federal programs, most notably the
nowhere else to go fed a growing concern                   worked outside the home. By 1997, the                      21st Century Learning Centers, and
about the safety of children of working                    percentage had exactly doubled: Nearly                     after-school initiatives in most states tes-
parents. “That,” says San Diego Child                      four of every five mothers had jobs away                   tify to this growing demand (or perhaps
Care Supervisor Deborah Ferrin, “is                        from home, and children who left school                    more to the point, the growing political
when the city realized that families were                  at 3 o’clock to find a parent waiting in                   constituency) for after-school services.
using this for latch-key child care.”                      the house had become the exception, not                    Increasingly, mayors and school officials
Within a few years, San Diego’s citywide                   the rule. Yet even years later, as this is                 have begun looking for ways to extend
before- and after-school program, called                   written, licensed child care remains scarce                out-of-school-time activity to every
“6 to 6,” was born. It was to become the                   and, for many families, unaffordable.                      school and neighborhood, or at least to
first truly citywide out-of-school-time                    Other community or extracurricular                         most of them. Yet with very few excep-
system in the United States.                               activities after school may be a welcome                   tions, these discussions have been tenta-

1 To be fully accurate about before-and-after-school programs like San Diego’s, and to take account of an important issue in the debates about out-of-school-time
  services, we would have preferred an alternative to the expression “after-school,” which some consider too limiting. Yet alternatives like “before- and after-school”
  or “out-of-school-time” are both more cumbersome and less familiar to most people. We therefore stick with the common, brief expression, except when describing
  initiatives that routinely operate in the morning. In general, we encourage readers to interpret this discussion as referring, at least in principle, to services that could
  be offered before the school day begins as well as after it ends.
                                                                                                                         OVERVIEW       17

  One reason for the complexity may be that the multitude of funding sources
  demands a hybrid organizational structure that isn’t too wedded to the methods
  and priorities of any one discipline.

cooperation of school officials to gain       three large city agencies, including the          San Diego alone seems to have resolved
access to the children and buildings, or      Chicago Public Schools, Park District,         these tensions by creating one locus of
else would have to move kids from school      and Public Library. All three executives       responsibility nestled securely within a
to other, more expensive space, with the      have officially embraced the program and       single hierarchy of city government. Sig-
added burden of transportation costs,         contribute indispensable financial and in-     nificantly, that command center is part of
safety risks, and lost time.                  kind support. After School Matters has         the city’s Department of Community and
   This report deliberately samples four      designed, and often directly operates, a       Economic Development, not any of the
different responses to this difficult bal-    program markedly different from “regu-         local school districts. That is partly the
ance. At one end of the spectrum is New       lar” school, but its relationships with        result of the peculiar jurisdictional bound-
York’s TASC: a completely independent         principals and teachers, as well as park       aries of the city’s school system. The San
nonprofit organization that blends public     officials and librarians, are closely rein-    Diego Unified School District is the
and private funding, but that does not        forced by a top mayoral aide and the           largest, but far from the only, school
have the status of a city program or          heads of the respective departments.           authority operating within San Diego’s
quasi-public authority. It maintains its         LA’s BEST is likewise governed by a         city limits. Because San Diego’s “6 to 6”
relationships with city and school bureau-    nonprofit organization with mayoral            program was created by the city to serve
cracies through funding, contracts, and       endorsement, but it goes a step further        every elementary and middle school in
careful diplomacy, not through any exec-      than Chicago: Its “corporate office” is        the city, it necessarily has to work with all
utive or legislative mandate. TASC makes      actually resident in the Office of the         nine districts that have schools within its
grants only to independent community-         Mayor, and its “operations office” is tech-    borders. But the program’s location in the
based organizations working in formal         nically a separate entity fully incorporated   Community and Economic Development
partnership with their respective schools.    into the school bureaucracy, reporting to      Department is not just an accident of
The nonprofits typically design curricula     an associate superintendent of the Los         jurisdictional boundaries. It is also a mat-
and recruit and hire non-school employ-       Angeles Unified School District (though        ter of mission and philosophy: Of the
ees to give programs a distinct identity,     both the chief of operations and the asso-     four programs we studied, it is the only
while also using school facilities and        ciate superintendent see themselves as         one that primarily and explicitly sets out
resources and accommodating the needs         “beachheads” for a looser, more creative       to serve working parents and their chil-
of principals and teachers.                   culture within that bureaucracy). Los          dren as a prime raison d’être. This raises an
   Chicago’s After School Matters is more     Angeles’ dual leadership structure is the      important question that, intentionally or
closely woven into the official dealings of   most literal example of the school/non-        not, ended up shaping and distinguishing
city government than is TASC, but it is       school balancing act that we found, with       each of these programs as they set about
still a free-standing nonprofit organiza-     the school system hosting the program’s        defining their purposes and methods:
tion. It, too, receives city money through    operating functions but decisions on           Who is this program mainly for?
grants and contracts, but its affairs are     program content made in cooperation
more directly guided by the heads of          with a separate corporate office.

     …the relative weight a program assigns to one constituency or another inevitably
     influences what services that program will offer, to whom, on what schedule.

Defining the ‘Customer’                          hours of a regular work day. The “6 to 6”      at other times when employed parents
                                                 program offers the same menu of activi-        need child care, the program’s executive
IT WOULD BE SIMPLISTIC, of course, to            ties as most of the other after-school pro-    director acknowledged the need and the
imagine any after-school program (or any         grams we studied: homework help, arts,         importance of the issues, but drew a clear
government system, for that matter) serv-        group projects, recreation, and so on. But     boundary between her program’s mission
ing only a single constituency to the exclu-     its schedule is designed for the working       and these other concerns.
sion of all others. Yet the relative weight a    parent, with service in the morning as            In New York, TASC similarly recog-
program assigns to one constituency or           well as afternoon, and on those trouble-       nizes the child-care needs of working par-
another inevitably influences what services      some half days when the regular school         ents and welcomes the extra efforts of
that program will offer, to whom, on what        session ends early. Children’s safety in the   some providers in its program to serve
schedule. All of the programs in this report     out-of-school hours was a cornerstone of       those needs. But TASC neither mandates
offer benefits to parents, students, teachers,   the program, as it was in Los Angeles.         nor funds extended service in the morn-
school administrators, youth agencies and,       But in San Diego, the issue was specifi-       ing, on non-school days, or on half days.
indirectly, even the juvenile justice system.    cally defined as children’s safety during      In TASC’s case, the question is not one of
All of those are “customers” of after-school     parents’ work hours.                           mission but of funding and priorities. The
programs to one degree or another. But              By contrast, LA’s BEST was born             top priority for the New York initiative is
each of the four initiatives was conceived       directly from alarm over juvenile crime,       to win the support of city and state gov-
with a subset of those constituencies in         the young victims of crime, and the gen-       ernments — and especially their school
mind, and that emphasis has determined,          eral dangers of idle time on the streets,      officials — for universal after-school serv-
to a striking degree, what the program           particularly during the afternoon and          ices. That means demonstrating that such
contains, how it is governed, when it oper-      early evening hours when youth crime           services can be offered at low cost with
ates, and how it is to be evaluated.             measurably spikes. For LA’s BEST, the          quality content, and with benefits that
   San Diego’s program was born from a           initial “customers” (at least as conceived     translate into improved school perform-
realization that, by the mid 1990s, work-        by Mayor Tom Bradley, the program’s            ance. Serving the child-care needs of
ing parents were trusting the safety of          prime mover) were endangered young             working parents in morning hours and on
their children to an after-school activity       people and, as a close second, the neigh-      non-school days would be a welcome plus
that was originally meant solely as a            borhood residents and businesses who           for TASC, but not its top priority. As a
recreational embellishment, not as full-         might otherwise be prey to youth crime.        result, when some local programs make an
time child care. Faced with an epidemic          The early morning hours aren’t a crucial       extra effort to serve kids outside TASC’s
of gangs and youth crime — from which            part of that anticrime calculation and         normal hours, they have to raise funds for
parents were clearly trying to protect           don’t figure in the program design of LA’s     that effort on their own.
their kids in the only way available —           BEST. Nor do the specific concerns of             Chicago’s program is unique in this
city officials responded with a fundamen-        working parents. Asked about service           line-up because its main “customer” is
tally new approach to the out-of-school          during non-school days and half days, or       teenagers, an age group not likely to want
                                                                                                                              OVERVIEW      19

  It would be virtually impossible to conceive of any of these large-scale programs
  taking shape without…a high-profile inventor/champion.

a five-day-a-week program, and not nor-         creating the program. Comparing the               mover was still a powerful institution and
mally a prominent part of the child-care        interests, constituencies, and political styles   leader with a clear point of view: the
market. Operating three days a week,            of those first actors is another way of view-     Open Society Institute, led by financier
After School Matters is not a full-time         ing the similarities and differences of the       philanthropist George Soros.
solution for working parents, nor is it         programs in this study.                              All four stories therefore start with a
meant to be. Nor is it primarily a service                                                        mandate from someone with influence,
to schools and teachers, given that it                                                            money, and a “bully pulpit” from which
doesn’t prominently include services like       The ‘Prime Movers’                                to woo partners, solicit other funders,
homework help that teachers and princi-                                                           appoint initial implementers, and track
pals often favor. But by focusing on high       LA’S BEST WAS THE BRAIN CHILD of                  results. It would be virtually impossible to
school students, a group that other after-      Mayor Tom Bradley, and Chicago’s After            conceive of any of these large-scale pro-
school programs tend to shun, and giving        School Matters was instigated, in major           grams taking shape without such a high-
them an opportunity to develop skills           part, by Maggie Daley, with firm support          profile inventor/champion. To illustrate
and demonstrate leadership, After School        from her husband, Mayor Richard M.                the point, consider the myriad other after-
Matters performs an indirect service to         Daley. Both initiatives continue to bear          school programs in these same cities that
parents, teachers, and others who worry         the stamp of those mayors’ overriding con-        are not part of the initiatives studied here.
about teenagers without having much to          cerns (gangs and youth crime for Mayor            All but one of these cities (San Diego) is
offer them beyond the school day.               Bradley, and idle, neglected teenagers for        home to many other after-school pro-
   None of these programs was designed          the Daleys). San Diego’s program was con-         grams conceived by expert minds and run
for just one “customer,” and this discus-       ceived by Mayor Susan Golding, but with           by experienced organizations. Many have
sion isn’t meant to simplify the many pur-      a powerful assist from a coalition of reli-       flourished and grown; several have been
poses they serve. In truth, beyond the          gious groups called the San Diego Orga-           favorably evaluated in one way or another.
driving forces mentioned, all of the pro-       nizing Project. In that case, unique among        But none of them has reached the scale or
grams also sought to enrich and broaden         the cities in this study, the impetus for         public prominence of the four initiatives
the educational experience of children,         after-school programs drew much of its            on this list. And the main reason for that
with the hope of improving academic per-        momentum from organized public pres-              appears to be the galvanizing power of the
formance. The point, rather, is to illustrate   sure, as well as from a mayoral initiative.       prime movers.
the relationship between the design of the      Still, all three efforts stemmed from chief          Still, having a powerful sponsor or
initiative and the main needs it addresses.     executives with strong personal feelings on       patron is not the same as having a stable
Those needs normally were identified at         the subject of after-school services, and a       system. Mayors can create programs, but
the time each initiative was conceived,         willingness to adopt the issue as a personal      not compel their successors to sustain
usually by a prominent individual facing        hallmark. Only in New York City did the           those programs. Even during their
particular concerns or pressures of the         after-school initiative come from outside         tenures, mayors almost never command
moment, who took the critical first step in     local government. But there, the prime            enough money (or, in most cases, enough

     The “prime movers” in these stories are important…because they reached out
     effectively to other centers of power on which that system would depend.

authority) to create an after-school regi-      tain that it would not even have begun           result of the already-powerful people and
men by fiat. The “prime movers” in these        without a sponsor of the international           forces standing behind the new initiatives.
stories are important not just because          stature of George Soros to put credibility       When a new effort bears the official stamp
they embraced after-school programs and         behind the search for partners and               of the mayor of Chicago or, in Los Ange-
worked hard to create a sustainable sys-        money. (Another example of personal              les, the combined authority of the mayor
tem, but also because they reached out          prominence dedicated to the pursuit of           and the superintendent of schools, in the
effectively to other centers of power on        universal after-school services was the          face of a clear and widely accepted need,
which that system would depend. Thus            case of then-movie star Arnold                   there may be little necessity for broad
the mayor of Los Angeles determined to          Schwarzenegger, who personally champi-           coalition-building and public education.
establish a partnership with the inde-          oned the California after-school initiative      All of these initiatives did begin with some
pendent School District to operate LA’s         that became Proposition 49. In that case,        amount of operational planning or prepa-
BEST. Chicago’s mayor and first lady            however, Schwarzenegger later went on to         ration, but generally lasting only a few
started by forming a three-way partner-         win the state’s chief executive office, and      weeks or months — long enough to
ship of the school, park, and library sys-      thus to buttress personal salesmanship           organize the fiscal and administrative
tems — distinct bureaucracies separated         with official authority.) In New York, as        structure of the program, set priorities,
by longstanding rivalries that only a deft      elsewhere, it is possible to find excellent      and launch pilot projects. In all four cases,
exercise of mayoral statesmanship could         after-school programs that are not spon-         public support, new streams of funding,
reconcile. The mayor of San Diego,              sored by Soros or TASC. But none of              and a circle of collaborating organizations
supported by the advocacy of religious          them had any realistic chance of becom-          gradually formed and grew as the early
groups, enlisted the cooperation of no          ing the basis of a citywide system, nor          stages of implementation were in progress.
fewer than nine independent public              any express intent of doing so. Only with        One participant in Chicago’s program
school districts, seven private school oper-    an extraordinary $125 million grant and          went so far as to predict that “if we had
ators, and nine community-based service         the very public endorsement of George            really gotten serious about planning this
providers to make the “6 to 6” program          Soros’ foundation was TASC able to               thing in advance, and if we’d found out
reach every school in the city.                 build a network of service in New York           ahead of time all the complications and
   In New York, the process is inverted,        that is big enough to command the offi-          issues we were going to face, we’d still be
yet the point is strikingly similar. There,     cial attention (if not yet the full assent) of   planning, and thousands of kids would
instead of starting with a mayoral              city and state decision-makers.                  have finished school without ever seeing
embrace, the TASC initiative set out to            It is worth noting that all four of these     this program.”
entice the mayor, the governor, and their       initiatives deliberately avoided a protracted
respective legislative branches and school      planning and coalition-building process,
systems to support a citywide after-school      preferring instead to get started quickly
system. It is not yet clear whether that        and build support and enhancements as
effort will succeed. But it is virtually cer-   they grew. This is no doubt partly the
                                                                                                                                          OVERVIEW        21

Evaluation:                                          and summarized in a final report dated               chief separately cite strong circumstantial
What Constitutes Success?                            June 2000. It found that the program con-            evidence that the program may have con-
                                                     tributed to parents’ and children’s feelings         tributed to a drop in after-school crime.
IN THE FALL OF 2002, the Robert Wood                 of increased safety after school, to students’          In New York City, preliminary reports
Johnson Foundation’s After School Pro-               motivation and enthusiasm for school, to             in TASC’s evaluation, which is still under
ject, which commissioned this paper, pub-            their aspirations for finishing school and           way, have found that participation in the
lished a report to the after-school field            going on to college, and to improvements             program is associated with rising rates
that raised the following question:                  in school attendance and academic per-               of school attendance and widespread
                                                     formance that were directly proportional             improvement in math scores, compared
  Is it reasonable, at this stage, to measure        to the degree of their participation in LA’s         with a similar group of non-participants.
  after-school activity by whether it boosts         BEST’s programs. The evaluation took                 Fuller findings, due in the 2004-05
  academic performance, cuts crime,                  particular note of this last point, acknowl-         school year, will measure other effects on
  improves health, strengthens neighbor-             edging that “[t]he fact that we can detect           student achievement as well as the char-
  hood cohesion, promotes parental                   any change on standardized achievement               acteristics of students who enroll, the
  involvement in schools, and advances               measures in itself is notable, for most edu-         program’s ability to attract and retain
  half a dozen other worthwhile goals? All           cational interventions are unable to show            good staff and managers, its relations
  these claims appear here and there in the          impact on measures not tightly tied to the           with schools and neighborhoods, and the
  literature of this field, and each of them         curriculum.”7 In this case, the evaluation           satisfaction of parents, principals, and
  has some reasonable basis in theory and            included safety, motivation, and student             senior school officials.
  practice. Taken together, however, they            achievement, and found encouraging                      After School Matters, the newest of
  seem to promise too much too fast.                 results in all three categories.                     these programs, is still in the early stage
                                                        Evaluations of San Diego’s “6 to 6”               of its evaluation plans, though research
   All of the projects in this report are the        Program, conducted by the evaluation                 by the Chapin Hall Center for Children
subjects of evaluations, either in progress          firm Hoffman and Clark, found some                   at the University of Chicago has found
or completed, that illustrate the breadth            reason to believe that the program may               strong evidence that the program is pop-
of purposes that after-school programs               be contributing to an improvement in                 ular with students and that they value the
are expected to address. None of them is             reading and math scores, though the                  apprenticeships both as a way of acquir-
quite as wide-ranging as the rhetorical              reports did not include comparisons with             ing skills and as a way of spending
question just quoted, but taken together,            a control group. The evaluation found                rewarding time with adults. Effects of the
they do describe a universe of goals and             “6 to 6” to be popular with parents,                 program on students’ performance in and
ambitions nearly that broad.                         principals, teachers, and kids, and just as          out of school and the consequences of
   The most complete evaluation so far is            safe as licensed child care programs for             different types of program activity still
that of LA’s BEST, conducted by the                  school-age youngsters. The program’s                 remain to be studied.
UCLA Center for the Study of Evaluation              organizers and San Diego’s former police                The subjects of all these evaluations are

7 Denise Huang, Barry Gibbons, Kyung Sun Kim, Charlotte Lee, and Eva L. Baker, “A Decade of Results: The Impact of LA’s BEST After-school Enrichment Program
  on Subsequent Student Achievement and Performance,” UCLA Center for the Study of Evaluation (CSE), Graduate School of Education and Information Studies,
  June 2000, p. 9.

     Boosting reading and math scores, keeping children and neighborhoods safer,
     contributing to young peoples’ social development and behavior, and building bridges
     between the child care and education systems — all…are worthwhile goals…

reasonably well connected with the par-         scores? That would be great, but I’m not          later all vary from place to place. And in
ticular purposes and designs of their           staying up nights worrying about it.”             any given place, the fact that the various
respective programs. But taken together,           Unfortunately, some of those charged           interests are converging is far from
as the After School Project suggested in        with administering the new funding                enough to ensure that a functioning sys-
2002, they do represent an especially           streams for after-school programming do           tem will result. Available money and other
wide range of goals and visions. Boosting       find it necessary to justify the continued        resources are still not great enough to
reading and math scores, keeping chil-          existence and growth of these funds on            translate even the strongest of these
dren and neighborhoods safer, contribut-        the basis of their direct effect on grades        alliances into a truly universal after-school
ing to young peoples’ social development        and standardized tests. Evaluation reports        system. And in a climate of straitened
and behavior, and building bridges              done after only one or two years and dis-         budgets in federal, state, and local govern-
between the child care and education sys-       closing little or no such impact have been        ments at the start of the 21st century, the
tems — all of these are worthwhile goals,       used to question the utility of these pro-        odds that such resources will grow dra-
maybe even achievable ones. But                 grams and to cut their funding.                   matically are probably slim. Yet despite
together, they form a soberingly long list,                                                       the discouraging fiscal picture and the dif-
on which the odds of a few discouraging                                                           ficulty of organizing new social systems of
findings will surely be high.                   Conclusion:                                       any kind, the news in this report is not
   It will be important, as evaluation          Order Out of Chaos                                that these initiatives are still fragile. The
results begin to pile up, for programs to                                                         news is that they are happening.
note that each of these various goals is        MOST OF THIS DISCUSSION has amounted                 A second possible headline for this
logically plausible and certainly desirable,    to a compare-and-contrast exercise involv-        story, though more tentative, is that the
but achieving all of them is not necessary      ing four very different efforts to bring          four initiatives are actually more similar
for justifying universal after-school serv-     after-school services to a large percentage       to one another than they might at first
ices. It would be enough, as one principal      of local students. Yet it’s important not to      appear. Most of them depend heavily on
said to us, “for kids to have a safe place to   lose sight of a crucial unifying theme link-      community-based nonprofit groups
spend time after school, do their home-         ing these disparate stories: The needs of         working in partnership with schools to
work, have a little fun, and not have to        schools, elected officials, community organiza-   offer a program that meets the needs of
have their minds ground into dust by TV.        tions, students, neighborhoods, and parents       both kids and educators, blending aca-
If we just do that — or better still, if we     (especially, but not exclusively, employed par-   demic content and constructive, creative
expose them to music or dance, give             ents) are increasingly converging around a        fun. All of them get a good portion of
them a chance to work in teams or get           demand for some form of extended school day.      their basic necessities — their facilities
some exercise — we’ve accomplished                 The relationships among these various          and some of their funding, at a minimum
something that most parents and schools         interests, their level of involvement or          — from the school system. Nearly all
really value. Do we have to show with           leadership in any given initiative, and           piece the rest of their income together
statistics that we also raised their math       their potential for greater involvement           from essentially the same sources: grants
                                                                                             OVERVIEW   23

  …but achieving all [these various goals] is not necessary for justifying universal
  after-school services.

from the federal 21st Century Commu-           can their after-school activity be thought
nity Learning Centers program, city tax        of as merely a hodgepodge of independ-
levies, dollars from youth development         ent efforts with no gravitational core. By
and social-service programs, and general       now, both organizationally and politically,
federal support from programs like the         there is something to each of these initia-
Community Development and Social               tives that is more routine, better sup-
Services Block Grants.                         ported, and more important to individual
   None of this yet constitutes a pattern      citizens and voters than after-school pro-
or blueprint that other cities can simply      grams have tended to be in the past. That
adopt and follow. Each initiative in this      can still unravel, but it is a more durable
report went through a laborious, some-         achievement than seemed at all likely just
times painful, growth process that was         a decade ago.
not made materially easier by the exis-
tence of precedents elsewhere. Much of
the process still depends on exigencies of
politics, administrative control, jurisdic-
tional boundaries, and fiscal circum-
stances that vary starkly from city to city.
And even in Los Angeles, among the ear-
liest pioneers of big after-school pro-
grams, a senior administrator writes that
“the security of this partnership [between
city government and the independent
School District] is entirely dependent
upon the priorities of the mayor and
superintendent” — though the same offi-
cial adds that LA’s BEST “has been a pri-
ority for three successive mayors and five
superintendents,” and has attained the
status of a “sacred cow.”
   In short, even if none of these cities
can yet claim to have a universal after-
school “system” on a par with their
police, school, or water systems, neither
Photographs courtesy of TASC.
                                                                                              THE AFTER-SCHOOL CORPORATION           25

New York City
The After-School Corporation (TASC)

                                                largest New York-based foundations, the      schools rather than in YMCA buildings.
                                                Open Society Institute (OSI), chose for      Between 50 and 100 other after-school

        REATING A CITYWIDE NETWORK              launching The After-School Corporation,      programs were operated around the city
          of after-school programs in New       a citywide intermediary aimed at building    by three prominent organizations: the
          York — the nation’s largest city      the largest after-school system in the       Children’s Aid Society, a large family-
and therefore its largest public school sys-    United States, without any firm promise      service agency; the Police Athletic League;
tem — means, almost by definition,              of support from the mayor or the school      and the Sports and Arts in Schools Foun-
embarking on the biggest municipal              system. To be sure, mayors and chancel-      dation, a relative newcomer (founded
after-school enterprise in history. As if       lors and other top officials often spoke     1992) that runs more than 30 summer
that weren’t daunting enough, starting          supportively of after-school programs        and after-school programs in New York.
such an attempt in 1998 would be like           generally, welcomed TASC, provided              But these programs are based on vari-
building a house in a whirlwind.                more-than-modest funding, and generally      ous models, offer varying levels of pro-
   As the ’90s were drawing to a close,         cheered its efforts. But even as this is     gram enrichment, and work on different
the decades-long war between New York           written, in TASC’s sixth year of opera-      schedules for slightly different purposes.
City mayors and the city’s independently        tion, there is still no clear commitment     None of them set out to be a model for
elected school board was entering a             from either the schools or City Hall to      the whole city, as TASC did, nor is any of
round of decisive battles. Within three         adopt the TASC model as a city program       them yet widespread enough to be seen
years, the city would have a new mayor,         or to help it expand, much less to extend    that way. Some programs are more richly
three schools chancellors in quick succes-      it to every school. Nor is anyone expect-    funded and offer more service than
sion, a new state law abolishing the board      ing such a commitment any time soon.         TASC, but at a cost that would be hard
and granting mayors control of the                 After-school programs in New York         to replicate citywide. Others are less
schools, a new Department of Education          long predated TASC, of course, and           extensive than TASC, operating fewer
in new headquarters, a historic legal bat-      many continue to function today inde-        than five days a week, only at certain
tle in state courts over equitable funding      pendently of TASC. The largest, and          kinds of schools, or with fewer kinds of
of city schools, and a completely reorgan-      most nationally known, are the Beacon        activity, and thus are not an answer for
ized school hierarchy — all as the city         Schools, whose purpose extends well          every neighborhood’s needs.
headed into the worst fiscal crisis since its   beyond after-school activity for kids, to       Each of the large sponsoring organiza-
near-bankruptcy in the 1970s. Amid the          include vocational training and education    tions today collaborates with TASC to
ensuing political drama over how the            for adults, community meetings, and          some degree, usually as the nonprofit
schools would now be run, and by                neighborhood social activities. There were   sponsor of some number of TASC-funded
whom, and at what cost, the prospect of         78 Beacons operating at the time TASC        programs. For example, some 25 TASC
bold city leadership on after-school issues     started work, and some 90 “Virtual Y’s”      programs are now operating in Beacon
was close to zero.                              — a 3-to-6-p.m. program of the YMCA          Schools, as part of their menu of services.
   Yet 1998 was the year that one of the        of Greater New York that operates in         YMCAs are sponsors of 21 programs, and

     The creation of TASC was, by any standard, a huge philanthropic wager on the
     political durability of a good idea…

the Children’s Aid Society sponsors 11.         Theory: A Program So Big,                      match being raised centrally by TASC
In every case, though, the sponsoring           So Popular, It Can’t Be Undone                 from public and private grants, and the
organizations also operate other programs                                                      remainder coming from less-stringent
elsewhere that are not part of the TASC         THE CREATION OF TASC WAS, by any               matching requirements that TASC
network.                                        standard, a huge philanthropic wager on        expects from local programs. In most
   As this is written, TASC is by far the       the political durability of a good idea        years, programs at each school have been
largest, but far from the only, after-school    when that idea is given wide enough dis-       expected to raise a higher percentage of
initiative in New York City. Its support        semination and time to take root. The          match money than they did the year
from city government is growing, but it         theory, in brief and rough strokes, was        before, though TASC often helps them
does not yet approach a level at which it       that the widespread operation of a good,       with the fundraising. Most local pro-
could extend to every school in the city.       relatively low-cost after-school program,      grams started with 100 percent funding
Even so, its effort to demonstrate that a       open from 3 to 6 p.m. five days a week         from TASC in their first year, or close to
citywide after-school network is feasible in    and funded initially with a challenge grant    that, but by the end of 2003, nearly all
New York City has won it widespread             from OSI, would create such demand             were meeting or exceeding a target of
credibility and increasing attention from       from parents and school officials that the     40 percent — that is, at least 40 cents of
City Hall. At the end of 2003, TASC sup-        city would ultimately have no choice but       every dollar being raised by the local
ports after-school activity, combining aca-     to continue and enlarge it. The Open           program. The locally raised money is
demic, arts, and recreational programs, in      Society Institute, an international founda-    included, alongside TASC’s own fundrais-
193 schools, including elementary, mid-         tion created and led by financier George       ing, in the total three-to-one matching
dle, and high schools, for more than            Soros, committed up to $25 million a year      challenge set by OSI. The Soros and
41,000 students at a time across New            for five years — an unprecedented aggre-       matching funds together have produced a
York’s five boroughs. Each school’s pro-        gate gift of $125 million to after-school      total TASC budget of some $80 million
gram is developed jointly by the local          programs in a single metropolitan area.        or more a year citywide, with the total
school and a nonprofit organization, often      (TASC operates at a smaller scale in other     reaching $85 million in 2003.
one with a base or branch in the sur-           parts of New York State as well.)                 Viewed one way, the strategic purpose
rounding community. The program is                 The Soros gift, the foundation’s largest    of these matching funds — lining up a
constantly expanding, with the aim, even-       initiative in the United States, has since     critical mass of public support behind the
tually, of reaching every school in the city.   been extended to cover seven years             citywide after-school mission — seems to
                                                instead of five, at a rate of about $20 mil-   be working. Public funding thus far has
                                                lion a year in recent years. That annual       hovered around two-thirds of the total
                                                contribution must be matched at least          TASC budget, at an average of roughly
                                                three-to-one from public and private           $60 million a year. But that support is
                                                sources. The matching requirement has          not yet a regular commitment of any sin-
                                                been met over time, with most of the           gle agency — particularly the crucial
                                                                                                                   THE AFTER-SCHOOL CORPORATION                             27

  …a single, dedicated source of public funding for after-school services is neither
  necessary for TASC’s success nor even much of a goal.

Department of Education. Government
money has instead come from something                 TASC Sources of Funding
like a dozen city and state departments.
The city’s school system provided just                                                             NYC Dept. of
                                                                                                     Education                  Other New York
under $7.5 million directly to TASC.
                                                                                                         13%                     City Agencies
Additional money from the school system                                                                                                 13%
                                                           Open Society
does make its way into the matching                           Institute
funds that local programs raise, as when                         21%
                                                                                                                                                           New York State
an individual school chooses to con-                                                                                                                              11%

tribute some of its discretionary funds or
teachers’ time toward the local match.
These cash and in-kind contributions
                                                                                                                                                          21st Century
from schools amount to some $1.4 mil-                                 In-Kind                                                                          Learning Centers
lion in local matching funds. But as a sys-                       Contributions                                                                                 10%
tem-wide commitment, Education                                                                                                             Other Federal
                                                                                  Local Matching
Department dollars now make up less                                                                                   Local Matching          Programs
                                                                                  Funds — Public
                                                                                                                      Funds — Private             8%
than 40 percent of the total city contri-                                                18%
bution, and not much more than 10
cents of every TASC dollar. The remain-
der of the city and state contribution         ways the mix of sources can be viewed as                           historic deficits, embroiled in serial feuds
comes from departments responsible for         an asset. TASC President Lucy Friedman                             with an equally cash-strapped state gov-
youth and community development,               believes a mix of sources “gives us more                           ernment, and dodging an assortment of
employment, criminal justice, social serv-     potential for sustainability, because we’re                        local controversies, nonetheless took the
ices, and antipoverty programs. The sin-       not dependent on one source of funds, or                           initiative to convene an “Out-of-School
gle biggest public contributor is the city’s   even on one [fixed] combination of                                 Time Summit” at City Hall in late 2003,
Department of Youth and Community              funds. If we lose one [source], it’s not the                       with TASC among the participants.
Development, at $10.5 million a year.          end of the program.”                                               Advocates see the summit as perhaps a
    In truth, a single, dedicated source of       For now, signals from City Hall and                             precursor to some eventual consolidated
public funding for after-school services is    the school system are increasingly                                 policy on citywide after-school funding.
neither necessary for TASC’s success nor       friendly, and city funding generally                               Yet in Year Six of OSI’s seven-year
even much of a goal. Most municipal            steady, even as the city’s fiscal troubles                         demonstration, no such policy change is
functions in New York, including essen-        and the schools’ administrative flux con-                          in the offing, and the ultimate success of
tials like police and sanitation, blend        tinue. It is encouraging, to say the least,                        OSI’s big after-school wager is therefore
multiple streams of funding. And in some       that a mayor still facing the prospect of                          still impossible to gauge.

     TASC’s scope is intentionally citywide, and it funds programs based primarily on
     the strength of their proposals and plans…

Scope: School-Community
Partnerships In Every
Borough, and Growing

AS OF 2003, TASC supported after-school
programs in 193 of New York’s 1,290
schools. Because many of the sites in the
roster of city schools are in fact small or
specialized programs, rather than full-
service schools, it is probably reasonable to
estimate that TASC-supported programs
now serve about one-fifth of New York’s
standard elementary, middle, and high
schools. The number of TASC sites has
been growing steadily, with a 28 percent
jump in the number of schools between
2002 and 2003 alone. Most important, in
the often Balkanized landscape of New
York City politics, TASC operates in all five        get of the program. TASC’s scope is inten-            hard-and-fast rules. TASC does insist that
of the city’s boroughs, from quasi-suburban          tionally citywide, and it funds programs              every program it funds operate at least
Staten Island and parts of Queens to                 based primarily on the strength of their              from 3 to 6 p.m. on every normal school
densely urban, blue-collar neighborhoods             proposals and plans, not on their location            day throughout the year.1
of Brooklyn and the Bronx, and including             or demographics.                                         The involvement of nonprofit organiza-
a cross section of Manhattan’s wealthier                After-school activities in each site are           tions was a cornerstone of the TASC idea
and poorer enclaves. In fact, TASC’s enroll-         sponsored jointly by the school and a                 even while it was still percolating in OSI’s
ment closely mirrors the distribution of the         nonprofit organization, and managed by                foundation offices. The program’s initial
city’s population by borough. On balance,            the nonprofit. Schools and nonprofits are             architect, OSI board member Herbert
its programs tend to over-represent lower-           free, within broad limits, to organize their          Sturz, now chair of TASC’s board, insisted
income areas and schools where students              own curricula, hire staff, and establish              from the outset that the program would
perform below average — with the result              whatever management structures suit                   need to be driven partly by community-
that the poorer Bronx is slightly better             them. As a result, any description of how             based organizations, for the sake of both
served, per-capita, than the more middle-            the local programs are designed, staffed,             program content and administration.
class Queens. But that reflects needs and            and governed necessarily rests on general-               The administrative issues — including
demand in those areas, not an explicit tar-          izations and typical arrangements, not                management, staff selection, and cost —

1 For a more detailed summary of TASC’s program model and expectations, see “TASC in Focus: A Guide for After-School Principals,” available in pdf form from
  TASC’s Web site, at
                                                                                                                     THE AFTER-SCHOOL CORPORATION                     29

   …one of the goals was to show that [TASC] could run an after-school program for less
   money than the Board [of Education] was doing it for, with the same results or better.

are in some ways the most obvious and                    hours, most teachers who participate are                 teachers with whom students have already
inescapable reason for nonprofit involve-                paid at an hourly rate below that provided               spent an entire school day. They are more
ment. A participating principal, speaking                in the city’s contract with teachers. A few              likely to come from the surrounding
off-the-record, explained the issue this way:            schools do pay teachers to work in the                   community, know the parents and chil-
                                                         after-school program, and then treat those               dren, and reflect the neighborhood’s eth-
   When we started this five years ago, one              teachers’ time and compensation as an in-                nic or cultural mix. Researcher Elizabeth
   of the goals was to show that we could                kind contribution to the TASC program.                   Reisner, who heads a team of independ-
   run an after-school program for less                  In that case, all union rules, wage rates,               ent evaluators tracking TASC’s perform-
   money than the Board [of Education]                   and benefits apply. In a few other cases,                ance, says there is evidence that the
   was doing it for, with the same results or            nonprofits pay teachers at their normal                  nonprofits’ ability to recruit fresh talent
   better. And that’s pretty safely what has             hourly rate, but without accrual of most                 has been a real success of the program:
   happened in reality. When the Board                   city benefits. In all, just over one-quarter
   runs an after-school program, they have               of the teachers working in TASC programs                     The nonprofits’ biggest contribution,
   to pay union scale and observe all the                receive the school system’s regular rate,                    and what makes them so important in
   other restrictions, work rules, seniority,            which averages $40 an hour, compared                         this demonstration, is that they bring in
   and so on. You get an applicant for a                 with an average of $25 an hour in the                        unusual, gifted, and committed people,
   position, and you must accept that                    remaining programs.2 Because of union pay                    with interesting and offbeat talents, who
   applicant because of seniority, whether               scales alone, one observer estimated that a                  can really connect to kids. The nonprof-
   they’re the person you want or not.                   typical program in the TASC network                          its have identified adults who can work
   Working with a CBO [community-based                   would cost at least 40 percent more to                       within a very rigid schedule, with fixed
   organization], at the end of the year, if a           operate if it were run by the school system,                 start and ending times in a designated
   counselor hasn’t performed well or met                without the intervention of the nonprofits.                  space, five days a week, and yet who
   the needs of the children, we let them go                Most instructors in TASC-supported                        can fill that time with interesting and
   and we’ll bring on someone else. That’s               programs are not full-time teachers. And                     unusual activity. [The nonprofits] find
   much harder to do and say when you’re                 that is where the other advantage of a                       people who really enjoy working with
   under the thumb of the Board.                         nonprofit partner — the programmatic                         kids and find this activity satisfying,
                                                         one — comes into play. As Sturz envi-                        even though it pays relatively little. But
   For these reasons, among others, TASC                 sioned it, the nonprofits would bring a                      the job also places very little constraint
programs are all administered through the                fresh approach to learning and adult                         on the actual content of what they do
local nonprofit, not through the school.                 supervision, attracting additional person-                   within those set hours and locations, so
Because the school system is not techni-                 nel whose credentials and interests are                      it can be a very satisfying experience for
cally the employer during the after-school               intentionally different from those of the                    the right kind of person. And apparently

2 Working for a TASC-affiliated nonprofit, even at a lower hourly rate, can still be an attractive opportunity for a full-time teacher. Under union rules, if a teacher
  stays on the school’s payroll after regular hours, she or he can work only seven additional hours a week, less than half of TASC’s 15-hour weekly schedule. So
  while a teacher working for a nonprofit at $25 an hour could earn $375 for a full week of after-school work, a teacher working solely under the school system
  contract would earn only $280 for seven hours’ work at $40 an hour. Quite apart from the economics, many teachers have also told TASC’s evaluators that
  they value the opportunity to “do something different” after hours, organizing creative programs for small groups, enjoying more direct involvement with each
  student, and being unconstrained by mandated curricula.

     The goal of the demonstration is to make after-school programs so popular with
     parents — i.e., with voters — that the city will do everything possible to keep
     them alive and extend them to every community.3

     it is, because TASC’s rate of retention of          the building by other programs or activi-                 gramming serves more than one purpose.
     participating adults is very high.                  ties. In some cases, nonprofit program                    On one hand, for both students and
                                                         managers believe that enlarging the pro-                  schools, the full 15-hour weekly schedule
   Yet important as the nonprofits are in                gram would strain their ability to manage                 provides ample time for social, academic,
the management of local programs, it                     it well, or would dilute the quality of the               and creative activity. The steady, daily
would be misleading to describe the                      children’s experience.                                    attention to homework and academics,
school-community relationship as an                         Other factors limit enrollment as well:                the ability to engage in long-term proj-
equal partnership. Ultimately, as one par-               TASC strives for an average adult/student                 ects with other students, and the ability
ticipating nonprofit leader observed, “the               ratio of 1 to 10. That means that, even if                to form steady relationships with caring
most crucial resource in this program,                   space were ample, the program would                       adults all contribute to the quality of the
even more than the money, is the build-                  have to pay at least one additional salary                program and its odds of making a valu-
ing. If the school building isn’t available,             for every ten additional students it                      able contribution to children’s develop-
there’s no program. And the principal                    enrolled. Attendance requirements may                     ment. But the full-week schedule is also
effectively controls everything that hap-                be another constraint on enrollment: Not                  meant as a service to working parents,
pens in that building. If the principal                  every student wants or needs an after-                    who can then rely on the program for
doesn’t want you, good-bye. So there’s                   school program five days a week, and                      after-school child care, at least on regular
not much question who the ultimately                     many have other activities or commit-                     school days. (Almost no TASC programs
authority is in any site.”                               ments between 3 and 6 p.m. on some                        operate on school holidays and half-days,
   The importance of the building                        days. But TASC expects students to                        so parents still need a backup plan for
extends beyond questions of control and                  attend every day, and reduces funding for                 those times.) In that respect, the five-day-
leadership. The use and availability of                  programs where average daily attendance                   a week schedule is also a strategic political
school premises also determines the limits               drops below 70 percent. The result of all                 choice: The goal of the demonstration is
on after-school enrollment in each TASC                  these considerations is that, on average,                 to make after-school programs so popular
site. Under TASC rules, every student in                 roughly one-third of the students in a                    with parents — i.e., with voters — that
the school must be equally eligible to par-              typical TASC school participate in the                    the city will do everything possible to
ticipate in the after-school activity. But               after-school program. But significantly,                  keep them alive and extend them to every
there are usually many fewer slots than                  that enrollment is a reasonable cross-sec-                community.3
eligible students. As a result, many                     tion of the whole student body. In TASC
schools maintain waiting lists for after-                programs, the students’ race, ethnicity,
school programs. Often the reasons are                   gender, age, language proficiency, test
fiscal, but sometimes they’re related to                 scores, and need for special education are
space — including restrictions the school                all nearly identical to those of the schools
may place on the use of some of its                      as a whole.
rooms after hours, or competing uses of                     The insistence on five-day-a-week pro-

3 Then again, not all communities may want a five-day-a-week program. In at least one upper-income neighborhood, parents objected to the 15-hour schedule on
  the grounds that their children had other activities that also needed to fit into the after-school hours. But that view appears to be limited only to the most fortunate
  neighborhoods, and even there, not all parents were of the same opinion.
                                                                                                                THE AFTER-SCHOOL CORPORATION                     31

  “…Principals don’t necessarily see academic content as the only important
  activity any more.”

Content and Quality:                                   the original proposal. They make sure                  do not. About a quarter of the programs
Variety, but With an Academic Slant                    that after-school staff get regular training           use computers regularly, but nearly one-
                                                       and other professional-development                     third don’t use them at all. Group activi-
TASC PICKS PROGRAMS TO SUPPORT based                   opportunities, including an extensive cat-             ties often, though not always, culminate
on proposals from schools and community                alogue of seminars offered by TASC                     in some product or performance that stu-
groups. The proposals set out how a pro-               through contracts with a variety of train-             dents can present to a wider audience.
gram will be organized and managed,                    ing and educational organizations. But                    The one element that virtually all pro-
what activities it will offer, and how it will         the managers’ role is to guide, channel                grams have in common is an emphasis on
meet TASC’s basic requirements (hours                  resources, raise suggestions, and resolve              academic enrichment. The activity that
and days of service, adult/student ratios,             problems, not to prescribe activity.                   claims the single greatest share of after-
limits on total and per-student costs,                    In practice, schools typically offer a              school time across all three school levels
among other things). They outline curric-              mix of language arts, science, math, fine              — some 20 percent, on average, and
ula that generally reflect each school’s pri-          and performing arts, and sports. Nearly                sometimes much higher — is homework
orities, the needs and interests of its                all of them set aside some time for home-              help. Even beyond that, other activities in
parents and students, the resources of the             work help, but most also offer group                   math, the language arts, and science are
nonprofit organization, and the available              activities that give students a chance to              expressly related to the goals of the school
talent pool of participating adults. TASC              interact with adults and one another                   day, even if the style of the activity is
favors programs with varied and innova-                without the formalities typical of the reg-            quite different from the conduct of day-
tive curricula, but it doesn’t dictate what            ular school day. Some offer organized                  time classes. The reason is partly tactical:
those curricula should contain. Once the               sports or other play and recreation,                   an attempt to prove the value of after-
program is in operation, it is run mainly              though that depends partly on the avail-               school programs to school officials, for
by a site coordinator employed by the                  ability of a gym, a playground, or other               whom academic achievement is the over-
nonprofit, with an office in the school                suitable space.4                                       whelming priority. But another part of
building, under the joint direction of the                The result of all these considerations is           the reason is inherent in the TASC struc-
principal and the nonprofit partner.                   a curriculum tailored to each school, com-             ture: principals wield considerable influ-
   TASC’s staff includes 10 program                    munity, and nonprofit, with wide varia-                ence, and principals tend to be among
managers, each of whom oversees up to                  tions from place to place. In middle and               those officials for whom academics are
25 local programs. Besides trouble-shoot-              high schools, students themselves fre-                 paramount. As one observer put it:
ing, fiscal oversight, and general monitor-            quently participate in the planning of
ing, the program managers specifically                 activities, and some high school students                 The only way you’re ever going to make
work with local staff on curriculum                    are trained and employed in TASC-spon-                    after-school [activity] a reality citywide is
issues, even after the program is up and               sored programs with younger children.                     if it’s essential to the biggest funding
running, to ensure that the quality stays              Some instructors use formal, published                    source in the city. That means it has to
close to (or exceeds) the standards set in             curricula for certain subjects, though most               be supportive of the core mission of the

4 Information on curriculum content is mostly drawn from interim reports by the TASC evaluation team, especially “Supporting Quality and Scale in After-School
  Services to Urban Youth,” by Elizabeth R. Reisner et al., Washington., D.C.: Policy Studies Associates, Inc., March 29, 2002. This and other evaluation reports
  are available from TASC’s web site at

     New York public schools. So a nonprofit,    else. One principal articulated this view      training becomes at least as important as
     or a parent, or a kid, may have other       in especially strong terms:                    brushing up on science or math.
     things in mind, things they’d like to do
     that aren’t really school-related, things     The art, to me, is important in and of
     that would be fun and keep the kids           itself. The literature says we’ll get some
                                                                                                Cost: Maintaining a Replicable Budget,
     coming back every day. And those may          academic benefit from that, which is         but With Flexibility
     be great. But if the program isn’t demon-     wonderful. But to get a kid turned on
     strably connected to improving student        to music or to drama, that’s essen-          BY TASC’S ACCOUNTING, its program
     achievement, it’s not going to be a high      tial.…There’s too much emphasis, in          costs between $1,500 and $1,600 per stu-
     enough priority to get very scarce money      talking about after-school programs, on      dent per year. That number includes
     from the only deep pockets in town.           whether it improves test scores. To me,      $1,000 to $1,100 made up of a combina-
     Impact on achievement is the only rea-        the arts and after-school are an enrich-     tion of grants from TASC and the match-
     son most principals are going to put          ment, quite independent of the effect        ing funds required from each program. It
     up with the inconvenience of having           on test scores. Appreciating the arts, or    also includes another $200 per student
     all these people running around their         having an opportunity to perform or          from the school system, used mainly for
     schools and causing them to put in extra      create, is an essential part of making       staff development and some operating
     work hours at the end of a long day.          people good human beings. We don’t           expenses in the school buildings, like sup-
                                                   have enough wonderful memories, all          plies, snacks, or extra security after normal
   But principals aren’t the only force            of us. I’m trying to create as many good     school hours. TASC then allocates an
behind academic programming. Parents,              memories for kids as possible. When          additional $200 to each program’s budget,
in an early survey by TASC evaluators,             a kid performs and hears the applause,       half of which is for training and technical
listed homework help among their top               they’ll never forget that moment.            assistance that TASC will provide to the
priorities, apparently in the hope that by                                                      program over the course of the year. The
the time they come home from work, the              Noting views like these, Lucy Fried-        other half is for a portion of TASC’s over-
school assignments will be done, and par-        man, TASC’s president, suggests that “the      head. The last $200 is paid from grant
ents and children will be able to spend          pendulum is swinging slightly back on          funds that TASC raises, including those
some quality time together before the            this issue.…Principals don’t necessarily see   from OSI, not from public dollars.
lights go out.                                   academic content as the only important            Of the basic $1,000 to $1,100 per stu-
   To be sure, not all principals take such      activity any more.” Particularly in middle     dent, TASC initially provided most, and
a rigid view of after-school academics. As       and high schools, when students are rela-      often all, of the money for the earliest
funding for the arts and sports becomes          tively freer to wander off and skip the        participating sites to get up and running.
scarcer in schools’ regular budgets, offer-      after-school program entirely, emphasis on     Thereafter, the local school and nonprofit
ing these activities after school becomes        enjoyable activity and on practical oppor-     were expected to raise escalating amounts
as important to principals as to anyone          tunities like career planning or computer      of matching money, eventually reaching
                                                                                          THE AFTER-SCHOOL CORPORATION           33

  The integrity of the standard TASC budget — keeping costs close to the prescribed
  amount from site to site — is an important tenet of the demonstration.

                                                                                         increased local fundraising. Realistically,
                                                                                         if the level of government grants doesn’t
                                                                                         increase substantially by the end of the
                                                                                         OSI demonstration, it’s likely that TASC
                                                                                         will have to re-examine the way it distrib-
                                                                                         utes its support, given that there will not
                                                                                         be enough money to keep all current pro-
                                                                                         grams afloat.
                                                                                            For now, with $1,300 per student
                                                                                         (including the $200 grant from the school
                                                                                         system, but not counting TASC’s $200 in
                                                                                         allocated training and overhead), each
                                                                                         program is expected to pay its site coordi-
                                                                                         nator, instructors, and community out-
                                                                                         reach or liaison staff, buy supplies, food,
                                                                                         and equipment, and pick up whatever
                                                                                         other administrative costs are required to
40 percent in 2004. The exact level of      schools whose programs now run with no       operate the program. Everyone, including
TASC’s contribution at any given school     Soros funding at all.                        TASC, acknowledges that some costs are
has depended partly on what other              The annual increases in required          often covered outside the strict limits of
sources of support might have been avail-   matching are intended partly to provide      this budget — some schools provide sup-
able to that school and nonprofit. Some     an exit strategy for OSI — that is, by the   plies and equipment at no cost; some
sites, for example, were already getting    end of the seven-year demonstration,         nonprofits do the same; some programs
regular funding from city or state pro-     when the Soros grant runs out, each          have volunteers doing work that must be
grams or later became regular grantees of   school’s program should be operating on      paid for elsewhere. As in most after-school
one of those programs. In those cases       a budget that comes primarily from pub-      accounting, the capital costs of using the
TASC contributed less than it did to        lic dollars, whether raised by the local     school building, and some of the build-
other schools that may have been starting   program or centrally by TASC. Because        ing’s operating costs, aren’t reflected in
from scratch, with no other funding         TASC expects to remain in business, it       this budget either. One example is utility
available. Today, the norm is roughly 60    foresees a continued role in raising and     bills, which TASC programs don’t pay.
percent TASC funding with 40 percent        channeling money to local after-school       Another is custodial services: The work
coming from matching sources, but that      programs, but in most places, TASC’s         hours of New York City custodians are
norm is surrounded by many exceptions       share of the local budget will be smaller    staggered over the course of the day, with
and variations, including half a dozen      than it is today. Hence the expectation of   at least one custodian in each school

working until 6 p.m. That is normally          Today, she says, of the nearly 200 pro-          ment as through the vagaries of account-
sufficient to cover the 3-to-6 p.m. after-     grams around the city, “the funding struc-       ing. Besides the school operating costs
school time, thus posing no additional         ture of every one is different. That maybe       already mentioned, unreckoned costs
cost to the program. Most local budgets        makes the research and accounting more           include some overhead of the operating
don’t include transportation, either —         difficult, but it is great for creativity, for   nonprofits, including some management
which, in subway-rich New York, isn’t          getting local buy-in, and for fundraising.       costs that are made necessary specifically
much of an issue. In other places, that        And those are all essential, too.”               because of their participation in the TASC
would be a substantial additional cost.           Yet the flexibility goes only so far. Even    demonstration. One example: Raising an
   The integrity of the standard TASC          under the more permissive rules, when            escalating portion of the after-school
budget — keeping costs close to the pre-       schools or nonprofits raise major public         budget every year means, for many organ-
scribed amount from site to site — is an       grants for their after-school programs,          izations, dedicating part of a fundraising
important tenet of the demonstration. In       TASC will still reduce its funding some-         director’s or consultant’s time to raising
the early years, in fact, it was more than a   what, in the hope of spreading its dollars       new grants every year. Another example is
tenet. TASC started off with the hope of       farther. In fact, TASC’s development staff       specific to larger nonprofits that operate
demonstrating and testing a single fiscal      deliberately helps nonprofits find outside       more than one local TASC program. In
model that would be replicable across the      sources of funding beyond their required         those cases, the organization’s central
whole system: not so thin that it compro-      match, in the hope that this funding can         office incurs some extra costs in managing
mised quality, but not so rich that it         offset scarce OSI dollars and sustain the        and accounting for the operations of sev-
wouldn’t be realistic as a citywide model.     nonprofits’ funding after the OSI demon-         eral far-flung sites, which usually aren’t
If schools or nonprofits used additional       stration is over. But there is no longer a       reflected in their TASC accounting.
resources or raised extra money, TASC          deliberate policing of local budgets to             TASC doesn’t refuse to acknowledge
reduced its funding in proportion. To say      adjust for every dollar raised above the         these costs, but any reimbursement for
the least of it, this policy was unpopular     initial budget. Not only did that policy         them would have to fit into the standard
with local program operators.                  prove unworkable, but as one participant         $1,500 to $1,600 per-student budget. Not
   “Initially,” says President Lucy Fried-     put it, “it was really an incentive for us to    every participating nonprofit is able to fit
man, “we asked people not to use other         hide things from [TASC] and do things            into that restriction, and some end up
funds to increase their budget, mainly for     off-the-books. Not only does that screw          devoting the lion’s share of that amount to
research reasons. We wanted to be able to      up your supposedly clean research, but it        direct program expenditures — mostly
study whether the program was truly            makes for a dishonest relationship that          instructors’ and coordinators’ salaries —
effective and replicable, and for that, we     doesn’t help anybody.” It wasn’t long            rather than to management. One partici-
really wanted all the sites to be more or      before TASC agreed.                              pating nonprofit estimated that “a TASC
less the same in terms of cost. But after         Even so, some real costs of the program       program that they budget at $300,000
two years of that, we gave in. We didn’t       still go unreflected in the official budgets,    actually costs us $360,000. But they’ll give
want to keep kids from getting extras.”        not so much through deliberate conceal-          us 80 percent of $300,000” for the first
                                                                                              THE AFTER-SCHOOL CORPORATION                  35

  If the ultimate purpose of TASC is to create a program of indispensable value to
  parents, educators, and executives of the school system, then the findings of
  independent researchers will be crucial in establishing [the program’s value].

year, leaving another 20 percent, or          owes this service to its constituents. The     this calculation and the limits it imposes.
$60,000, as the required match. Including     result is a program that isn’t quite compa-    As one observer explained it:
the unfunded management costs, this           rable to other TASC sites, either in cost or
organization estimates that it actually       possibly in outcomes. TASC has no objec-         A lot of projects wanted to enrich their
needed to raise $120,000 to match TASC’s      tion to these additional expenditures, and       programs not because they couldn’t fit
first-year contribution, and then increase    even supports them philosophically. But it       into TASC’s budget, but because they
that target by some $30,000 a year as the     does not fund the additional service, and        didn’t fundamentally share TASC’s con-
matching requirement escalated.               does not count the additional expendi-           cern about keeping this affordable.…
   However difficult these considerations     tures for that service toward the matching       Lucy [Friedman] and Herb [Sturz] are
may be for the participating schools and      requirements for its basic program.              interested not only in offering high-
nonprofits, they generally amount mainly         It isn’t unusual, in fact, for nonprofits     quality programs, but more important,
to accounting disputes. The cost structure    to want a richer program than TASC’s             they’re interested in serving as many
of the basic program probably varies          funding model would allow, and several           kids as possible. It’s got to be good but
more than it might appear on paper, but       of them therefore supplement their pro-          also really big. You can’t do that by con-
not so much that it undermines TASC’s         grams well beyond what TASC would                structing a program that’s too expensive
fundamental desire for a standard, replic-    willingly fund. For TASC, raising addi-          to do in more than a few lucky places
able program model. Yet the program’s         tional private grants for program enrich-        that maybe have great nonprofits or
“basicness,” its deliberate limitation on     ment is fine, so long as the program first       easy access to private grant money or
frills and enrichments, still rankles some    meets its annual matching requirement in         something extraordinary like that.
participating nonprofits whose philoso-       the basic budget. When programs raise
phy demands more services than TASC           additional public dollars, however, TASC
considers essential.                          normally will respond by reducing its
                                                                                             Evaluation: Quality, Scale,
   One example among many is the provi-       own contribution, rather than allow the        Outcomes, and Replicability
sion of services outside of TASC’s 3-6        public grant to be spent entirely on
p.m. slot on official school days. When       enhancements. Government dollars, says         AT THE OUTSET OF THE PROGRAM, TASC
schools are closed, or open for only half a   Friedman, “are more sustainable, so those      commissioned an independent evaluation
day, some nonprofits feel a need to pro-      are the basis on which the [local pro-         that will run at least through the five years
tect parents from the disruption of their     grams] ultimately should be supported.         of OSI’s initial demonstration period.
normal child-care routine. One such           They can’t be dependent forever on the         With funding from four large national
organization accepts students from its        Soros dollars, and the sooner those can be     foundations, TASC chose as its evaluator
TASC program into its other day care          replaced by more sustainable sources of        Policy Studies Associates (www.policystud-
programs on non-school days. The cost         money, the better — for them, as well as, a 20-year-old research firm that
and administrative complexities are con-      for the whole effort.”                         specializes in education and youth devel-
siderable, but the organization believes it      Most participants seem to understand        opment. The firm has so far produced

eight interim reports for TASC, either pre-                        dance and achievement, better social adjustment, the       The Future: Preservation,
senting general preliminary findings or                            development of useful skills and constructive attitudes,   Growth, and Sustainability
zeroing in on particular research subjects                         and reductions in some harmful behaviors.
like student outcomes, program content                             Though still under way, the research already shows that    AT THE END OF 2003, with one year left in
and scale, and participant satisfaction.                           TASC programs are promoting improved achievement in        the OSI demonstration period, there are
There will be a more complete evaluation                           math, with students at greatest academic risk deriving     just over half a dozen TASC sites whose
report, in 2004, corresponding to the end                          the greatest benefit from regular TASC participation.      after-school programs function without the
of TASC’s fifth year. The findings will be                         Participation in a TASC program is associated with sig-    Soros dollars. Their support comes mainly
based particularly on the schools where                            nificant gains in school attendance and hence greater      from the federal 21st Century Learning
after-school programs opened in TASC’s                             exposure to the academic programs of the host schools.     Centers program and a combination of city
first two years of operation — thus pro-                                                                                      and state funds. The rest continue to rely
viding a relatively long series of data from                        The most immediate purpose of the                         to varying degrees on grants from OSI that
which to draw conclusions.                                       evaluation and interim reports is, of                        will no longer exist come 2005.
   In the meantime, the interim reports                          course, to help TASC manage the pro-                            To help preserve and enlarge public con-
from Policy Studies Associates provide at                        gram, and to inform OSI on how well                          tributions for after-school programs, OSI
least a rough — and so far favorable —                           the goals of its grant were pursued. But                     and TASC helped form the After School
impression of how TASC and its con-                              in the longer run, the research is itself a                  Alliance, a national advocacy and policy
stituent programs are performing. The                            strategic element in reaching those goals.                   network. The Alliance’s goal is something
December 2002 report (the most recent                            If the ultimate purpose of TASC is to cre-                   like a national version of TASC’s: to make
one available at the time this is written)                       ate a program of indispensable value to                      after-school services available by 2010 to
offers these tentative conclusions:5                             parents, educators, and executives of the                    every young person who wants them.
                                                                 school system, then the findings of inde-                    Although a rising federal deficit makes it
     The program is on track to achieve its goals, and is pro-   pendent researchers will be crucial in                       unlikely that Washington will soon con-
     ducing positive opportunities and experiences for partic-   establishing how much value the program                      tribute significantly more toward that goal
     ipating schools, students, and families.                    really represented, and what the city and                    than it now does, advocacy by the Alliance
     Students are reacting to these efforts with steadily ris-   its schools would lose if TASC’s accom-                      at least helped to keep the 21st Century
     ing rates of after-school attendance, which means that      plishments aren’t sustained.                                 program whole in fiscal 2004, when the
     participating students are experiencing increasing levels                                                                Bush Administration had proposed a 40
     of exposure to TASC activities and hence to the benefits                                                                 percent reduction. The Alliance also hopes
     that participation confers.
                                                                                                                              to promote more effective after-school poli-
     Results so far are consistent with the findings from com-                                                                cies in state and local governments around
     prehensive evaluations of similar after-school programs.                                                                 the country. That prospect got a boost in
     Full-term evaluations of those programs eventually con-                                                                  2003 when Alliance Honorary Chairman
     cluded that they contributed to improved school atten-                                                                   (and now California Governor) Arnold

5 This summary is drawn from “What Have We Learned from TASC’s First Three Years?,” Policy Studies Associates, December 2002, especially pp. 8-9. The full
  text can be downloaded from
                                                                                                 THE AFTER-SCHOOL CORPORATION            37

  At best, it seems, public policy will move in TASC’s direction only gradually, and
  will need a lot of guidance and encouragement along the way.

Schwarzenegger himself took charge of a        assume that many budgets would ulti-             court-ordered changes in statewide educa-
state government, having run partly on a       mately be tapped to fund a complete sys-         tion funding are still uncertain as this is
record of supporting universal after-school    tem. Untidy as the result might be, if it        written. At best, it seems, public policy
programs.                                      brought some official consensus on how           will move in TASC’s direction only gradu-
   Yet for now in New York City, it is not     the burden would be shared, with recur-          ally, and will need a lot of guidance and
yet clear whether any likely combination       ring line items securely written into the        encouragement along the way. To that
of private and public dollars will be          various agencies’ budgets, that would still      end, Friedman and her staff work closely
enough to fund sustainable service in          be a giant step forward. It might, in real-      with policymakers in education and youth
every New York City school. At some            ity, be as firm and clear a system as any        services at the state and local level, con-
point, as Lucy Friedman sees it, “the solu-    other public function in New York, and           duct research locally and nationally on
tion will probably come through                good enough to make citywide after-              after-school policy and funding, and join
statewide legislation that says, in effect,    school programs a reality.                       forces with after-school programs in other
‘after-school for all.’…That could start          But just past TASC’s sixth birthday,          cities to build a national constituency for
with the consolidation of the three major      these thoughts are mostly speculation.           greater funding and better policy.
funding streams [the federal 21st Century      Political support for after-school services is      “We don’t expect a statewide mandate
program and two state initiatives] and         clearly building, and New York’s experi-         soon” for after-school programs, Friedman
eventually produce a formula something         ments (of which TASC is by far the largest,      says, and “funding for universal after-
like 30 percent federal, 30 state, 30 local,   but not the only one) continue to draw           school is probably still a ways off…But
and 10 percent private or fees.”               interest and, here and there, new funding.       we’d be happy if we could just get more
   Within those broad categories might         Whether that will eventually lead to a full-     order and efficiency in the current fund-
still lurk a hodgepodge of different fund-     scale, officially sanctioned citywide pro-       ing. Before we started, one principal had
ing streams not necessarily very different     gram remains a matter of speculation.            four after-school programs running in her
from the mix that supports TASC today.            “With so much in flux in New York             school at one time. Even then, there was
But if the amounts were great enough in        City,” Friedman says, “you can’t just take       money, but little planning, system, or
aggregate, and the rules for each funding      it on faith that somehow the system will         infrastructure. Money is getting spent,
source were flexible enough to allow the       bend over backwards to take care of after-       but there’s no system. That’s why the
money to be used and combined where            school. There’s still just too much going        mayor’s Out-of-School Time Summit is so
needed, a continued mélange of different       on in the school system for anyone to            important.” For now, TASC is as broad,
funding agencies would be manageable.          have figured out how to do that, or make         consistent, and complete an after-school
In fact, given the many functions ascribed     it their number one priority.” In that           network as New York City has ever had.
to after-school programs — youth devel-        respect, the school system isn’t alone. New      It is not yet the system that Friedman and
opment, academic reinforcement, physi-         York State politics and budgets are like-        OSI hoped to create. But the prospect
cal fitness, cultural enrichment, child care   wise in turmoil, leadership is fractured at      no longer looks quite as remote as it did
for working parents — it is reasonable to      the best of times, and the consequences of       when the big wager first began.
Photographs courtesy of LA’ s BEST.
                                                                                                                                             LA’S BEST     39

Los Angeles

                                                     Mayor Tom Bradley gave a speech calling               and the outdoors. Where to start? Los
                                                     for the creation of after-school programs             Angeles was and still is a massive school

    N EARLY  1988, LOS ANGELES was con-              for 100,000 kids in poor neighborhoods.               district, now counting over 800,000 stu-
    cerned about a rising tide of juvenile           At the time, the city was not devoid of               dents, over 400 elementary schools, over
    crime, drugs, and gang activity in               youth-serving activities in the hours from            70 middle schools, 60 high schools, and
poor neighborhoods. Not only were                    roughly 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. For instance, the            several dozen multi-level, magnet, and
adults and businesses being victimized,              Youth Services Division of the Los Ange-              continuation high schools. Its school
but so were other, often younger, chil-              les Unified School District (LAUSD) did               population is four-fifths Latino, 10 per-
dren. A later research report noted of that          (and still does) provide adult supervision            cent African American, 4 percent Cau-
era1 that “overall, an estimated 85 percent          at playgrounds at every elementary and                casian, and 3 percent Asian, with less
of the children interviewed mentioned                middle school in the after-school hours.              than a percent made up of Filipino/Pacific
‘guns’ or ‘shootings’ as a common feature            Some of these had (and more now have) a               Islanders and Native Americans. Seventy
in their immediate surroundings.” Some               spectrum of well-organized activities, but            percent of all students meet federal
of what the children said:                           they are permissive, drop-in programs,                poverty guidelines. The transience rate
                                                     with no sign-in and only two youth serv-              (kids who move into or out of a school
  Too many gang-bangers in our neigh-                ice workers per playground, regardless of             during the school year) is 25 percent. In
  borhood and they shoot a lot.…They                 how many kids attend. While the play-                 1988, facing only slightly lower levels of
  try to rob you, or kill you over your              ground programs are free, the few other               total enrollment, ethnic diversity, and
  colors.…They try to beat you up.…Last              existing after-school programs in 1988                poverty, Bradley determined to begin his
  time they shot a pregnant woman…                   were limited and costly to parents. The               initiative in elementary schools whose
  Sometimes when I’m outside with my                 LAUSD operated licensed child care cen-               neighborhoods faced the greatest prob-
  friends, we feel that people might come            ters adjacent to or on the property of                lems of gangs, crime, drugs, low educa-
  and grab us.…                                      some elementary schools for a sliding-                tional performance, and poor test scores.
                                                     scale fee based on parental income.                      Why elementary schools, when gangs
  As a result, the children said,                    And various Boys and Girls Clubs and                  were composed mainly of older kids?
                                                     YM/WCAs offered after-school care on a                None of those involved in after-school
  We have bars on the windows and bars               fee-for-service or similar sliding scale.             programs in Los Angeles would say that it
  on the doors.…They keep me inside,                    Mayor Bradley had something else in                was too late to have an impact on the
  they don’t let anyone come in.…My                  mind — well-staffed, sign-in after-school             older kids, but instead maintained that
  mother doesn’t let us out if she’s not             programs that would be free, keep chil-               such kids were a tougher problem, and
  home.…Most of the time, I’m in                     dren safe and out of trouble, give them               there were few good models of what to do
  the house.                                         something positive to do with their after-            for them. It was a better strategic choice,
                                                     school time, enrich their educations, and             they said, to begin with younger kids for
  Alarmed at such conditions, then-                  broaden their exposures to arts, athletics,           whom successful, or at least promising,
1 Denise Huang, Barry Gibbons, Kyung Sun Kim, Charlotte Lee, and Eva L. Baker, “A Decade of Results: The Impact of LA’s BEST After-school Enrichment Program
  on Subsequent Student Achievement and Performance,” UCLA Center for the Study of Evaluation (CSE), Graduate School of Education and Information Studies,
  June 2000, p. 20. The report cited interviews made in March 1990, and notes that a decade later, in May 2000, “the bleak conditions of families and children
  in economically poor areas have…worsened, rather than improved.”

     [Mayor Tom] Bradley appointed a 53-member Education Council of civic leaders
     and charged it with creating a public/private partnership to support an enriched
     after-school program and a City/LAUSD partnership to operate it.

after-school programming models had           director of the Los Angeles Child Care         hiring flexibility to utilize a range of local
been developed, models that might have        and Development Council for almost             community people as staff: parents, col-
greater leverage in getting such kids on      eight years. Previously, she had been one      lege students, other neighborhood people,
the right track and keeping them there.       of several supervisors of day care services    as well as some certified teachers.
                                              for the state of New Jersey and had started       LA’s BEST began operations in the fall
                                              a nationally recognized after-school pro-      of 1988 in ten elementary schools for
Creation and Evolution                        gram in Perth Amboy in 1973.                   about 200 children in each school. In
                                                 With the LAUSD expressing willingness       October of that year, the Education Coun-
LIKE MANY BIG (AND SMALL) CITY MAYORS,        to cooperate, the council worked into the      cil asked Carla Sanger to visit some of the
Tom Bradley had no direct control over        summer of 1988 and produced a plan for         schools and assess progress. Sanger says:
the School District, which reported to        elementary after-school programming that
an independently elected board. Bradley       set the values of what became LA’s BEST          I visited five schools and did not like
wanted closer working relations between       (Better Educated Students for Tomorrow).         what I was seeing. Everything was too
the city government and LAUSD, and he         It would provide a balanced program of           tight; there was no laughter and fun; it
thought that one way to do that was to        educational supplementation and home-            was like an extension of the school day.
run after-school programs via a city/School   work help, enrichment activities of all          It had to be fun, because if it were just
District partnership, starting in troubled    kinds, recreation, and a snack, during the       more school, then the kids would vote
elementary schools and extending eventu-      period from 3 to 6 p.m. on school days in        with their feet and not come. I wrote a
ally to all city schools. The mayor would     school facilities. The mayor promised $1         position paper for the mayor, who called
commit city funding to start the program      million per year in city tax-increment           me in, heard me out, and asked how I’d
and support it during its early years, but    money for the first two years of operation.      change things. I said we had too much
he would need the cooperation of LAUSD           There was some thought on the council         formal curricula, too much rigidity, and
to host the after-school program and          about using state funds for licensed child       not enough staff who were well-suited
broad civic support to design, promote,       care, but the child care and child develop-      for after-school programming.
and support it.                               ment agencies did not want the broad
   Bradley appointed a 53-member Educa-       after-school mission. Further, the licensed       The Education Council responded by
tion Council of civic leaders and charged     child care system had limited funds, a         recommending that LA’s BEST establish
it with creating a public/private partner-    strong bureaucracy, and staffing require-      a full-time position of after-school execu-
ship to support an enriched after-school      ments with mandatory hiring credentials        tive director and chose Sanger for the job.
program and a City/LAUSD partnership          that the council thought too restrictive       Over the next year or so, Sanger trans-
to operate it. One of the appointees was      and expensive. The council’s after-school      formed the large, 53-member Educa-
Carla Sanger, then a consultant to the Cal-   plan called for an adult/child ratio of 1 to   tional Council, which had done its job,
ifornia Department of Education on            20, not the 1 to 14 that the child care sys-   into a 35-person board for what became a
school readiness who had been executive       tem required. Further, that plan required      nonprofit corporation: the LA’s BEST
                                                                                                                              LA’S BEST       41

  What evolved was a complex structure of formal and informal, overlapping

administrative core, called the Corporate       Sanger’s title to President & CEO, and          which it could donate $500,000 in pro-
Office, located in the Office of the            she prevailed upon LAUSD to change              bono consulting services. We won the
Mayor. This central coordinating and            Loxton’s title to Chief Operating Officer       interview for their services; and they came
management entity applied for and               or COO. Sanger says she and Loxton              in, took a good look at us, and basically
received its 501(c)(3) tax exemption from       also worked “long and hard” with the            told me I was wrong. They said I should
the Internal Revenue Service in 1990 —          LAUSD personnel commission and                  in fact go to scale and revamp my board.
making it, in effect, a nonprofit organiza-     School Board to create other LAUSD
tion responsible both formally to its           Operations Office positions, which will         Sanger set up a strategic planning com-
board and informally to the mayor.              be described in a later section.              mittee of herself and LA’s BEST board
   The mayor and the School District,              In September 1989, LA’s BEST               members. It recommended restructuring
however, had agreed on a full partnership,      expanded to 15 schools and grew further       the board into two bodies: a governing
with the district “running” the after-          over the next few years until it reached      board for the LA’s BEST corporation and
school programs in the schools. What            about 24 schools in 1993, when Richard        an advisory board of programming
evolved was a complex structure of formal       Riordan was elected mayor. Its budget         experts to work with the LAUSD after-
and informal, overlapping relationships in      had risen to more than $2.5 million, with     school Operations Office. With Bain’s
both the mayor’s office and the District        the city providing almost $2 million and      continuing advice, the restructuring pro-
that is often confusing to outsiders but        private funds the rest. Riordan was a         ceeded. Sanger is pleased with the result:
reflects a balance of interests and resources   Republican succeeding a Democrat, and
between these two independent forces            thus brought in new and different rela-         Riordan gave me a hotshot Republican
that has stood the test of time.                tionships. Sanger says,                         chair for my governing board who is just
   To structure the School District’s role,                                                     great to work with and a great fund-
Sanger worked to create an LA’s BEST              They thought differently and bigger. He       raiser. I now have a terrific, businesslike
Operations Office within LAUSD and                was for after-school but he told me,          board and this absolutely wonderful
formally accountable both to the school           ‘You only have 24 schools. You have got       staff. The governing board gets us con-
board and the schools administrators.             to go to scale.’ He wanted me to revamp       nections and resources, while the advi-
This operations staff runs the after-school       the board. Well! I wasn’t happy about         sory board is the steward of our quality.
programs in the participating schools and         that at all; I loved my board. I’d worked
is employed by and reports formally to            with them a long time. We’d created this       Bain and the new governing board also
the School District (but is informally            and built the ‘branding’ of the LA’s        advised Sanger on how to set up for
responsible to the LA’s BEST board as             BEST name.                                  expansion. They pointed out that the
well). To run the Operations Office,                 I was digging my heels in on this when   public and nonprofit worlds are very dif-
Sanger chose Debe (pronounced Debby)              along came this management consulting       ferent management-wise; business, they
Loxton as Program Coordinator. The LA’s           firm, Bain and Company. It was looking      said, would never expand without creat-
BEST corporate board later changed                for a nonprofit poised for expansion to     ing the infrastructure to support expan-

sion. Sanger’s experience in the nonprofit         in LA’s BEST get over $7.5 million in       stream for after-school services. To the
world was the opposite:                            about 9 different grants.                   surprise of veteran political observers, the
                                                                                               voters overwhelmingly approved it. When
     You scramble and overwork your pres-           LA’s BEST’s budget slowly grew from        (and, some say, if ) California returns to
     ent staff to expand the program, then       $2 million in 1990-91 to just over $3 mil-    fiscal health and certain budgetary trigger
     hope to get enough overhead money           lion in 1996-97 and 1997-98, then             points in the proposition are surpassed,
     somehow to grow your staff to support       exploded as state and federal after-school    as much as $500 million in state funding
     the expansion. You know what? They          funding came on-stream in the later           will flow to after-school programs
     were right; they taught me a lot. It        1990s. In the last six years, the LA’s        throughout the state. For now, as the
     works much better their way.                BEST budget has grown from $4.4 mil-          state struggles through a severe budget
                                                 lion in 1998-99 to more than $23 mil-         crisis, Sanger and other after-school
   LA’S BEST had grown slowly into the           lion in the 2003-04 school year, with the     supporters take comfort in the fact that
mid-1990s; and with the management               program now serving more than 19,000          the new governor is an after-school
structure for expansion in place, Sanger         students in 114 elementary schools. (See      champion and, if cuts come, they will
knew that she had to draw the state into         bar graph on page 43.)                        not be made callously.
funding after-school at some scale and              Several years ago, Sanger was called by
that she had to have allies to do that.          movie star and later governor Arnold
                                                 Schwarzenegger, who was trying to set up      More Than LA’s BEST
     We had to have our own funding              programs for older kids, especially a mid-
     stream. So, we got together with San        dle-school after-school program he was        AS LA’S BEST GREW in the mid-1990s,
     Diego and Sacramento and other cities       calling “Arnold’s All Stars.” They had        Sanger concluded that it needed top-level
     with after-school programs and formed       lunch, and Schwarzenegger questioned          support and top-level access within the
     a coalition and got legislation intro-      her closely on all aspects of LA’s BEST       bureaucracy of LAUSD. Roy Romer, the
     duced that I helped write, to provide       and asked for her help. She agreed and        former governor of Colorado, was about to
     state funding for after-school programs     has worked with him on various initia-        come on board as superintendent of schools,
     separate and distinct from school-age       tives for after-school since then. Arnold’s   and Sanger went to outgoing Superinten-
     child care. Riordan fought for us, and      All Stars program is now in several Los       dent Ramon Cortines, whom she had
     we succeeded in getting the legislation     Angeles middle schools and is now the         worked with closely and successfully in
     passed and an initial $5 million appro-     second, and only other, after-school pro-     building LA’s BEST, and pressed him to cre-
     priated. We’ve been back and forth on       gram working out of the Mayor’s Office.       ate, before he left, a position reporting
     legislation several times to shape things   Schwarzenegger subsequently led the           directly to the superintendent on after-
     the way we needed and to grow the           battle for California Proposition 49 to       school matters. Cortines agreed, but the day
     appropriations, which are now $100          establish a much larger, permanent, con-      before he left he called Sanger and said,
     million per year, statewide, of which we    stitutionally authorized state funding        “Carla, I’m sorry; I just couldn’t get to it.”
                                                                                                                                    LA’S BEST       43

History of Program Funding                                                                             So Sanger approached a new, unknown,
                                                                                                     and decidedly unusual superintendent.
                                                                                                     She says,

                                                                                                       I met with Romer and had all kinds of
                                                                                                       people call him and I didn’t think it was
                                                                                                       going well. But, you know, he’d heard me
                                                                                                       and checked this all out and he created
                                                                                                       an assistant superintendent position —
                                                                                                       since elevated to associate superintendent
                                                                                                       — and put into it John Liechty, who was
                                                                                                       an old inside hand who knew everybody
                                                                                                       in the system but who had lost out in the
                                                                                                       musical chairs of reorganization. John
                                                                                                       probably thought this was some kind of
                                                                                                       consolation prize bordering on Siberia
                                                                                                       and hesitated, but finally took it. And he
                                                                                                       has just become an incredible champion
                                                                                                       for us, and we’re so glad he’s there.

                                                                                                        John Liechty heads what is called the
                                                                                                     Beyond the Bell Branch of the LAUSD,
                                                                                                     reporting directly to the superintendent.
                                                                                                     (“Beyond the Bell” means anything
                                                                                                     before and after school as well as other
                                                                                                     special programs.) Because LA’s BEST is
                                                                                                     so old and so well known, outsiders often
                                                                                                     consider it to be “the” after-school pro-
                                                                                                     gram of Los Angeles. But from Liechty’s
                                                                                                     perspective, LA’s BEST is now but one
                                                                                                     (albeit a special one) of many programs
                                                                                                     in his branch. Loxton and the LA’s BEST
                                                                                                     Operations Office formally report to
                                                                                                     him. Liechty says,

Source: “Balance for Success: LA’s BEST After-school Enrichment Program, 2002-2003 Annual Report,”
LA’s BEST, Mayor’s Office, City of Los Angeles, p.30.

     “We’ve built a model here, a Los Angeles model that is the best kept secret in the
     after-school world. We are the only school district in the country that I know of
     that has a superintendent-level position in charge of after-school programs.”

     We’ve built a model here, a Los Angeles       Before School: LAUSD runs a state-funded Before-            Office to support in-school operations).
     model that is the best kept secret in the     School Education Safety Program called “Ready, Set,            It is important to note that at least
     after-school world. We are the only           Go!” which operates in 55 elementary schools, provid-       70 schools have two or more such after-
     school district in the country that I         ing a safe place for an hour and a half before school,      school programs in addition to their
                                                   with academic help, light recreation, and breakfast.
     know of that has a superintendent-level                                                                   youth services playground program and,
     position in charge of after-school pro-       After School: LAUSD’s second-level after-school pro-        perhaps, a before-school program as well.
     grams. Having an executive position in        grams mostly run from 2 to 6 p.m., five days a week,           Of these after-school programs, LA’s
     charge has helped establish a broad           for all 180 school days (or in some cases more, if the      BEST is unique. First, it is the largest, old-
                                                   school operates year-round). Providers that Beyond the
     array of programs and brought credibil-                                                                   est, and some say best provider. (Liechty
                                                   Bell contracts with for such after-school programs
     ity to after-school programs.                                                                             says, “It is just outstanding, and I’d put
                                                   include LA’s BEST and these additional organizations:
                                                   A World Fit for Kids!, Arnold’s All Stars, Boys and Girls   them into every school if I could.”) Sec-
   The Branch provides all the LAUSD’s             Club of San Pedro, Bresee Foundation, Building Up Los       ond, it is the only after-school program
elementary and middle schools with                 Angeles, Los Angeles Center for Educational Research,       staffed directly by the Beyond the Bell
some combination of three levels of                Martin Luther King Legacy, Para Los Niños, STAR,            Branch through the LA’s BEST Opera-
programming:                                       Woodcraft Rangers, and the YWCA.                            tions Office, whose personnel work “for”
   The first level is Youth Services, which                                                                    LAUSD and only on LA’s BEST, though
the Branch runs. The longstanding pro-              Adding to the system’s complexity,                         paid from a variety of funding sources.
gram, which predates LA’s BEST, is fairly        there are now 240 LA’s BEST and other                         And third, it and Arnold’s All Stars are the
universal. It remains a permissive recre-        such after-school programs that receive                       only two after-school programs headquar-
ation program in which two trained               some degree of public funding from                            tered in the Mayor’s Office.
adults supervise playground activity and         School District sources. But there are                           The third level of Beyond the Bell pro-
some organized sports. It’s a drop-in            numerous other after-school programs                          gramming comprises a range of auxiliary
program serving 50,000 kids daily and            operating in district schools that are not                    services, supplemental educational serv-
a kind of “safety net” that they can             funded by district funds and thus not                         ices, and extended learning opportunities.
always go to.                                    counted among the 240 cited. LA’s                                The budget of the Beyond the Bell
   The second level comprises sign-in            BEST’s 114 sites fit in both categories:                      Branch has grown from $50 million
programs that have set curricula for three       Seventy receive funding that flows from                       when it started to about $225 million at
kinds of activities: homework help, aca-         LAUSD sources to LA’s BEST’s Opera-                           the end of 2003, reflecting the increase in
demic enrichment, and other enrichment           tions Office and thus are in the 240                          federal, state, local, and private funding
like arts and crafts and recreation, plus a      cited. The funding of the other 44 LA’s                       flowing to such programs. This includes
snack or breakfast. These generally have         BEST sites is raised by LA’s BEST’s                           about $85 million from federal, state,
an adult/child ratio of 1 to 20 and fall         Corporate Office from non-LAUSD                               county, and LAUSD sources (including
into before- and after-school categories.        sources (though it, too, is eventually                        $25 million from LAUSD). The Branch
                                                 provided to the LA’s BEST Operations                          also receives about $75 million from No
                                                                                                                                      LA’S BEST         45

Child Left Behind and another $65 mil-                                                        Operating Officer Loxton, is formally
lion for summer schools. The Branch’s                                                         responsible to the associate superintend-
expenditures include $17.3 million from                                                       ent for the Beyond the Bell Branch (John
a variety of sources for the LA’s BEST                                                        Liechty), who in turn reports to Superin-
Operations Office.                                                                            tendent Roy Romer. In practice, Loxton
                                                                                              interacts closely and regularly with
                                                                                              Sanger, too. Loxton’s operations staff
Structure and Staffing                                                                        numbers more than 1,600 people, all of
                                                                                              whom are employees of the LAUSD on
AS NOTED EARLIER, LA’s BEST’s unusual,                                                        an either full- or part-time basis — and
complex, somewhat overlapping organiza-                                                       who, as noted earlier, work solely on LA’s
tional structure was set early in its exis-                                                   BEST. The relationships between the
tence. It is a partnership between a                                                          LAUSD and the Mayor’s Office are such
Corporate Office in the Mayor’s Office                                                        that no COO would be appointed with-
charged with raising funds for the pro-                                                       out agreement by both.
gram, promoting it, and linking it with         developing community resources to sup-
community constituents; and an Opera-           port LA’s BEST. The Corporate Office            About 38 people work in the Operations Office head-
tions Office in the LAUSD charged with          is formally responsible to the board of         quarters, of whom 19 are full time, including Loxton as
hiring and supervising the staff operating      directors and advised by an advisory            COO and the directors of education, staff development,
                                                                                                operations, and technology, plus a citywide events coor-
the after-school program within school          board, as described earlier. It and the
                                                                                                dinator and a volunteer coordinator, and much of their
settings. The accompanying organizational       board of directors are overseen by the          immediate supporting staffs.
chart on page 46, simplified from one in        mayor and City Council, who have an
LA’s BEST’s publications, displays these        informal but powerful voice in their            Below the directors of education, staff development,
                                                                                                and operations is another unusual dual structure at the
relationships. The mayor and the School         selection. The board is critically impor-
                                                                                                middle manager level. The 114 after-school sites are
District each have strong voices in the         tant in raising funds and generating com-
                                                                                                organized into 23 clusters of four or five schools in
selection of all the key people involved in     munity support for LA’s BEST, while the         close geographic proximity, with each school’s program
this structure and in its operation. In prac-   advisory board is composed of educa-            led by a “site coordinator.” Each of these clusters is sup-
tice, this devolves to Sanger and Loxton.       tional and after-school experts and relates     ported by a mid-management team composed of a
   On the left side of the chart is the Cor-    both to the Corporate Office and to the         “traveling supervisor” and an “activities director.” The
porate Office, housed in the Mayor’s            Board of Education and its superintend-         23 traveling supervisors report to the director of opera-
Office, led by Sanger as president and          ent of schools.                                 tions and exercise formal supervisory authority with
CEO. It consists of about 13 people and            On the right side of the chart, the LA’s     respect to administrative, budgetary, safety, and other
                                                                                                regulatory-compliance matters. Their teammates, the
centers on the functions of fundraising         BEST Operations Office, housed in the
                                                                                                23 activities consultants, are advised by the director of
and accounting, public information, and         School District and headed by Chief             education and assist the on-site site coordinators and

     their in-school staff on program design, content, and
     materials. Loxton says the activities consultants are “the
     keepers of the flame,” of program content and quality.
     Many of the traveling supervisors and activities consult-
     ants are certified teachers. Both the activities consult-
     ants and the traveling supervisors work part-time for
     L.A.’s BES T, making $19.42 an hour.
     The 114 after-school program coordinators at each
     school make $17.50 an hour and direct LA’s BEST opera-
     tions at each school. Depending on the size of their pro-
     gram, they may supervise program specialists (often
     one or two of the school’s certified teachers, who make
     $15.77 an hour; a playground supervisor, who is deputy
     site coordinator and makes $13.86 an hour; several
     program workers who work directly with the kids and
     who make $11.92 an hour; and one or more program
     helpers, who are generally high school students and
     receive a stipend of $6.75 an hour. All of these school-
     level personnel work for LA’s BEST’s Operations Office
     part-time, generally from 2 to 6 p.m. Their efforts may
     be supplemented by volunteers. (These wages meet the
     living wage ordinance of the city of Los Angeles.)

   Part-time employees of LA’s BEST who
are certified teachers and also work full-
time “regular” teaching jobs thus hold
two jobs with the same employer,
LAUSD, with different duties and differ-
ent rates of pay. They receive two W-2
forms, but, as part-timers, are not eligible
for additional benefits for their LA’s
BEST work. Sanger says:

     This has never been a problem for us.
     There are plenty of teachers who love
     this program and are happy to work
     some extra hours at this pay with the

                                                                  Source: “Balance for Success: LA’s BEST After-school Enrichment Program, 2002-2003 Annual Report,”
                                                                  LA’s BEST, Mayor’s Office, City of Los Angeles, p.14.
                                                                                                                              LA’S BEST       47

  “We’re never finished, in the sense there is always more to do to improve and
  cover more kids better…We need to constantly work at keeping the bureaucratic
  culture of fear of mistakes at bay.”

  freedom to do what they want to do —         teams of traveling supervisors and activi-     commitment to after-school program-
  which may be very different from what        ties consultants) look unwieldy and a          ming as an important innovation in edu-
  they teach during the regular day. True,     potential source of miscommunication,          cation; both have cultures that stress
  every year someone with union connec-        unclear responsibility and accountability,     creativity and actively combat tendencies
  tions puts a bill in the mill in Sacra-      and finger-pointing. But according to all      toward bureaucracy; and both see them-
  mento to require the full, negotiated        observers, it has not worked out that way.     selves as forces of change within the
  teacher salaries for teachers working in     One reason is that many of the key peo-        larger LAUSD system. Sanger says:
  after-school programs. But there hasn’t      ple in LA’s BEST have been in place for a
  been a very big push for it, and we’ve       reasonably long time; the average tenure         We’re never finished, in the sense there
  always been able to hold that off.           of field staff ranges from 3.34 to 5.29          is always more to do to improve and
                                               years, and over 12 percent are LA’s BEST         cover more kids better. We’re now trying
   LA’s BEST’s field staff are more reflec-    parents or former LA’s BEST students.            to assemble a whole new support system
tive of the ethnicities of the children they   Further, some key personnel —impor-              of young professionals who would bring
work with than is the teaching staff of the    tantly including both Sanger and Loxton          their energy to after-school programs.
regular school day. According to a recent      — have been in place since the program’s         We need to constantly work at keeping
survey, three-quarters of LA’s BEST’s field    inception 15 years ago.                          the bureaucratic culture of fear of mis-
staff are Latino and 13 percent are               Roles and responsibilities have thus          takes at bay. We need to keep our cul-
African-American. In addition, 76 per-         been worked out and tested over time.            ture of crusading for good ideas and
cent are currently enrolled in college, 16     Partnership is celebrated. Sanger says, “All     values, and following up with efficiency.
percent are college graduates, 49 percent      this rests on partnerships and relation-
are paraprofessionals who also work in         ships; we have great partnerships with the       Loxton again echoes her:
the regular LAUSD school day, 9 percent        LAUSD and our various civic supporters,
are credentialed teachers, 61 percent are      and they have to be maintained. It’s all         This is not an organizational culture for
local community residents, 4 percent are       about relationships and relationship tend-       everyone. It feels chaotic, but everyone
parents of an LA’s BEST child, and nearly      ing.” Loxton says, “All of this works            takes ownership of what they do and of
three-quarters are under the age of 25.        because we have such great partnerships.         what we all do. It requires that we all
Roughly one out of every three LA’s            One is the partnership between the               have a lot of trust in each other so that
BEST field employees is a man, com-            Mayor’s Office and the LAUSD. We                 we are “free.” In fact, my biggest chal-
pared with a national after-school average     wouldn’t have what we’ve got if either of        lenge is, as we grow, not to lose our inti-
of one to seven.                               us tried to do this alone. The other is          macy, our philosophy, and our culture.
   A final observation on structure: LA’s      between myself and Carla; she is an              I have to fight every day to keep from
BEST’s double-dualities (parallel, inter-      incredible partner.”                             being bureaucratized by LAUSD. My
acting structures in the Mayor’s Office           Other reasons are that both sides of the      goal is to slowly change the culture of
and LAUSD, and middle-management               organization have an almost palpable             the district. We work hard to push

     …LA’s BEST reflects an unusual organizational structure and set of relationships
     between independent government forces in Los Angeles — the mayoralty and the
     superintendent of schools — that has endured and functioned well over 15 years…

     things out, not down, to support per-           At bottom, LA’s BEST reflects an           ple to engage with instead of the nega-
     sonal authority and foster creativity. We    unusual organizational structure and set of   tive or non-productive things they might
     want our staff not to think they work        relationships between independent govern-     find on the streets or watching TV.
     “for” this organization but that they        ment forces in Los Angeles — the may-             Early on, in the first year, we estab-
     “contribute” to it. I hope that I chal-      oralty and the superintendent of schools      lished what we call our “three and a half
     lenge how they think. I like disequilib-     — that has endured and functioned well        beats”: First, homework help, which the
     rium and think you can change systems        over 15 years and through several changes     kids, and especially the parents, wanted.
     by changing how people look at the sys-      in the personalities holding those posi-      Second, something that was cognitively
     tem. You just have to keep infusing new      tions. No one could say where “ultimate       developmental or enriching, but not just
     energy and ideas and adapting to the         power” lies in this structure, what would     more of the school curriculum — no, we
     kids as they and their interests change      happen if “push came to shove” on some        used projects and games and lively activ-
     — and they change all the time.              policy or personnel matter. Instead, the      ity. And third, something that was the
                                                  fact that “push” hasn’t come to “shove” in    kids’ choice — with a lot of those choices
  Importantly, Loxton’s boss, Associate           the 15 years of LA’s BEST’s existence may     being a club or recreational activity. Oh,
Superintendent of the Beyond the Bell             be a testament to both the emerging polit-    and of course a snack, which is the “half
Branch John Liechty, feels the same way:          ical constituency for after-school program-   beat.” We still use the “three and a half
                                                  ming and the fact that this admittedly odd    beats” today, with a lot of looseness and
     Regular school systems can be highly         relationship serves everyone well.            flexibility and local creativity on what
     bureaucratic and regimented, and I see                                                     actually gets done each day.
     us as a kind of beachhead within the                                                           Balance was the watchword then, and
     system, a force for organizational and
                                                  Program Content and Quality                   it is now. Everyone wants homework
     cultural change. I see myself as a cham-                                                   help, but you also have to help kids to
     pion of Beyond the Bell programs             NOT SURPRISINGLY, Sanger and Loxton           get better academically and give them
     within the system. At the same time I’m      each stated similar philosophies for LA’s     some broader exposures and activities,
     a buffer for these programs against the      BEST programming. Sanger:                     including recreation.
     jealousies of the larger traditional sys-
     tem, where there still are a lot of people     We really believe that kids are “hard-      Loxton:
     who say, “this is not our job,” or who         wired” to engage with their surround-
     would try to control it and make these         ings and to make relationships with         We grow our programs out of the kids’
     programs more like regular school.             other people. It’s in our nature as human   interests. What does a kid want or need?
     After-school programs are more than            beings. The purpose, then, of our after-    What are they interested in? We try to
     just an extension of the school day.           school program was and is to surround       draw out what kids are interested in
                                                    kids for at least that time frame from 3    when we design activities. So, we use
                                                    to 6 p.m. with positive things and peo-     very much a facilitative style, trying to
                                                                                                                              LA’S BEST       49

  “We grow our programs out of the kids’ interests. What does a kid want or need?
  What are they interested in?”

  engage the kids and make them part of         are dozens of special activities and excur-    full-year, multi-track operations, a travel-
  their own activities, rather than super-      sions arranged by the LA’s BEST citywide       ing program supervisor said, “We strive
  vising them and directing them. We try        events coordinator, such as visits to muse-    to have 20 kids for each track (A, B, C,
  to motivate the staff and motivate the        ums, parks, performing arts perform-           D) and group them by age, with Group 1
  kids. Carla says we often try something,      ances, professional ballgames, amusement       being K-1, Group 2 for grades 1-2,
  then download a protocol, rather than         parks, college campuses, fire stations,        Group 3 for grades 3-4, and Group 4 for
  the other way around. This style is why       parades, and so on. LA’s BEST provides         grades 4-5.”
  the adult/student ratio of 1 to 20 works:     buses to transport children and staff to          How this works out on one site is
  We are facilitators and leaders, not          these events and strives to ensure that        described by Juaquin Martinez, himself a
  supervisors or directors.                     these opportunities are fairly shared, with    former high school helper for LA’s BEST
                                                each school’s after-school programming         and now site coordinator at Sylvan Park
   In practice, these principles are            having at least one such activity each         Elementary School in the San Fernando
reflected in a set of “core activities” that    year. (In addition, local site coordinators    Valley. This school is an exemplary site
includes but is not limited to homework         can arrange such events on their own and       and has been designated by LA’S BEST as
help, drill team and dance, reading and         request busing as needed.)                     one of its six “regional learning centers”
literacy activities, performing and visual         School-level LA’s BEST programs are         — part of a statewide network of 15
arts, seasonal sports, music, science club,     normally funded to accommodate 10 to           schools that offer training programs for
math activities, computer activities, arts      15 percent of the school’s population,         personnel of other after-school programs.
and crafts, recreational games, conflict res-   with some schools having waiting lists.
olution, nutrition, and excursions. Each        Students are recruited on a first-come,          Our schedule begins at 2:40 p.m., when
local site staff assembles agendas of such      first-served basis, with the exception of        our twelve program workers — all college
activities to meet the needs and interests      some slots held by LA’s BEST staff for           students — arrive. We staff at a 1-to-20
of its students. These activities may be        students deemed by teachers, counselors,         adult/child ratio for our enrollment of
supplemented by bringing in local               or principals to be in particular need of        180 students and have six volunteers to
resources like businesspeople or artists.       LA’s BEST’s services, because of poor aca-       help out, including fourth and fifth
   In addition, there is a roster of city-      demic performance, limited exposure to           graders who are in a track that is off for
wide events provided by LA’s BEST such          enriching activities, or family problems         this quarter and who come to help out.
as Halloween Kidfest, citywide athletic         that LA’s BEST’s content and staff atten-           At 2:49 p.m. the closing school bell
competitions, a “community jam against          tion might alleviate. School-site staff gen-     rings and kids check in and have their
violence,” drill and dance team show-           erally over-enroll so that absences do not       snack until 3:20, when they start their
cases, and family days at “Raging Waters”       reduce average daily attendance below the        homework. That runs until 4:20. At
(a local water park that donates two days       requirements of funding sources (hence,          4:20 we start Activity I which could be
each year to 14,000 student and parent          LA’s BEST enrolls 19,000 students for            math, science, computers, literature,
attendees from LA’s BEST). Finally, there       17,000 funded slots). In schools with            motor skills (really physical education),

     arts and crafts; and that runs till 5:05.                                                                interaction of activities consultants and
     Activity II runs from 5:10 to 6-ish. We                                                                  on-site personnel.
     have lots of things they want to do,
     including various clubs, reading, cook-
     ing, weaving, Karaoke. On Fridays we
                                                                                                              Income and Expenditures
     have a special kids’ choice day, and they
     do things they’ve planned.                                                                               THE TABLE ON PAGE 51 shows a detailed
        We have 60 languages in this school                                                                   budget for Fiscal Year 2003-04, which is
     district, mostly Spanish though. We find                                                                 still in progress as this is written. Cash
     that LA’s BEST helps them learn Eng-                                                                     expenditures are projected to total $19.2
     lish. My activities coordinator provides                                                                 million from nine state after-school grants,
     curricula and materials for all these                                                                    the City of Los Angeles’ Community
     activities, and we can use them as we                                                                    Development Block Grant, the general
     please. We have lots of flexibility and           BEST in part because it gets the home-                 purpose city budget (mayor’s discretionary
     freedom. Usually I plan each week                 work done, and the teachers feel they can              funds), two federal Department of Justice
     around a theme, and we run the activi-            refer kids to it with special needs who will           grants, the federal 21st Century Commu-
     ties within that theme.                           get something positive out of it. And                  nity Learning Center program, and private
                                                       Juaquin does a fine job. I’d just like more            contributions. Some of these funds are
   Working relationships between LA’s                  of it so we wouldn’t have waiting lists.”              raised by and flow to the Corporate
BEST staff and regular school personnel                   Maintaining and enhancing program                   Office of LA’s BEST, with some flowing
are generally congenial. Some site coordi-             quality with a rapidly growing staff com-              on to the Operations Office. Others are
nators report tensions over access to space            posed largely of college students and                  obtained by LAUSD, or LAUSD and
(teachers can bristle at others’ using                 community people requires an aggressive                LA’s BEST working in tandem, and flow
“their” rooms, especially if materials are             staff-development effort. LA’s BEST,                   from the School District to LA’s BEST
missing or the room is messy the next                  mainly through its director of staff devel-            corporate or operations offices. However
morning). These concerns are more com-                 opment, conducted more than 1,000                      obtained and however they flow, of the
mon in new school buildings or in the                  staff-training workshops over the course               total of $19.2 million required, $1.9 mil-
early months of a new program’s opera-                 of the last school year, covering such sub-            lion is for the LA’s BEST Corporate Office
tion. They usually shake out over time,                jects as art, classroom management,                    and $17.3 million for the LAUSD Opera-
according to Sylvan Park’s principal, who              emergency procedures, evaluation, aca-                 tions Office. Beyond this regular budget,
invites close cooperation and consultation             demic support and homework assistance,                 an additional $1.6 million is for “restricted
between his and Martinez’s staffs, trading             computers, drama, dance and drill team,                program enhancements” (funds commit-
notes regularly on student progress and                literacy, sports, science, and character               ted and directed by their donors to spe-
needs.2 He says, “The teachers like LA’s               education. These enrich the day-to-day                 cific enhancement purposes like literacy
2 This principal, Larry Kraft-Orozco, has also arranged a before-school program, Beyond the Bell’s “Ready, Set, Go.” Kraft-Orozco says, “It runs from 6:30 to
  7:30 a.m., when breakfast is served. It is a structured, well-supervised program. We needed that because in this working class and poor neighborhood a lot of
  parents go to work early. I’d come in early and find kids on the sidewalk and hanging on the chain-link fence, waiting for the schoolyard and school building to
  open at 7:30 for breakfast. You really can’t have that. You’ve got to provide these kids with a safe, supervised place.”
                                                                                                                                                         LA’S BEST        51

LA’s BEST Budget: Fiscal Year 2003-04
Funding Source                                 # Students     # Schools    Projected LAUSD    Projected LA’s BEST     Total Projected        Revenues          Variance
                                                  (Funded        (Sites          Operations             Corporate       Expenditures         Confirmed
                                                    Slots)   Supported)        Expenditures          Expenditures
9 State After-school Grants                      8,127             65     $ 7,372,093            $ 917,855          $ 8,473,818         $ 7,687,680         -786,138
City of Los Angeles Community
Development Block Grant                          4,400             23       3,838,646               432,000          4,270,646           4,000,000          -270,646
City of Los Angeles
General Purposes
(Mayor’s Discretionary Funds)                       500              0        574,110                          0        574,110            574,110                   0
2 U.S. Department of Justice Grants              2,800             16       2,629,334               136,279          2,765,613           2,765,613                   0
Federal 21st Century Community
Learning Center Grant                            1,135               9      1,143,630               125,217          1,268,847           1,260,545            -8,302
Private Donations (individuals,
corporations, foundations)                          371              1      1,579,114               279,150          1,858,264           1,301,000          -557,264
Sub-Total                                          17,333         114      $ 17,320,797           $ 1,890,501        $ 19,211,298        $ 17,588,948     -$ 1,622,350
Restricted Enhancements (for donor-
designated purposes, e.g., arts, literacy, etc.)                                                                     1,638,795           1,638,795                   0
In-Kind Supports (Chiefly lunches, bussing.)                                                                         2,673,000           2,673,000                   0
Total                                                                                                                $ 23,523,093        $ 21,900,743     -$ 1,622,350
Contingency/Reserve for 2004-05 — Corporate                                                                                                                  -200,00
Contingency/Reserve for 2004-05 — LAUSD Opns Off                                                                                                          -1,716,025
Carry-Forward from 2002-03                                                                                                                                1,627,527
To Be Raised                                                                                                                                              -$ 1,910,848

Note: This budget does not include LAUSD contributions of school buildings, utilities, parking, and security.

programs or performing arts) and $2.7                            LA’s BEST then adds certain contin-                Justice Department funds.)
million reflects the value of in-kind contri-                 gency reserves for its Corporate and                     This budget covers LA’s BEST opera-
butions, mainly food and busing. Total                        LAUSD offices and an offset of $1.6 mil-              tions in 114 schools for 17,333 funded
resources needed for the year thus add up                     lion carried forward from the previous                slots. By that reckoning, the total annual
to $23.5 million.                                             year, netting a total of $1.9 million still           cost per funded slot is $1,357 per year.
   The anticipated revenues from the                          to be raised. Sanger was optimistic that              (Actually, as noted earlier, more than
range of indicated sources leave a gap of                     these gaps could be filled by fundraising             19,000 young people are served by the
$1.6 million due to grant receipts, mostly                    in the 2003-04 fiscal year. (In the 2004-             program, in part because of over-enrolling
from government programs, that were                           05 fiscal year, LA’s BEST will also have to           to keep average daily attendance at
lower than the amounts requested.                             absorb a cut of $1.7 million in its U.S.              required levels in the funded slots.) That

amount provides service for program                  tracted with the UCLA Center for the                              The enrichment activities of LA’s BEST engender support
hours of 2:30 to 6 p.m. for each of the              Study of Evaluation (UCLA/CSE) early on                           from the children, teachers, and parents.
weighted average3 of 217 days school is in           to study the effects of the program.
session. (LA’s BEST also covers an extra                Since 1990, UCLA/CSE has conducted                              The report emphasized that “higher
hour on Tuesdays, when most schools                  six formal evaluations of the LA’s BEST                         participation was significantly related to
close early for teacher meetings; it does            program. In June 2000, the center released                      positive achievement on standardized tests
not, however, offer its programs on days             the results of its most complete and tech-                      of mathematics, reading, and language
when schools are not in session but most             nical evaluation of the LA’s BEST program                       arts, when the influence of gender, ethnic-
parents are working. Sanger acknowledges             to date.4 This report summarized the                            ity, income, and language status was con-
that this is an unmet need that is not               results of the five previous evaluations as                     trolled.” Higher levels of attendance in
within the scope of LA’s BEST.)                      well as new achievement data for 20,000                         LA’s BEST was also related to better sub-
   The $1,357 per student slot includes              elementary-school students in 24 schools                        sequent school attendance. In addition,
transportation, snacks, and other bud-               over a seven-year period — one of the                           LA’s BEST students showed higher “redes-
geted in-kind costs, but not the use of the          nation’s most comprehensive studies of the                      ignation rates” from English language
school buildings, parking lots, security,            academic and other impacts of an after-                         deficiency to competency and lower
etc., which are provided by LAUSD                    school program in the nation. In sum, the                       absenteeism. The evaluators stressed:
and estimated at $23 million per year.               report cited six general findings comparing
Total administrative costs of both LA’s              LA’s BEST enrollees with comparable stu-                          The fact that we can detect any change
BEST Corporate Office and LAUSD are                  dents who were not enrolled:                                      on standardized achievement measures
11.63 percent of the full budget.                                                                                      in itself is notable, for most educational
                                                        Children felt safer after school. Parents felt their chil-     interventions are unable to show impact
                                                        dren were safer after school.                                  on measures not tightly tied to the cur-
Evaluating the Impact                                                                                                  riculum, or on follow-up achievement
                                                        Children in LA’s BEST liked school more, were more
on Students                                             engaged in school, and have higher expectations of them-       after a particular program is over.
                                                        selves and greater motivation and enthusiasm for school.
FROM ITS INCEPTION IN 1988, LA’s BEST                   Positive relations between adults and children were well
knew that accountability would be                       established in LA’s BEST programs.
demanded of it, not only in terms of pro-
                                                        Children in LA’s BEST reported higher aspirations
viding a safe place for children to spend
                                                        regarding finishing school and going to college.
after-school hours or of the satisfaction of
students and parents with the program, but              Students improve academically while involved in LA’s
                                                        BEST programs, and the higher their degree of partici-
also in terms of academic motivation and
                                                        pation, the greater their improvement.
achievement. Accordingly, LA’s BEST con-

3 Because of crowding, about 200 L.A. schools run year-round with students attending three out of four sessions, A, B, C, and D, with one session “off” at any
  one time. Thus, the “217 school days” cited above is a weighted average; some schools are open 183 days while others with four tracks may be open as many
  as 246 days. Students who are “off” for a particular term can nonetheless attend the after-school program.
4 Huang, et al, op. cit. Full report available in pdf format from
                                                                                                                         LA’S BEST       53

  “…If the economic environments where these children live do not change, what
  can be done to continue making a difference in their lives?…LA’s BEST program
  is one answer.”

Challenges and the Future                        A politically experienced local business    [E]conomically poor families are exactly
                                              leader who chairs a city commission on         the families whose children participate
BEYOND THE CONTINUING CHALLENGE of            children and families identifies the major     in LA’s BEST. That the conditions of
“keeping the bureaucratic culture at bay”     challenge to and strength of LA’s BEST:        poverty described in the early evaluation
and maintaining creativity and energy,                                                       reports have worsened, rather than
those involved with LA’s BEST cite several      It’s very well run and Carla does a great    improved, suggests that the rationale for
challenges and future goals. Sanger says,       job. The only real potential Achilles’       LA’s BEST and its programs are even
                                                heel is money. It needs to expand, both      more important and necessary today
  We have good relationships with the           school-wise and coverage within each         than they were…when LA’s BEST was
  school unions at present, and that            school; but you know from the news           founded.
  requires constant massaging. That rela-       that California is strapped, and that rip-      And that leaves us then with the fol-
  tionship could change. After-school pro-      ples down to the localities. If we ever      lowing questions: If the economic envi-
  gramming has been on a wave of public         get to the trigger-points in Proposition     ronments where these children live do
  attention and support in recent years,        49 — substantial surpluses — that’ll         not change, what can be done to con-
  but waves peak and decline, and that          help. But we have a lot of financial         tinue making a difference in their lives?
  could happen to us as new ‘good things’       problems to get over before then, and        What can be done to keep these children
  emerge and claim public attention and         LA’s BEST could always be hurt.              safe, to keep them engaged in school, to
  support.                                          But while LA’s BEST is good, it’s not    keep them in contact with positive adult
     My goal for LA’s BEST five years           so much that it’s led a charmed life as it   role models, to keep parents connected
  from now? I’d like to be running in           has had and generated the right kind of      to schools and their children, to keep
  150 schools out of the 200 or so that         political support over several different     these children developing and growing
  are eligible by our eligibility criteria,     mayors, who gave it cover and support        in positive ways, to keep their academic
  [which are] mainly that 70 percent of the     and assumed its goals as their own.          achievement moving upward? According
  student body is on subsidized lunches.        There’s a big constituency out there for     to these past evaluations, continuing to
                                                after-school programming, and LA’s           expand and develop [the] LA’s BEST
  Loxton agrees, but notches the num-           BEST has become something of a sacred        program is one answer.
bers up:                                        cow that no one wants to touch. Every-
                                                body ‘gets it’ about LA’s BEST. All
  We’d eventually like to be in all 200-        major forces agree on supporting it.
  plus elementary schools that meet our
  eligibility criteria, and also to deepen      The evaluators from UCLA conclude
  our coverage in each school so that we      with a broader and more somber theme:
  don’t have waiting lists.
Photographs courtesy of After School Matters.
                                                                                                                          AFTER SCHOOL MATTERS              55

After School Matters (ASM)

                                                      action. A drawn-out planning process just             same idea would be useful for high
                                                      isn’t our style.” Instead of organizing a             schoolers of all sorts, including those

     F THERE WERE A TEXTBOOK       for                leadership team among already-friendly                whose interests and talents lay in fields
     launching a new public-private initia-           agencies with collaborative backgrounds,              other than the arts. With strong support
     tive in after-school services (or in any         it enlisted three city departments with               from her husband, the mayor, Mrs. Daley
other young and comparatively unorgan-                histories of mutual rivalry and fiercely              set out to complete the Gallery 37 vision
ized field), it would no doubt offer pru-             guarded independence (two of them even                with additional programs like Tech 37, for
dent advice like: Take time to plan all the           have their own, separate governing boards             budding programmers and Web designers;
early moves before you start. Tackle the              and funding authorities). Instead of set-             Sports 37 for aspiring day-camp coun-
easier tasks and manageable problems                  ting up relatively simple, low-cost activity          selors, lifeguards, and coaches’ aides; and
first. Build on activity already under way.           like homework help or pick-up ball                    later Words 37, for budding storytellers,
And start forming partnerships with                   games, After School Matters created paid              broadcasters, journalists, and communica-
organizations that already have some his-             apprenticeships, in which students learn              tors of all sorts.1
tory of working together. In short, to                from master practitioners, draw a small                  Taken together, in Mrs. Daley’s vision,
borrow some management clichés of the                 weekly stipend, and develop marketable                these programs or some variation on
moment: Map your strategy and harvest                 skills that can lead directly to summer or            them should be available to as many as
the “low-hanging fruit” first. If there were          part-time jobs.                                       half the city’s high school students by
such a textbook for after-school pro-                    One piece of conventional advice did               2007. After School Matters would
grams, it probably wouldn’t have sold                 apply in Chicago: After School Matters                achieve that goal first by marshalling the
well in Chicago.                                      started with something that was already               forces of — at a minimum — the city’s
   Instead, Chicago’s newest and most                 working, and built from there. The prece-             three most relevant bureaucracies: the
ambitious after-school program, called                dent, by then roughly a decade old, was a             Park District, the Chicago Public
After School Matters (ASM), seemed to                 summer and after-school arts program                  Schools, and the library system. It would
start by going deliberately after the high-           called Gallery 37 (named for an undevel-              meanwhile enlist help from nonprofit
est and rarest fruit first, guided by only            oped downtown lot, designated Block 37,               organizations around Chicago to imple-
the sketchiest of maps. Instead of starting           where the program held its early programs             ment, expand, and adapt the basic model.
with young children, who are generally                under a tent). The success of Gallery 37                 But apart from building on the
considered easier to recruit and retain in            had grown from a single day camp for                  strength of Gallery 37, and growing from
after-school programs, the Chicagoans                 teenage artists to a large, nationally                a few initial high schools to a wide cross-
focused on teenagers. Instead of starting             acclaimed network of master classes and               section of the city, the creation of After
with a year or so of planning and team-               academies in up to 40 schools around the              School Matters has seemed less like a case
building, which some potential funders                city. Maggie Daley, the wife of Mayor                 of cautious incrementalism than some-
encouraged, ASM’s founding chair, Mag-                Richard M. Daley, was a founder of                    thing more like a Big Bang. For example,
gie Daley, says “we went straight into                Gallery 37, and was fairly sure that the              to carry out such an ambitious and

1 The After School Matters programs and their history are described in much greater detail in a related publication, “No Idle Hours: Making After-School Time
  Productive and Fun for Chicago Teenagers,” 2002, available from The After School Project, 180 West 80th Street, Second Floor, New York, NY, 10024, or at

diverse program, Mayor and Mrs. Daley          School Matters to reach every high school      historical animosity dating back many
set up After School Matters as a whole         in the city, even in the long run. “There      years.…‘Your school kids disrupt my parks
new nonprofit organization that is not         are many high schools in Chicago that          and libraries,’ ‘your libraries don’t serve my
just a funding intermediary or source of       have great programs for teens after            students,’ ‘your programs aren’t run well
technical assistance, but the direct           school,” says Executive Director Nancy         enough to use my facilities,’ all the Balka-
provider of most of the initial programs.      Neir Wachs. “We’re not the only ones           nization and rivalry you’d expect from
At the time this is written, in its fourth     doing anything for teens. There are some       longstanding bureaucracies with separate
year of operation, After School Matters        excellent programs in some places. But         professional credentials, separate unions,
runs programs — either directly or with        we are the only ones with regular after-       separate missions, separate ways of doing
nonprofit groups — in 24 of the city’s         school activities for teens in the most        business.” Although Mayor Daley gained
95 high schools, each of which offers the      underserved schools. And those are the         effective control of the Chicago Public
whole menu of apprenticeships plus a           first schools where we made it a point to      Schools in 1995, the school board and the
more loosely structured recreation pro-        be involved.”                                  Park District board retain many hallmarks
gram, called Club 37. Unlike the appren-          Apprenticeships at most locations are       of legal autonomy, including separate rev-
ticeships, the clubs let students drop in      limited to not many more than 100 stu-         enue streams, labor contracts, and internal
anytime for activities with adult supervi-     dents — 20 each in the arts, technology,       management structures. On paper, only
sion and coaching, but with no stipends        communications, lifeguarding, and general      the library system answers directly to the
and no requirements.                           sports — plus another 30, on average, in       mayor, though in reality none of them can
   From a pilot launch in six schools,         any given day’s club session. The total        do much without his approval.
beginning in the 2000-01 school year,          amounts to just over 10 percent of the            To unite these traditional rivals into a
After School Matters had spread to 18          total enrollment of the average participat-    single coherent program, Mayor and Mrs.
schools by the end of 2002-03. (Given its      ing high school. Overall, the apprentice-      Daley turned to one of the city’s top-
ten-year head start, Gallery 37 was then       ships serve about 3,300 students a             ranking public officials, B.J. Walker.
operating on its own in roughly a dozen        semester, plus another 3,600 or so in clubs.   With the official title “chief of human
other places.) As this report is written, in                                                  infrastructure,” Ms. Walker is the mayor’s
the fall semester of 2003-04, the full ros-                                                   coordinator of city programs dealing with
ter of clubs and apprenticeships is run-       Structure and Start-up                         youth, poverty, housing, and human serv-
ning three days a week in 24 schools,                                                         ices. The head of one city agency
with a projected expansion to 48 — just        AT ITS HEART, After School Matters is built    described her role this way: “On human
under half of all Chicago public high          on a three-way collaboration among the         service issues, when you’re dealing with
schools — by the end of the 2006-07            schools, parks, and libraries. This seemed     B.J., you’re dealing with the mayor —
academic year, three years from the date       at first, to many insiders, like an improba-   except that she’s the part of the mayor
of this publication.                           ble alliance. The three bureaucracies share,   that’s always paying attention to you.” To
   It is not necessarily a goal for After      as an executive of one of them put it, “a      forge an alliance among the schools,
                                                                                                         AFTER SCHOOL MATTERS         57

  At its heart, After School Matters is built on a three-way collaboration among
  the schools, parks, and libraries.

                                                                                             of communities and among the partici-
                                                                                             pating agencies, officials, and organiza-
                                                                                             tions in each place — to visit often,
                                                                                             anticipate problems, and view the pro-
                                                                                             gram in its totality — than to be masters
                                                                                             of a given technical skill.
                                                                                                That will become increasingly impor-
                                                                                             tant in ASM’s next phase of growth, in
                                                                                             which more (and often smaller) nonprofit
                                                                                             community organizations will take
parks, and libraries, Ms. Walker devoted       and job opportunities for that branch of      responsibility for much of the expansion
roughly one-third of her time for more         activity — as well as school and commu-       to new sites and new branches of activity.
than a year, working the phones and the        nity liaison, quality control, and all-       In the early years, After School Matters
city e-mail networks, personally talking       around troubleshooting — at each of the       struck working partnerships mainly with
wary principals and park officials into        six, then 12, then 18 pilot sites.            nonprofits they called “teaching organiza-
cooperating with the program, navigating          Not surprisingly, by the second or         tions,” groups that had expertise in a
around liability issues and other logistical   third year, the workload for these coordi-    given branch of activity like arts, video
roadblocks, and occasionally arm-              nators became nearly impossible. Not          production, or athletics. In the next
wrestling the more recalcitrant employees      only were there too many far-flung sites      phase, which is just beginning as this is
and middle managers, until the program         for each person to cover — programs           written, many more nonprofit partici-
came together in 2000.                         were going on in neighborhoods across         pants will be chosen not necessarily for
   While Ms. Walker and the mayor were         all of Chicago’s 227 square miles, an area    any given expertise, but for their connec-
lining up the city bureaucracy, Mrs.           more than four times the size of Boston       tions to particular neighborhoods and
Daley and a newly recruited staff were         — but increasingly the challenges had         their ability to marshal resources, recruit
organizing After School Matters as a new       less to do with mastery of a given disci-     students and instructors, and plan inter-
nonprofit, modeled partly on Gallery 37.       pline, and more to do with managing           esting activities in those communities.
For the first few years, After School Mat-     general operational problems site-by-site,    Says Executive Director Nancy Wachs,
ters took shape around four program            community-by-community, and bureau-           “We now see our regional directors not
themes: arts, tech, sports, and lifeguard-     cracy-by-bureaucracy. Eventually, After       only working with our programs in the
ing. The fifth, communications, was            School Matters decided that the coordi-       schools, but getting very familiar with
added two years later. Within After            nation work needed to be organized by         their community, knowing the CBOs that
School Matters, each of these themes had       region, rather than discipline. As the pro-   are doing interesting things and that want
a program director coordinating the staff      gram grew, it became more important for       to partner with teens. So number one,
recruitment, curriculum development,           staff to build relationships in a given set   they develop those relationships, and then

     Working with more community groups will relieve ASM of some of the burden of
     directly replicating its program school-by-school, and may provide opportunities
     to expand the apprenticeship menu to new areas of activity…

we look to see whether we can provide         provided a big part of the
                                                                                         ASM Sources of Funding
some funding and technical assistance to      answer to two of these chal-
                                                                                         3 Core Agencies
some of these groups as an intermediary.”     lenges: facilities and a substan-                  43%
   Working with more community groups         tial amount of the funding. As
will relieve ASM of some of the burden        for the third, the newly cre-
of directly replicating its program school-   ated nonprofit organization
                                                                                                                                        Other Public
by-school, and may provide opportunities      started out by assembling a                                                                   Funds
to expand the apprenticeship menu to          curriculum, recruiting tal-                                                                    28%

new areas of activity (horticulture, con-     ented, driven instructors,
struction, and health care are being dis-     training them, and working                                    Private
cussed, for example). But it will also        with them to design individ-                                    29%

mean overseeing many more contracts,          ual apprenticeships that would
building management relationships with        make the most of their talents and those                total budget close to $18 million, roughly
small nonprofit contractors whose back-       of the students.                                        $8 million came from the school, park,
office capacity may be weak, and serving         As the program took shape, virtually all and library systems. Some $5.5 million
as a large contracting intermediary with      its activities were in facilities controlled            came from private sources, including a
all the complications involved in disburs-    by one of the three city agencies — pri-                giant annual fundraising event at Soldier
ing and accounting for payments of gov-       marily schools and parks — and a major- Field that in 2003 brought in more than
ernment money to multiple third parties.      ity of its funding came from those                      $3 million in one stroke. The remainder
The advantages and pitfalls of this next      agencies as well. Virtually all activity took was a blend of various public sources fun-
phase of growth will be the subject of a      place in city-owned facilities until 2003,              neled through a handful of city agencies,
later discussion.                             when some 30 community-based organi- including the Mayor’s Office of Work-
                                              zations began offering programs in facili- force Development, the Chicago Depart-
                                              ties of their own. Thanks to an escalating ment of Human Services, and the federal
Facilities, Faculty, and Funding              effort in private fundraising, as well as               Empowerment Zone. In short, the offi-
                                              more diverse sources of public funding,                 cial support of the Daley Administration
THE MAIN CHALLENGES to building any           the three core agencies now provide                     accounts, at the time this is written, for
large-scale after-school program include      about 43 percent of the total budget. But more than 70 percent of the After School
finding facilities with enough space, find-   After School Matters remains overwhelm- Matters budget and nearly 100 percent of
ing good instructors who are knowledge-       ingly a creature of city funding, real                  its facilities.
able and effective with kids, and finding     estate, and materiel, and thus to a consid-                More than half of the contribution
the money to pay for it all. With the         erable degree an expression of the original from the three core agencies is in-kind.
launching of After School Matters, the        three-agency partnership.                               The school system, for example, desig-
city’s three-way bureaucratic partnership        In the 2003-04 fiscal year, with ASM’s nates an after-school administrator
                                                                                                            AFTER SCHOOL MATTERS          59

  The goal is to give students an experience that contrasts sharply with the normal
  school day — a chance to interact with adults who are more at home in the
  workplace than in the classroom.

(usually an assistant principal) at each       facilities, for the time and effort of          cal. The goal is to give students an experi-
site, and provides engineers, security, cus-   department executives and middle-man-           ence that contrasts sharply with the nor-
todians, and program liaisons from its         agers, or for the occasional resource that a    mal school day — a chance to interact
regular payroll. Some transportation and       given school, park, or library might pro-       with adults who are more at home in the
supplies also come in-kind from the            vide ad-hoc, simply because it’s needed at      workplace than in the classroom.
school system. The Park District desig-        the moment. Including these extra items
nates a total of 13 employees, including       would make the budgeting more specula-
park coordinators, lifeguards, and life-       tive, but it would also show an even            Scope and Reach
guard instructors, to staff After School       greater economic contribution from the
Matters programs at 24 sites. But these        three original agencies than the current        GIVEN THE COMPLEXITY of the apprentice-
contributions, amounting to more than          numbers reflect.                                ship model — the need to recruit students
$4 million, don’t represent all of the in-        If funding and facilities for After School   of widely varying interests and personali-
kind value that After School Matters           Matters are overwhelmingly contributed          ties, to offer a menu of programs that
receives from the school, park, and            by city agencies and programs, the third        appeals to all of them, to sign up master
library systems. For example, there is no      basic requirement of an after-school sys-       practitioners from the arts, sports, and
allowance for the cost or depreciation of      tem — talented, committed adults —              private industry to act as instructors, and
                                               comes mainly from outside of govern-            most of all to smooth out the many ten-
                                               ment. Only a handful of ASM’s instruc-          sions among the three participating
                                               tors are public school teachers or park         bureaucracies — it was essential to start
                                               employees. Most are artists, coaches, tech      small and get a few working prototypes
                                               professionals, or people otherwise working      to prove this could succeed. In that light,
                                               in the fields in which they lead after-         it is perhaps not remarkable that, midway
                                               school activities. (Apprenticeships are typi-   through After School Matters’ fourth
                                               cally led by one of these professionals and     academic year, the clubs and apprentice-
                                               a teaching assistant, though some have two      ships enroll at any one time roughly
                                               co-leaders.) They may be recruited directly     6 percent of the total high school popula-
                                               by After School Matters, by a nonprofit         tion in the Chicago Public Schools. But
                                               “teaching organization” or, increasingly, by    over the course of the first four years, that
                                               other community-based organizations run-        has meant that a total of 24,000 teens
                                               ning programs. At $18-$30 an hour for           have been served by the program at one
                                               instructors and $12-$17 for assistants,         time or another. Seen that way, a goal of
                                               these adults are paid less than a typical       reaching half the high school student body
                                               teacher, but the purpose of recruiting from     — around 50,000 students — seems not
                                               outside the city workforce isn’t mainly fis-    so remote.

   The pace of expansion continues to                                                                            fronted After School Matters’ small staff
accelerate as After School Matters extends                                                                       with an enormous management chal-
to more schools, more contracts, more                                                                            lenge: the prospect of a much wider pro-
sources of public funds, and more varia-                                                                         gram, with more partners and models,
tions on the current menu of apprentice-                                                                         more fiscal and regulatory obligations,
ships. A series of high-level meetings in                                                                        and more contracts in more locations
mid-2003, launched by Mayor and Mrs.                                                                             than ever before. Some of the new fund-
Daley, significantly increased the rate of                                                                       ing will give ASM additional manage-
expansion, not least by causing the redi-                                                                        ment and administrative staff to support
rection of some workforce and youth                                                                              these new responsibilities. But that means
development funding toward After School                                                                          training and deploying perhaps a dozen
Matters. One example: a portion of the                                                                           new employees in a short period — a
city’s allocation under the federal Work-                                                                        33 percent jump in staffing in only a few
force Investment Act (WIA) will fund                    number and kind of nonprofit groups that                 months. Planning and hiring for this
three or four new apprenticeship pro-                   participate in the program.                              expansion are under way as this report is
grams, beginning in the spring semester of                 The size and pace of these budget shifts              being written.
2004. But WIA grants come at a price: a                 have had three immediate effects on After
body of new requirements that are specific              School Matters: First, they have provided
to those funds — for example, enrolling a               a new circle of organizational alliances                 Enrollment and Costs
given number of teenagers in programs                   and funding agreements with city agencies
that confer a work-related credential.                  and neighborhood nonprofits — a poten-                   IN THE MEANTIME, in the second semester
   In another case, the city redirected some            tially useful set of working relationships               of the 2003-04 school year, After School
of its youth development budget to ASM                  for a new program with no statutory                      Matters had apprenticeship slots available
— money that previously went to a net-                  claim to funds or authority of its own.                  for 4,100 students, of whom 68 percent,
work of community-based referral agencies               Second, besides providing new dollars, the               or about 2,800, were present on an aver-
for youth. In the mayor’s plan, this $1.2               changes enlist more frontline forces with                age day. It cost about $7.1 million to run
million reallocation will still go to neigh-            which to expand the program — espe-                      these programs for the full year — not
borhood groups, since After School Mat-                 cially neighborhood groups, which are                    including the cost of stipends paid to par-
ters immediately began soliciting proposals             expected to help in recruiting students                  ticipating students (more on that in a
from such groups to run apprenticeships                 and instructors, designing curricula, and                moment). This total includes both cash
and other after-school programs with the                gauging parents’ and students’ needs.                    expenditures — mainly salaries and con-
money. The result will therefore be not                    The third effect of expanded funding                  tract payments to nonprofit groups, plus
only an expansion of ASM’s apprentice-                  and a widening mandate may be more                       ASM’s costs of recruitment, management,
ships, but also a substantial growth in the             worrisome. The sudden growth has con-                    and overhead — and in-kind contributions

2 This is a rough approximation, and probably a slight underestimate. The reason is that ASM is expanding rapidly, semester by semester. The enrollment in the
  second semester of any given year is therefore larger than in the first semester. Yet the total expenditure of $7.1 million covers the entire year — including the
  first half, when the number of participants was smaller.
                                                                                                           AFTER SCHOOL MATTERS        61

  …as the program approaches a point where the neediest neighborhoods are being
  served, or will be soon, the question of breadth vs. depth becomes more pressing…

from city agencies at the school level, like   an average day and 11,000 to 12,000             After School Matters doesn’t become a
supplies, transportation, custodial staff,     over the course of a year, these programs       program solely for the needy? Or would it
and so on. It does not include time spent      cost between $350 and $1,000 per stu-           be best to try to reach more teens in the
by city managers (from principals on up)       dent per year, depending on how one             current schools, some of which have long
or the capital costs of school, park, and      estimates the number of students.               waiting lists to participate?
library facilities. With those assumptions,                                                       One way of approaching those ques-
ASM estimates the annual cost of appren-                                                       tions would be to compare the costs of
ticeships at around $1,740 per available
                                               Broad vs. Deep                                  the two alternatives. The comparison
slot.2                                                                                         doesn’t yield a decisive answer, but it
   The apprenticeship stipends, by far the     IF THE GOAL is to bring after-school            illustrates the factors that After School
most unusual feature of the After School       opportunities to half the city’s high           Matters will have to weigh as it considers
Matters programs, add another $3.2 mil-        schoolers, there are several possible ways to   each option. It costs about $113,000 a
lion to the total. Apprentices are paid a      go about it. One is to bring the program        semester, not including stipends, to oper-
maximum of $45 a week ($15 per ses-            to more schools, as ASM is now doing.           ate the full menu of After School Matters
sion, three times a week) for 10 weeks a       Another is to enroll more students in each      programs, including five apprenticeships
semester, meaning that each participant,       school. As a first priority, the program has    and a club, at any given school (see graph
by enrolling for two semesters and             concentrated on reaching schools in the         below for a breakdown of the total). Of
attending every session, could earn up to      least well-served neighborhoods — places        that $113,000, roughly half goes for
$900 a year. In reality, though, stipends      where other after-school activity is com-       instructors and supplies. Those are costs
end up costing less than 90 percent of         paratively rare, and where the program’s        that would increase in direct proportion
that amount because of unfilled slots,         paid apprenticeships and work opportuni-        to the number of participating students,
dropouts, and occasional absences. On          ties might supplement a weak job market.        almost regardless of whether students are
average, the stipends bring the total per-     So long as there were still neighborhoods       added at the same school or at a new one.
student cost of an ASM apprenticeship to       meeting that profile where ASM had not          But other costs — say, for school custodi-
$2,520 a year.                                 yet begun work, expanding to those new          ans, engineers, security, and liaisons, or
   Club programs, which pay no stipends        locations was the first priority. But as the    perhaps for some administration and
and have no attendance requirements,           program approaches a point where the            marketing — might be more elastic.
cost considerably less: just over $4 mil-      neediest neighborhoods are being served,        Already, the money being spent on facil-
lion in the 2003-04 school year. Estimat-      or will be soon, the question of breadth vs.    ity-related items like custodial and
ing a per-student cost for clubs is mostly     depth becomes more pressing: Is it more         engineering services is benefiting other
guesswork, since attendance varies widely      useful to continue extending the clubs and      activities beyond After School Matters,
from day to day and students are free to       apprenticeships into other areas, including     since some schools have other activities of
drop in and out as they please. Still, using   better-served neighborhoods — which             their own going on during the same hours.
a rough estimate of 3,600 attendees on         would ensure, among other things, that          Covering an additional apprenticeship

program or two in the same building                  expansion. Gyms and computer labs             neighborhoods that most need them.
would probably pose no extra cost in                 pose particular limits, given that they are      A second complicating factor is that
those budget lines. Nor might there be               expensive or impossible to enlarge and        students’ enthusiasm for after-school
additional marketing costs, especially if            in many cases are already being used to       apprenticeships may not necessarily corre-
the school already has a waiting list. By            maximum capacity. But auditoriums,            spond to the particular activities available
contrast, opening a program in a new                 art rooms, and other specially equipped       at their school. Expanding the menu of
school would mean raising the full                   spaces can be just as limiting. Depending     possible subjects — construction, horti-
$113,000, in cash or in-kind, for a com-             on the kinds of activity students want and    culture, and health care are under discus-
plete new operation.                                 the configuration of any given school,        sion — is one obvious solution. But that
   That is not, by itself, an argument for           there may not always be enough space,         will mean reaching out to adults in new
aiming at larger programs instead of more            or the right kind of space, to accommo-       fields, developing new curricula, and
schools. And in fact, reaching more stu-             date the demand. This may be solved,          stocking up on new kinds of equipment
dents at current schools is not nearly as            over time, if community nonprofit groups      and supplies. All of that is manageable,
simple as it might seem. First, even when            begin to offer additional space for some      and the After School Matters staff is
student demand for more apprenticeships              activities. But if that happens, there        enthusiastic about it. In fact, the decision
and clubs is strong, not all sites have              will still be no way of ensuring that the     to organize the staff around geographic
enough space or the right facilities for an          right kind of facilities turn up in the       regions was intended partly to make it
                                                                                                   easier for managers to tailor programs for
                                                                                                   each school, and to adjust the mix as the
      Costs Per School, Not Including Stipends
                                                                                                   students’ interests change. But even so,
                                                                                                   designing and launching apprenticeships
                                                                                                   in new subject areas poses another layer
                                                                                                   of administrative cost and complexity on
                 $51,900                                                                           top of the already heavy demands on a
                                                                               School personnel,   growing organization.
                                                                                     $38,928          A third element of the broad-vs.-deep
                                                                                                   discussion is whether significantly more
                                                                                                   students in each community will really
                                                                                                   want (or be able) to participate in a fixed,
                $3,125                                                                             three-day-a-week regimen. “There may be
                                                           Transportation, school supplies,        a natural limit” to the possible appren-
       ASM Administration,
             $1,250                                        school liaisons,                        ticeship enrollment in each school, says
                                Marketing,   Supplies,     $9,780
                                $3,408       $4,650                                                ASM Associate Director Marisa Gonzales
                                                                                                   Silverstein. “At some point, you run out
                                                                                                             AFTER SCHOOL MATTERS           63

of teens who can commit to a regular
schedule and show up consistently. They
may really want the apprenticeship, but
when it comes time to make the commit-
ment, sometimes they find they can’t.
There are kids who have other things
they have to do after school, including
child care and work.” Expanding club
activities would be the easiest way of
reaching more students without con-
fronting this problem, but especially in
the winter, that puts additional demand
on gyms and park clubhouses, which may
already be in full use.
   To wrestle with these issues, and to test
how much the program could expand in
current schools, After School Matters
plans a “saturation” pilot beginning in the
spring semester of 2004. At three schools,
apprenticeship options will be expanded to
nine per site instead of five, creating space
for up to 80 more students. Experience in
those three schools will help After School
Matters determine whether expansion
should go deep as well as broad, and if so,
how deep it could go in any given school.
                                                been propelled largely by the power of the      expand, and the distance it still needs to
                                                Daleys’ vision and official sponsorship, as     travel to reach its goal of serving half the
Sustainability:                                 well as the ability of mayoral aide B.J.        teenagers in Chicago, mean that After
Envisioning the Future                          Walker to line up huge city agencies and        School Matters will need not just to main-
                                                their resources behind the project. At this     tain its current base of support, both politi-
ALTHOUGH ITS GROWTH has been fast and           stage, there is no reason to doubt that these   cal and financial, but enlarge it considerably.
ambitious, After School Matters is still a      advantages will continue. Yet the rate and         A significantly expanded apprenticeship
young organization. Its momentum has            scope at which the program plans to             program means not only raising more
64          CHICAGO

money, but also operating in more com-                        hoods, the arrival of a large, fast-growing    generally strong throughout the city, surely
munities, with more public and private                        new organization with powerful backers         rubs off to some extent on an organization
organizations, more city officials, and more                  and a multimillion-dollar budget may pro-      that they created and publicly endorse.
marketing and outreach to more kinds of                       voke some anxieties, even resentments,         Even so, the staff still needs to scramble, in
students. Each expansion to new neighbor-                     among smaller community organizations.         each new neighborhood, to establish its
hoods means serving a slightly different                         After School Matters has assets to coun-    bona fides as a reliable partner in the com-
profile of teenagers and families; forming a                  teract some of that resistance. For one        munity, not a competing force. For that
new set of working relationships with                         thing, parents in virtually any neighbor-      purpose, doing business directly with local
school, park, and library personnel; and                      hood react favorably to new after-school       organizations can’t hurt.
navigating a new and unfamiliar terrain of                    opportunities, and there is no reason to          Operating more of the program
neighborhood interests, leaders, opportuni-                   believe ASM is an exception. And the           through contracts with neighborhood
ties, and problems. In some neighbor-                         political popularity of the Daleys, which is   nonprofits therefore has a triple advantage:

                         Projected ASM Growth, 2004-07
                         60                                                                                                              8000
                                        Schools                                                                                          6000
                         30                                                                                                              4000

                                                                                                                                                Number of Apprentices
     Number of Schools

                          0                                                                                                              0
                                 Fall             Spring   Fall       Spring         Fall        Spring        Fall         Spring
                                 '03               '04     '04         '05           '05          '06          '06           '07
                                                                                                                            AFTER SCHOOL MATTERS       65

  …as After School Matters draws money from more and more sources, the demand
  for performance and outcome measurements will surely increase proportionally.

  It makes possible a major expansion of the program with-      basic respects — gender, ethnicity, and age     tions largely because of its swift expan-
  out a proportional increase in ASM’s central organization.    — to the overall student body of their          sion, widening networks of operation and
  It draws leadership from organizations that have a            schools. More substantively, Chapin Hall        funding, and a growing national reputa-
  unique knowledge of each area’s teens, the available          has found that the apprentices genuinely        tion. That can bring pressure and stress
  adult talent, and the usable facilities. And:                 like the experience and feel that it meets      to any organization, but it can also be
  It builds political goodwill and a supportive constituency
                                                                their expectations: 90 percent say that         exhilarating. “We’re going to learn a lot
  that are essential if After School Matters is to prove        instructors helped them learn new skills;       about how to do this,” says Associate
  itself as a truly citywide effort and not just a project of   75 percent report that instructors held         Director Marisa Gonzales Silverstein,
  the city’s downtown leadership.                               their interest; 81 percent credit instructors   speaking of the planned expansion in
                                                                with encouraging them and making them           2004. “We’re dealing with just a ton of
                                                                feel comfortable in the activity they were      change and growth. But it’s leading to
Evaluation                                                      practicing. Satisfaction levels seem rela-      something potentially really important.
                                                                tively consistent across all the various        And knowing that gives you a little extra
ALONG WITH BUILDING A CRITICAL MASS                             kinds of apprenticeships.                       momentum for getting the job done.”
of political, financial, and neighborhood                          This constitutes fairly basic information,
support, the final element in making ASM                        as evaluations go, though it is expected to
a lasting, secure program will be evalua-                       grow richer as the program matures and
tion. On that front, the basic work is still                    data begin to accumulate for more schools
under way, and it may be several years                          over more semesters. Meanwhile, though,
before firm conclusions can be reached.                         as After School Matters draws money from
Researchers at the Chapin Hall Center for                       more and more sources, the demand for
Children at the University of Chicago                           performance and outcome measurements
have been collecting data on applicants                         will surely increase proportionally. Work-
and participants in After School Matters                        force and youth-employment programs, for
programs, as well as on other students in                       example, will want information not only
the same schools, to learn how they spend                       on students’ satisfaction, but also on the
their out-of-school time, the degree to                         work-related skills and employment poten-
which their interest is engaged by the vari-                    tial resulting from the apprenticeships —
ous activities available to them, and the                       something that hadn’t figured prominently
perceived value of After School Matters’                        in After School Matters’ initial plans for
apprenticeships and clubs to the students                       data collection.
who join them. Descriptive data on                                 Yet problems of this kind, at least for
apprentices show that the program is                            now, are mostly a side-effect of success.
reaching students who are similar in most                       After School Matters faces rising expecta-
Photographs by Christopher Ray Photography.
                                                                                                                                                    “6 TO 6”       67

San Diego
San Diego’s “6 to 6” Extended School Day Program

                                                     research and policy organization                      income core and the more affluent neigh-
                                                     EdSource2 says that perhaps two-thirds of             borhoods to its north. As in other cities,

         HE CITY OF   SAN DIEGO is the               elementary school children in San Diego               police statistics indicated that juvenile
         first major city in the United              who need after-school care cannot yet                 crime peaked in the hours between 2 and 6
         States to offer a safe, supervised          find it (20,000 are on “6 to 6” waiting               p.m. and was concentrated near schools. As
before- and after-school enrichment pro-             lists). Still, while meeting the full demand          elsewhere, many of the victims of these
gram to every elementary and middle                  is the City’s next goal, it is nonetheless            crimes were other children.
school within city limits.                           proud of its progress to date. According                 In 1995, in response to these concerns,
   Moreover, the City not only                       to EdSource:                                          then-Mayor Susan Golding convened a
unabashedly accepts, but trumpets, its                                                                     “Safe Schools Task Force” comprising
mission of providing such services not                  While LA’s BEST3 is known as the                   herself, the superintendent of San Diego
just to improve the educational experi-                 granddaddy of after-school programs in             City Schools, school principals, the
ence of children but also to meet the                   California, San Diego’s “6 to 6” is called         county juvenile court judge, juvenile pro-
needs of working parents for both before-               “the brat” because in two years (begin-            bation officers, the city attorney, the city
and after-school child care. The City’s                 ning in 1998) the City put together an             manager, and the chief of police, among
Web site for the program1 states:                       after-school program in every elemen-              others. The task force proposed a
                                                        tary and middle school — something                 “Mayor’s Safe Schools Initiative” contain-
  San Diego’s “6 to 6” Extended School                  Los Angeles has yet to achieve.4                   ing three steps to keep students safe and
  Day Program. Providing a safe place                                                                      reduce juvenile crime:
  for children during the hours most                    San Diego’s “6 to 6” was created by an
  parents work.                                      alert mayor in response to concerns about                Close school campuses during lunch
     The City of San Diego, in coopera-              youth crime, but it evolved differently                  time to keep kids in a supervised area rather than get-
  tion with area school districts, is com-           because of different community, political,               ting into trouble in the neighborhoods;
  mitted to opening community schools                and institutional pressures.                             Pass and enforce a new teen curfew and a new daytime
  before and after normal school hours to                                                                     anti-loitering law, aimed at preventing minors from
  provide a safe place for elementary and                                                                     congregating off campus; and
  middle school-aged children and youth.
                                                     Creation and Evolution
                                                                                                              Open schools in the early mornings and late afternoons
                                                                                                              to provide before- and after-school programming in
   To be sure, while San Diego’s “6 to 6”            IN THE EARLY 1990S, San Diego faced an                   safe and supervised environments.
is in every elementary and middle school,            unprecedented increase in juvenile crime,
it admittedly does not yet provide its               drug abuse, and gang activity, particularly            All three of these steps were imple-
services to every student in these schools           south of Interstate Highway 8, the de facto           mented. With respect to the third, Mayor
who needs them. California’s respected               boundary between the city’s urban, low-               Golding faced additional pressures from

2 See EdSource Online, EdSource researches, monitors, and provides information to the public on educational issues in the
  state of California.
3 Footnote added: Los Angeles’s well-known after-school program; see the separate case study in this report.
4 EdSource Online;
68     SAN DIEGO

     [Mayor Golding] became a champion of the program’s providing working parents
     with not only a safe but also a rich learning environment for their kids during
     the hours most parents worked.

the San Diego Organizing Project                    SDOP brought these demands to              us, so we’ll put this program with you in
(SDOP), a consortium of 223 churches,            Mayor Golding. She was herself a single       Community Services.”
synagogues, and mosques serving 40,000           mother, and by all accounts she immedi-          Ferrin now says:
families in communities mainly below I-          ately “got it.” She became a champion of
8, in the poorer and working-class sectors       the program’s providing working parents         Well, of course, it’s not child care and
of the city. This consortium is 25 years         with not only a safe but also a rich learn-     couldn’t be. Licensed child care agencies
old, and most of its leaders were trained        ing environment for their kids during the       had limited funding and strict staffing
at the Pacific Institute for Community           hours most parents worked. Golding is           and other requirements and would cost
Organizing. According to SDOP’s co-              also credited with almost instantly nam-        far too much, even if they were to
chair, Gloria Cooper:                            ing the program “San Diego’s ‘6 to 6’ ”         accept this mission — which they did-
                                                 and sticking to her guns on the name —          n’t. But when we gave them a chance to
     We believe in researching what our          even when her advisors argued that              bid on being a provider of San Diego’s
     needs are and then demanding our fair       schools had staggered starting hours, and       “6 to 6” at schools where they operated
     share of attention and resources from       many might not in fact be open before           licensed child care, all of them accepted
     government and large institutions. We       6:30 a.m. It didn’t matter, she main-           our terms.
     can get a bit strident and be very per-     tained; the name captured and projected
     sistent and make sure that institutional    the intent of the program. Local                 With that caveat, Ferrin threw herself
     and government leaders are personally       observers say subsequent events have          into the assignment. “We were familiar
     aware of our people’s needs.                more than proved her right. (Most             with LA’s BEST,” she says, “and we got a
         In the early and mid-1990s, our         schools open their before-school program      lot of good advice from Carla [Sanger,
     communities were concerned about            an hour before the subsidized breakfast is    President and CEO of LA’s BEST] and
     crime and drugs and community polic-        provided, which is at various times from      her people. But here it would have to be
     ing. We had families working two or         school to school. But if breakfast is at      different, because the mayor wanted it in
     three jobs and no safe place to put their   7:30 a.m. and as many as 15 kids are at       every elementary and middle school, and
     kids and keep them out of gangs. Kids       the gates at 6 a.m., the before-school pro-   fast.” Faced with this mandate, Ferrin and
     were hanging out on the sidewalk before     gram does open to accommodate them.)          her planners came to a conclusion that
     school opened and going home alone             How to design and manage such a pro-       shaped the program: San Diego’s “6 to 6”
     after school. But we also had a lot of      gram? Deborah Ferrin, Child Care Coor-        would have to be a partnership of the
     poor academic performance and we did-       dinator in the Community Services             three community resources best positioned
     n’t want just baby-sitting in before- and   Division of the City’s Department of          to do the job both well and quickly:
     after-school programs; we wanted bal-       Community and Economic Develop-
     ance between recreation and real aca-       ment, says that the Park and Recreation         The San Diego Unified School District would have to be
     demic reinforcement and enrichment, as      Department turned to her and said, “You         involved, because it had the school facilities and the
     well as a safe place for the kids.          know, Deb, this looks like child care to        kids. But the schools should not run the programs,
                                                                                                                                          “6 TO 6”      69

  because they would be far too expensive with their        money would allow the program to start          two-week RFP [Request for Proposals]
  overtime salary levels. And it was feared that they       in 31 elementary schools during the 1998-       process and got the city to ramrod
  would be too academic. San Diego’s “6 to 6” program-      99 school year. The City Council debated        through its approvals so that the CBOs
  ming should complement but not be the same as what        the mayor’s budget, concerned about an          and schools would have six weeks to set
  went on in the regular school day, which many thought
                                                            expensive and continuing initiative in a        up. We had to get 31 schools that were
  the school people would tend to do if they ran the pro-
  gram. To attract kids who could “vote with their feet”
                                                            year when the city was facing a potential       willing to start that fall, and I spent a
  and go elsewhere, “6 to 6” needed to be varied and        budget deficit. Ferrin recalls:                 lot of time in those two weeks that
  fun and include that balance of academic reinforce-                                                       summer calling principals at home or
  ment, enrichment, and recreation that SDOP demanded.        The mayor really pushed for this, and         on vacation to get them interested and
                                                              there were a lot of things going for it —     willing to host a San Diego “6 to 6”
  The second major partner would be community-based
  organizations (CBOs), mainly those already running          the crime and drug problems, the need         program on short notice. And we did it!
  child care, after-school, and other youth programs          to improve school academic results, and       We opened in the fall in 31 schools with
  either on a fee basis or with government or charitable      welfare reform putting parents to work,       the YMCA, SAY, and Harmonium run-
  resources. With new money, organizations like the           meaning something had to be done for          ning the programs.
  YMCA, Harmonium, and SAY (Social Advocates for              their kids, who would overwhelm the
  Youth) — all well-established youth and family serv-        licensed child care system. And so on.         The City’s initiative allowed it to make
  ices agencies — would be the core; they could ramp up                                                   credible claims on emerging state and fed-
  quickly to provide extended school-day services. And
                                                              In addition, SDOP bused 500 resi-           eral streams of after-school funding. Ferrin
  their wages were much lower than those of school or
  city personnel.
                                                            dents from the community to the School        worked with Sanger from Los Angeles and
                                                            Board meeting, demanding that schools         allies in other cities to develop and pro-
  Finally, the City would be fiscal agent, obtain and       be opened before and after school.            mote the state’s $87 million “After School
  administer the funding for the program, contract with
                                                            Twenty-five SDOP residents came to the        Education and Safety Program” (ASES)
  the CBOs for services, conclude operating memoranda
                                                            council’s budget hearings to press for the    and other state legislation to facilitate
  with the schools to host and support the program, and
  oversee and evaluate its implementation.                  mayor’s initiative.                           after-school programming (e.g., exempting
                                                              The City Council passed its budget on       after-school programs from the require-
   Ferrin says, “None of these parties could                June 28, 1998. The schools were to open       ments of licensed child care) and to
do this alone. Together, they could.”                       on August 28. Ferrin:                         establish other funding streams for before-
   By this time it was the spring of 1998.                                                                school programming (the Before and After
To start San Diego’s “6 to 6,” the mayor                      We had eight weeks to set up a pro-         School Learning and Safe Partnerships
proposed using $1 million of the City’s                       gram! Now, we’d been talking with the       Programs). Other advocacy work included
general funds. She also proposed reallocat-                   schools and the CBOs beforehand, but        Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Proposition 49,
ing $750,000 of existing but underutilized                    we couldn’t do anything formally until      promoted by the actor well before the
Park and Recreation playground supervi-                       we knew we had City Council approval        2003 recall campaign that brought him
sion funds. Combining the two sources of                      and the money. So, I devised a quick        the governorship. Proposition 49,

     …growing pressures for after-school programming and the emerging funding
     streams for it — fueled the rapid expansion of San Diego’s “6 to 6” in the late
     1990s and early 2000s.

approved by the voters in 2002, will ear-                                                   “6 to 6” programs in their schools that
mark $550 million in state funding for                                                      fell within the city limits of San Diego.
after-school programs once the state                                                           In addition, San Diego’s “6 to 6” had
budget passes certain trigger-points of                                                     not yet served the affluent beach-area
recovery (its proponents hope its funding                                                   neighborhoods of the city north of I-8,
will begin to flow in 2006). Meanwhile,                                                     where often only 5 percent of the students
the federal 21st Century Community                                                          were eligible for free or reduced-cost
Learning Centers program has been (until                                                    lunches. The three school districts in these
federal Fiscal Year 2004) receiving growing                                                 neighborhoods all ran their own fee-based,
funding appropriations.                                                                     high-quality before- and after-school pro-
   This confluence of events — growing        expanded funding, San Diego’s “6 to 6”        grams. Generally, however, working and
pressures for after-school programming        was poised for its greatest growth to         poor parents in those districts could not
and the emerging funding streams for it       almost full coverage of the city’s schools    afford them. To fulfill Mayor Golding’s
— fueled the rapid expansion of San           — to 145 elementary schools, 32 middle        mandate to serve all the city’s working par-
Diego’s “6 to 6” in the late 1990s and        schools, and 19 “scholarship” schools,        ents, the City determined to provide
early 2000s. In its second year, 1999-        where the City provides grants to enroll      $10,000 in “scholarship” subsidies to these
2000, the City increased its support of       lower-income students in independent          districts to enable them to enroll students
San Diego’s “6 to 6” to $3.7 million          programs that charge tuition (more on         for whom the existing, fee-based programs
(including $2 million in the City’s share     this momentarily).                            were cost-prohibitive.
of proceeds from the 1998 settlement             This expansion required two further           In subsequent years, the budget for
between state governments and five major      innovations. In its first and second years,   San Diego’s “6 to 6” continued to grow.
tobacco companies), and $3.31 million in      San Diego’s “6 to 6” worked solely with       As this is written, in 2003-04, the
state funding was obtained. This $7.01        the San Diego Unified School District         budget totals $22.05 million and the
million allowed “6 to 6” to increase to       (SDUSD), whose boundaries are not             program serves 204 schools, including
48 elementary and 16 middle schools.          coterminous with the city’s. Indeed,          150 elementary, 33 middle, 20 scholar-
   By the third year of “6 to 6,” 2000-01,    SDUSD comprises only 75 percent of the        ship elementary, and one high school,
$750,000 in federal 21st Century Com-         K-12 students within city limits; the rest    where, Ferrin says, “we’re trying to learn
munity Learning Center funding arrived,       are served by eight other independent         what works for that older group.” The
with more promised in subsequent years.       school districts, some of which overlap       mayor’s goal of serving all of the city’s
State funding was also increasing, to $8.5    into the surrounding suburbs and cities.      elementary and middle schools has thus
million, and the City topped out its con-     Thus, to serve all the city’s students, San   been attained, though there are waiting
tribution at $6.1 million (including $2       Diego’s “6 to 6”, for its third year, con-    lists of 100 to 150 students at some ele-
million in tobacco settlement funds).         cluded memoranda of agreement with            mentary schools.
With two years of experience, and greatly     those eight other districts and set up
                                                                                                                                                      “6 TO 6”    71

Structure and Staffing                                  advocacy organizations. This Regional Con-              available in school facilities to house the
                                                        sortium submits the bulk of the region’s                attending children (one classroom for
SAN DIEGO’S “6 TO 6” is an operating pro-               applications for state before- and after-               every 20 students, plus common areas like
gram of the Community Services Division                 school funding and also conducts some of                cafeterias, auditoriums, libraries, com-
of the City’s Department of Community                   the evaluations of San Diego’s “6 to 6.”                puter rooms, and playgrounds). Schools
and Economic Development, reporting to                     The nine regional school districts host              also agree to provide necessary utilities,
the mayor, city manager, and City Coun-                 “6 to 6” programs in 196 public schools,                snacks, custodial services, and security
cil. Ferrin, as child care coordinator, is              with the vast bulk of them in the SDUSD.                where appropriate. (The City pays for
responsible for helping to set up more                  In addition, the City has contracted with               some of this.) The school also identifies at
than 50 licensed child care facilities and              seven faith-based organizations to conduct              least two certified teachers willing to work
for managing San Diego’s “6 to 6,” which                the program in eight of the schools they                for the contracted provider running San
for six years has consumed the bulk of                  run, for a total of 204 schools in the city             Diego’s “6 to 6” program in a school, and
her time. The division has Ferrin plus six              of San Diego with “6 to 6” services.5                   provides data on students’ school atten-
other staff members who work on “6 to                      The actual in-school programs are run                dance, achievement, and behavior for
6,” writing grant proposals; sub-contract-              by 24 providers. Eight of the nine school               evaluative purposes.
ing to the provider organizations; analyz-              districts self-provide San Diego’s “6 to 6”                A typical example of how this works
ing provider budgets, approving their                   services to a total of 43 schools, as indi-             out in practice was provided by Lynn
monthly invoices; auditing them annu-                   cated on the organizational chart on page               Leszczynski, after-school program special-
ally; monitoring, evaluating, training, and             72 (one, San Ysidro, contracts with CBO                 ist at the YMCA of San Diego County,
providing technical assistance to the                   providers). The seven religious congrega-               one of the major provider agencies con-
providers; collecting monthly reports; and              tions likewise provide “6 to 6” directly to             tracted to operate San Diego’s “6 to 6”
preparing semi-annual reports for state                 eight of their schools. The remainder are               Extended Day Program.
and federal funding agencies.                           mostly served by the three large providers
                                                        that San Diego’s “6 to 6” began with in                    The YMCA of San Diego County is the
                                                        1998-99: Harmonium, with 65 sites;                         largest provider of licensed child care
San Diego’s “6 to 6”                                    SAY with 34 sites; and the YMCA, with                      services in the state of California. We
Organizational Structure                                47 sites — a total of 146 in all, mostly                   provide licensed child care both at school
                                                        but not only in SDUSD. A half dozen                        sites and at YMCA branch facilities. We
FERRIN AND THE MAYOR’S STAFF also repre-                smaller organizations serve the remaining                  also provide an array of other services for
sent the City of San Diego on a broader                 seven sites.                                               the children we serve in our child devel-
San Diego Regional After-School Consor-                    The agreements with these various                       opment programs, including camps,
tium comprising the City, San Diego                     providers require that the schools partici-                swimming lessons, sports activities,
County and its Office of Education, 21                  pate in the design of the academic portion                 youth development programs, and so on.
school districts, and parents and children’s            of the programs and make sufficient space                      At present, we receive approximately

5 In 1971, the Serrano v. Priest California Supreme Court decision mandated equity of funding among all the state’s school districts. Its practical impact was to
  limit school funding from local property taxes and centralize the bulk of school funding at the state level, from whence funds for schools flow on a formula basis
  to counties and thence to local school districts.
72     SAN DIEGO

     $6 million from the contract with the           San Diego’s “6 to 6” Organizational Structure
     City of San Diego through which we
     operate San Diego’s “6 to 6” Extended                                                                 Mayor and City Council

     School Day Program at 38 elementary
                                                                                                                City Manager
                                                                                                           Assistant City Manager
     school sites and 10 middle school sites.
     Taking on the “6 to 6” program, while                                                                  Deputy City Manager
     still running licensed child care, was con-
     sistent with our mission to provide                                                           Department of Community and
                                                                                                      Economic Devel opment
     services to all children and families
     throughout San Diego County. Though                                                           Division of Community Services
     there was concern initially, when the
     “6 to 6” program fully expanded, regard-
                                                                                                      San Diego’s “6 to 6”
     ing the impact that this would have on                                                       Extended School Day Program

     our licensed programs, operating both                                                                                                                Collaborating School
                                                                                                                                                                Districts (9)
                                                                                                                                                          (8 of Which Self-Provide
     programs simultaneously has proved to
                                                                                                 (And Private Schools Sel f-Providing
                                                            San Diego Regional                          Pro vider Agencies

                                                                                                           “6 to 6 ”) (16)                               “6 to 6 ” in Some Schools)
                                                          After-School Consortium
     be advantageous to the YMCA. In addi-

                                                                                                                                                     San Diego Unified School District—
     tion, the opportunity for families to
                                                                                                                                                             8 of 152 Schools
                                                                                            Harmonium, Inc.                   Private School s:
     receive free child care services through
                                                              County of San Diego
                                                           Coun ty Office of Education         (65 sites)
                                                                                                                                                      Poway Unified School District—
     the “6 to 6” program has, in many cases,
                                                               City of San Diego                                                 Holy Family—1
                                                                                                                                                              16 Schools
                                                                                                                            Our Lady of Angels— 2
                                                               21 School Di stricts
     facilitated the parents’ financial ability to
                                                                                                                              Our Lady of Sacred
     take advantage of other valuable services            Parent and Children’s Groups      SAY, San Diego                          Heart—1          South Bay Union School District—
                                                                                              (34 sites)                     St. Jude Academy—1                 6 Schools
                                                                                                                                  St. Rita’s—1
     provided for their children by the
     YMCA, such as summer camp, sports                                                                                        Bayview Baptist—1         San Ysidro School District–
                                                                                                                              Mt. Erie Baptist—1              0 of 7 Schools
     programs, and so on.                                                                         YMCA
                                                                                                                                                       Chu la Vista Elementary School
                                                                                                                                                              District— 1 School
         Operationally, there is little differ-
     ence between our licensed child care
                                                                                              Providers:                                              Del Mar Union School District—
                                                                                                                                                                6 Schools
     programs and our “6 to 6” program. We
     operate “6 to 6” at an adult/child ratio                                                  CCS—1
                                                                                         San Diego Reads—2                                            Sweetwater Union High School
     of 1 to 15 and child care at a 1-to-12                                                 New Hope—1                                                     District— 3 Schools
                                                                                         Sudanes e Project—1
                                                                                              U PAC—1                                               Solana Beach Union School District—
     ratio. Program leader qualifications vary
     between the two programs, and the                                                   Arnold’s All Stars—1                                                   2 Schools

                                                                                                                                                    San Pasqual Union School District—
     licensed child-care programs are not
     required to employ credentialed teachers                                                                                                                   1 School

     as part of the adult/child ratio. Both
                                                                                                                                                         “6 TO 6”       73

  “The secret of the success of San Diego’s “6 to 6” Extended School Day Program is
  the three-way partnership between the city, the schools, and the providers.”

   programs follow YMCA of USA quality                 “6 to 6” provider hires at least two cre-                 of their pieces. You recall that old saw
   standard guidelines and provide home-               dentialed teachers per site from the roster               about collaboration being an unnatural
   work assistance, recreation, educational            of the host school. For the “6 to 6” time                 act between unconsenting adults? We all
   enrichment through play experiences,                frame, the teachers work for the providers,               have to work together, and we’re doing
   character development programs and                  though they are paid (at least in SDUSD                   pretty well. But it requires a lot of net-
   activities, and so on.                              schools) $26.34 per hour — the tutorial                   work-tending, and there are always
       Annually, each branch receives an esti-         rate in the negotiated teachers contract                  some turf issues over money and other
   mated “6 to 6” budget allocation based              with SDUSD. That is still nearly 30 per-                  things that we have to manage carefully
   on their estimated average daily atten-             cent lower than the district’s average                    and sensitively.
   dance. They must then meet this ADA                 hourly teacher rate of $36.76 (reflecting
   to be reimbursed per their entire budget.           annual teacher salaries ranging from
   The entire contract amount is allocated             $35,000 to $65,000 or so).
                                                                                                              Program Content and Quality
   to the sites in order to provide services to           According to Leszczynski:
   the maximum number of children.                                                                            THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO’S contracts with
       Each YMCA branch sets up its “6 to                 The secret of the success of San Diego’s            “6 to 6” providers require them to:
   6” programs to have a full-time site                   “6 to 6” Extended School Day Program
   supervisor, who must be at least 21, have              is the three-way partnership between the              Hire and train qualified staffs at the required
   at least 15 college units of early childhood           city, the schools, and the providers. The             adult/child ratios (1 to 15 in elementary schools and 1
   education, and relevant experience. They               city administers the funding and assists              to 20 in middle schools), including at least two creden-
                                                                                                                tialed teachers from the school faculty at each site;
   are paid $10-$14 an hour, with benefits,               in monitoring the programs, the schools
   for year-round work (they have the                     open the doors to provide the space and               Offer a curriculum of before- and after-school services
   opportunity to work in summer camps                    program support, and the providers                    that meets the program’s mission of a balanced pro-
   and other programs when they’re not                    actually implement the operation of the               gram attuned to the needs of the community’s children;
   working on “6 to 6”). There is also at                 program on a day-to-day basis, meeting                Collaborate with the school’s principal on the academic
   least one program leader for each 15 chil-             the individual needs of the children and              component of the program;
   dren, earning $7.50 to $12 per hour on                 families served. This collaboration is                Recruit and enroll participants and maintain waiting lists;
   a part-time basis. Program leaders must                real, and it is continuously growing.
                                                                                                                Purchase and provide consumable supplies; and
   be at least 18 and high school graduates.
   A lot of them are college students.                   Ferrin agrees but notes that maintain-                 Develop and maintain a parent advisory board and
                                                       ing such an arrangement for fruitful out-                provide a parent newsletter.
   The salary levels of program leaders —              comes takes work:
the front-line staff interacting with kids                                                                      The total school population in the
— are roughly the same as what a school                   All of this depends on collaboration                nine districts served by San Diego’s “6 to
instructional aide earns. In addition, each               among the three sets of partners and all            6” is about 136,000 students. At present,

6 This is an estimate of complex enrollment and attendance statistics and reflects over-enrollment to maintain average daily attendance requirements of the pro-
  gram’s funding streams. It includes an unknown amount of double-counting of children attending both the before- and after-school programs. See budget discus-
  sion later in this report.

“6 to 6” serves about 26,0006 children,                                                       art activity. The last 15 minutes before
generally 150 or so at each elementary                                                        check-out at 6 p.m. are a clean-up period.
school and between 250 and 450 at the                                                            This routine is qualitatively different in
larger middle schools. There are extensive                                                    middle schools, where children are older
waiting lists at many of the elementary                                                       and more likely not to come if the pro-
schools, but few at the middle schools.                                                       grams do not engage them. Considerable
San Diego’s school districts do not have                                                      staff energy, therefore, is invested in design-
so heavy a concentration of low-income,                                                       ing activities with kid input, promoting
disadvantaged students as Los Angeles’;                                                       them intensively, and getting rid of activi-
nonetheless, about 90 of the “6 to 6”          mentoring, and CBO partnerships).              ties promptly when they no longer appeal
schools have at least 50 percent of their         As noted earlier, typically, a “6 to 6”     to the shifting interests of youth this age.
children receiving free or reduced-price       day begins an hour or so before an ele-           An example of middle-school program-
lunches. About 45 percent of the schools’      mentary or middle school’s scheduled           ming is provided by the Monroe Clark
population is Hispanic and 11 percent          breakfast, with a before-school program        Middle School in the City Heights com-
African American. Schools report that          of reading, educational games, board           munity. This is a relatively new campus
their students come from families speak-       games, and other indoor activities.            of several attractive and well-maintained
ing 37 different languages.                       Elementary schools generally divide         buildings around a central square with an
   The program’s major components in all       their afternoon participants into at least     amphitheater built into it. It is part of an
sites are academic support (including          four groups that rotate through a variety      “urban village” community center of
homework assistance, literacy tutoring,        of activities. Academically oriented activi-   school, libraries, parks and playgrounds,
science experiments, math games, com-          ties are offered for a minimum of 90 min-      and other public facilities built by the
puter skills, and academic mentoring);         utes, four days per week, designed by          city and School District in the midst of
enrichment activities (including visual        principals and delivered in coordination       what Ferrin said had been the very poor,
arts, crafts, performing arts, music,          with credentialed teachers. Typically, at      gang-ridden, violent “methamphetamine
dance, recreation, sports, group games,        2:15 p.m., afternoon participants check in     capital of the U.S.” several years ago. It is
and field trips); youth development            and receive announcements. From 2:30 to        much better — but not all better — now.
(including leadership training, team-          3:30 is Rotation One, homework lab.               A young former U.S. Marine is the
building, conflict resolution skills, health   This may be followed by a 15-minute            deputy director of San Diego’s “6 to 6”
education, nutrition, alcohol, tobacco         snack period prior to Rotation Two, a half     program at Clark. He is a leader experi-
and other drug use prevention, social          hour of physical education on the play-        enced beyond his years and a male role
skills enhancement, and violence preven-       ground. At 4:15 a 45-minute Rotation           model for the largely minority young
tion); and community involvement               Three puts students into literacy labs, the    men and women in his care, exhibiting a
(service projects, parent involvement and      library, or computer labs. From 5:00 to        “tough love” promotion of high values,
education, community volunteers,               5:45 p.m. is Rotation Four, generally an       self-discipline, responsibility, education,
                                                                                                                              “6 TO 6”   75

  Considerable staff energy…is invested in designing activities with kid input,
  promoting them intensively, and getting rid of activities promptly when they no
  longer appeal…

and broadening experiences. He said he          Art, Electronics, Pryde, Mexican Cook-        nonprofit sectors, as LA’s BEST has done,
loved the work he described:                    ing, Comic Books, Auto Shop, Acting,          and in part because “6 to 6” does not yet
                                                Beauty Parlor, Tennis, Guitar Club,           have access to the busing resources avail-
  This school has 1,800 students, and it        Model Cars, Fashion Design, Basketball,       able to Los Angeles’ after-school programs.
  opened with San Diego’s “6 to 6” in           Soccer, Mirror Etching, and some spe-         (The Y’s Lynn Leszczynski, however, says,
  place, run by the YMCA. We have 450           cialized games kids are into. These are       “We do have some trips and finagle the
  to 600 students attending “6 to 6” in         on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.          transportation in various ways for them.”)
  the afternoon, depending on the session          On Wednesdays and Fridays we have             One day each week, schools close two
  and the program (this is a year-round         other things like X-Games outdoors,           hours early to allow teachers to meet for
  school with four sessions). We also have      Salsa Fridays, and Young Marines. I           training. San Diego’s “6 to 6” extends its
  around 200 kids for the morning ses-          brought that in because we are right          services to cover this additional time,
  sion, which runs from 6 to 7:30 a.m.,         next door to Camp Pendleton, and they         often bringing in outside specialty service
  when we do basketball and homework            can support us. We have a Young               providers — visiting artists and other
  and other structured things.                  Marines troop here where the kids have        resources in dance, drama, and sports.
     Our staff consists of the site coordi-     uniforms and drill and learn about the        San Diego’s “6 to 6,” however, does not
  nator, myself as site supervisor, seven       Marines and about life lessons and go         yet provide services on normal workdays
  YMCA youth leaders, several teachers          on an off-site overnight camp. It’s very      when school is closed.
  who work in “6 to 6” for $22 an hour,         popular with both the young men and              To encourage and support creative and
  plus a dozen or so volunteers from col-       women. We also have what we call              high-quality programming, San Diego’s
  leges and elsewhere in the community,         “XDC Hang Out” every day, with                “6 to 6” central City staff in Ferrin’s office
  some funded by a local foundation.            games and supervised hanging out in           conducts monthly meetings of all provider
  They’re called Price Scholars.                this safe place until 6 p.m.                  agencies to share information and discuss
     We reset our program regularly.…For           Finally.…kids can check a box for          common issues. In addition, the city pro-
  late October-early November, we have          the morning program, which we call the        vides an orientation training in late August
  Academic Learning Center work from            “Morning Zoo Crew,” from 6 to 7:25            for new provider staff and conducts seven
  2:30 to 3:30 p.m., which is homework          a.m. every day.                               in-service trainings throughout the school
  and tutoring. From 3:30 to 3:40, we                                                         year for “6 to 6” on-site personnel. The
  have a quick snack. We then have a            Most of the services of San Diego’s “6 to     City “6 to 6” staff also participates in large
  range of what we call ‘XDC’ Academic        6” are provided in the schools. There are       regional and state consortia for training of
  Learning Center, or extended-day            few of the trips and other outside activities   child care providers.
  classes, from 3:40 to 4:30 that were        that enrich the experience of, for instance,       Finally, San Diego’s “6 to 6” city cen-
  designed with kid input and which they      LA’s BEST’s offerings, in part because San      tral staff includes three program monitors
  have to sign up for. If not enough sign     Diego’s “6 to 6” has not yet mobilized          who visit each program site a minimum
  up, we drop it. We’re listing Hip Hop,      many such events from the private and           of two times per school year, checking for

compliance with formal program require-        tions, a segment she hopes to grow. The
                                                                                             2003-2004 Budget for
ments and monitoring program quality.          net result is that San Diego’s “6 to 6”
                                                                                             San Diego’s “6 to 6”
These monitors also provide technical          operated in 2003-04 on a million dollars
assistance on issues discovered during the     more than in the prior year (see the full     Revenues
monitoring process or as they emerge and       2003-2004 budget in the chart below).         State of California After School    $ 15,440,000
                                                                                             Education/Safety Program
are brought to their attention. Ferrin            The state funding stream allows 15 per-
                                                                                             Federal 21st Century CLC Funds          830,000
says, “Basically, the providers have been      cent for overhead and administration. In
                                                                                             California 21st Century CLC Funds       660,000
fabulous — serious in what they do and         San Diego, two of these percentage points
                                                                                             City of SD General Funds               5,117,000
concerned about high quality.”                 go to the broader San Diego Regional          TOTAL                               $ 22,047,000
                                               After-School Consortium, which is the
                                               formal applicant for state after-school
Income and Expenditures                        funds for San Diego’s “6 to 6” as well as
                                                                                             Provider contracts (CBOs, self-       $ 21,000,000
                                                                                             providing public/private schools, etc.)
                                               after-school programs in other communi-       SDUSD admin, security, custodial,       447,000
THE $22.05 MILLION BUDGET for San              ties in the region. The Consortium also       snack support

Diego’s “6 to 6” in 2003-04 was up 44          uses these funds for some of the evalua-      City fiscal admin, training, program    550,000
percent from the $15.35 million spent in       tion of San Diego’s “6 to 6” (Ferrin’s
                                                                                             Consultant evaluation contract            50,000
2000-01, the year the program first went       office also contracts for some evaluation,    (let by the city office)
to scale. State funding for “6 to 6” has       as noted in the budget). The two percent      TOTAL                               $ 22,047,000
continued to grow in those same years,         retained by the Regional Consortium is
from $8.5 million in 2000-01 to $15.16         taken “off the top” and is not reflected in   school funding on the basis of $5 per day
million in 2003-04, despite California’s       the budget presented here.                    per student. For San Diego’s 180 school
well-publicized budget woes. Federal fund-        Three percent of the overhead              days, this amounts to $900 per student
ing similarly grew, from $750,000 in           allowance is retained by the City of San      per school year. San Diego’s “6 to 6” uses
2000-01 to $2.26 million in 2003-04            Diego and is combined into the City’s         this funding level for all of its contracts to
(though the federal money was down             contribution to San Diego’s “6 to 6” (the     providers for after-school programming,
slightly from the previous year). The City     City’s contribution includes the costs of     which support 18,203 afternoon slots. To
of San Diego, however, was beset by reces-     Ferrin’s office, which manages the pro-       this are added 336 after-school scholar-
sion and the loss of other state funding       gram). The remaining 10 percent of the        ships provided for students in affluent
and required all city functions to con-        overhead allowance is incorporated into       beach-area school districts, at a total cost
tribute to deficit reduction in 2003-04,       the program’s contracts with its providers,   of $307,000. There are thus a total of
lopping almost a million dollars off the       be they community-based organizations         18,539 after-school slots supported.
City’s contribution to “6 to 6,” reducing it   or private schools or school districts that      Before-school programs vary from one
to $5.12 million. Ferrin by then had           “6 to 6” services on its own.                 and a half to two hours, depending on
added $89,000 in private-sector contribu-         The state of California provides after-    when school opens, when breakfast is
                                                                                                                                              “6 TO 6”    77

served, and when kids start being left off           ment opportunities that require busing.              Evaluation
by parents. The state funding per slot                  The experience of San Diego’s “6 to 6”
similarly varies, but it averages out at             also illustrates how slippery ostensibly             SAN DIEGO’S “6 TO 6” has arranged with
about $600 per slot per year, with 5,980             formal measures of the program’s size can            the broader Regional After-School Consor-
morning slots funded.                                be — and speaks volumes about how the                tium to conduct independent evaluations
   Morning and afternoon funded slots                program serves complex social needs. For             of the program’s impact. The Consortium
taken together thus total 24,519, but that           instance, San Diego’s “6 to 6” has 5,980             contracted with Hoffman and Clark,7 a
number comprises three different kinds of            “funded slots” for before-school program-            local evaluation firm with experience in
slots at different costs: before-school, regu-       ming. However, almost 17,000 children                evaluating youth-services programs, for
lar contracted after-school, and scholarship         have actually been “enrolled” or “signed             certain limited evaluation studies of “6 to
after-school. The $600 and $900 amounts              up” by their parents for this program,               6.” According to EdSource8
used in contracting with providers do not            apparently to establish the right to be “let
include the administrative and other costs           in” if parents with varying work schedules              [O]utside evaluators Hoffman and Clark
of the program as reflected in the budget            need to have a safe place to put their chil-            do satisfaction surveys of parents, kids,
expenditures — costs normally included               dren early in the morning as they head to               principals, and staff. Rating the program
by other cities in a “cost per slot” figure for      work. Average daily attendance in the                   good to outstanding were 91 percent of
after-school programs. To obtain such a              before-school program in December                       the principals, 99 percent of the parents,
number for comparison purposes, we pro-              2003, however, was about 7,800, which                   and 93 percent of the kids (including
rated all budget costs into morning and              is more than the number of funded slots                 88 percent of the middle school students).
afternoon totals and divided by the respec-          but much less than the number enrolled.                 Hoffman and Clark also found that third
tive number of slots supported. This                 The after-school numbers are 16,391                     and eighth graders in the after-school pro-
yielded a before-school cost of $652 per             funded slots (not counting scholarship                  gram moved up to grade level very quickly
funded slot and an after-school cost of              students in affluent districts), 23,235                 in reading and math. However, no com-
$979 per slot, numbers that are roughly              enrolled, and an average daily attendance               parison was done between kids in the pro-
comparable with those of other cities.               in December 2003 of 14,680, somewhat                    gram and kids on the waiting list. WestEd9
   Compared with the other programs                  less, in that holiday month, than the                   also conducted unannounced visits and
examined in this report, a per-slot cost of          number of funded slots. The combined                    determined the program was as safe as
$979 is decidedly modest. The difference             average daily attendance, however, was                  licensed school-age programs. In addition,
may be explained in large part by the San            just about at the level of funded slots for             57 percent of the students sampled showed
Diego program’s comparatively low salaries,          both morning and afternoon.                             improvements in their Stanford-9 reading
low overhead structure, and the relatively                                                                   scores, and 44 percent showed improve-
limited number of out-of-school enrich-                                                                      ments in their Stanford-9 math scores.

7 The satisfaction survey results were drawn from 10,000 surveys conducted by Hoffman and Clark in February 2003. The student achievement improvements
  cited were from a sample of “6 to 6” participants whose academic performance was compared to their performance prior to participation in “6 to 6.” Compar-
  isons to students in the same grades but concurrently not participating in “6 to 6” — whether on waiting lists or not — have not been performed.
8 EdSource Online; San Diego’s “6 to 6” Extended School Day Program; Op.Cit.
9 WestEd is a nonprofit research, development, and service agency that is one of the nation’s network of federal Regional Educational Laboratories (see WestEd serves Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah. (Footnote added.)
78     SAN DIEGO

     “We’ve attained our first goal — to be in every school…Our next goal is to
     expand our capacity to accommodate every student in each school who needs
     these services.”

   Harking back to the issues that led to           self-esteem. And, we have to “control          County are, too. In last year’s [2003]
the creation of San Diego’s “6 to 6,” Ferrin        the chaos” that comes with dealing with        budget discussions, we lost nearly $1
also cites the impact of the program on             a program like this and kids like this.        million of the city’s contribution to this
local crime statistics. In 2001, the first full     And, relating to and working with the          year’s program because of the city’s mul-
year that “6 to 6” operated at scale in vir-        teachers on the academic stuff.                timillion dollar deficits, to which they
tually all of the city’s schools, overall crime                                                    wanted everyone to contribute. That’s
in San Diego increased by more than eight            Miles A. Durfee, an official with the San     1,000 students that we were not able to
percent. However, during that same year,          Diego Unified School District’s Adminis-         accommodate this year!
juvenile arrests after school decreased by        trative and Legislative Services unit, cites
13.1 percent and the number of juvenile           both operational and broader issues:              Ferrin outlines the goals for the future
victimizations from violent crime after                                                          of San Diego’s “6 to 6” if funding recovers
school decreased by 11.7 percent. Former            The problems or challenges include the       and keeps flowing and growing:
San Diego Police Chief David Bejarano               constant issues that come up around
credits San Diego’s “6 to 6” as one of the          access to the regular classrooms. That’s       We’ve attained our first goal — to be in
contributing factors to these decreases.            a daily concern, but the basic collabora-      every school.
                                                    tive style of this program makes it work          Our next goal is to expand our capac-
                                                    in the end. Then there is the continu-         ity to accommodate every student in each
Challenges and the Future                           ous refinement and monitoring that is          school who needs these services.
                                                    required. There is always concern for          Then, we want to go year-round — to
TO THE YMCA’S LYNN LESZCZYNSKI, the                 trading off quality for quantity.              cover all those days when schools are
challenges from her perspective as a                   Sustainability over the long run will       closed during the year and in summers
provider are operational:                           be an issue. Finally, we’ve all put the        and breaks — to meet the original man-
                                                    highest priority on providing supports to      date to provide safe and enriching places
     I don’t think we have major challenges.        troubled kids in troubled schools while        for the kids of working parents.
     It’s the day-to-day pleasing of everyone       at the same time working toward univer-           Then we want to expand to cover
     involved; it’s staying within the budget       sal coverage and access. This raises           high schools, which we know means very
     and hiring good people; it’s trying to do      means-testing issues, with affluent par-       different kinds of programming to
     more and better with the funding limits        ents paying for after-school services          attract, hold, and meet the needs of older
     we have.                                       while working-class and poor parents get       kids — for instance, including some kind
                                                    them for free. So far that has not been a      of career exploration activities, intern-
  The young ex-Marine at Monroe Clark               big issue, but it could become one.            ships, and so on.
Middle School echoes this operational                                                                 And, throughout all of these, to
concern from his front-line level:                   Deborah Ferrin, too, worries about sus-       improve program quality, to broaden
                                                  tainability:                                     the exposure and enrichment experi-
     The challenges we face are really “find-                                                      ences of our kids.
     ing the person” inside every kid and           On money, we’ve done pretty well, but
     helping them grow to responsibility and        the State is strapped and the City and
                                                                                                        ACKNOWLEDGMENTS   79


With the After-School Corporation                             Debe Loxton
New York, New York                                            Larry Kraft-Orozco                                               Deanna Gauarza
Lucy Friedman                                                 Norma Mendoza
Julie Hertzog                                                 Joaquin Martinez
Mary Bleiberg                                                 Estella Mena
Amy Kantrowitz
                                                              Other Sources in Los Angeles
Other Sources in New York City                                Alan Arkatov, City of Los Angeles Commission on Children,
Herb Sturz, The Open Society Institute                        Youth, and Their Families
Ronni Fisher, University Settlement Society of New York
Tameeka N. Ford, University Settlement Society of New York    With San Diego’s “6 to 6”
Daniel Garcia, Public School 130, the Bronx                   San Diego, California
Lewis Hartman, Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation
Stanley Kinard, Carter G. Woodson Cultural Literacy Project   Deborah K. Ferrin
James R. O’Neill, Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation       DeeDee Alari
Michael Zisser, University Settlement Society of New York
                                                              Other Sources in San Diego
With After School Matters                                     Gloria Cooper, San Diego Organizing Project
Chicago, Illinois                                             Miles A. Durfee, San Diego City Schools                                    Lynn Leszczynski, YMCA of San Diego
Maggie Daley                                                  Noah Jones, YMCA of San Diego
Nancy Wachs                                                   Miriam L. True, San Diego City Schools
Marisa Gonzales Silverstein
Rachel Klein                                                  Other Scholars and Commentators
                                                              Jean Grossman, Public/Private Ventures
Other Sources in Chicago                                      Robert Halpern, Erikson Institute for Graduate Study in
B.J. Walker, City of Chicago                                   Child Development
Mary A. Dempsey, Chicago Public Library                       Elizabeth Reisner, Policy Studies Associates
David J. Doig, Chicago Park District
Arne Duncan, Chicago Public Schools                           With The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
With LA’s BEST                                                Floyd K. Morris
Los Angeles, California                                               With The After School Project
Corporate Office, Office of the Mayor               
Carla Sanger                                                  Carol Glazer
Los Angeles Unified School District                           JoAnne Vellardita
John Liechty
About the After School Project

          After School Project in 1998 as a five-year, three-city demon-
          stration aimed at connecting significant numbers of young
people in low-income neighborhoods with responsible adults during
out-of-school time. To that end, the Project focuses on developing:
(1) consistent, dedicated revenues to support after school programs
in low-income communities; (2) an array of developmental opportu-
nities for youth, including physical activity and sports, educational,
social, and recreational programs; and (3) strong local organizations
with the necessary resources, credibility, and political clout to bring
focus and visibility to the youth development field.

For more information, please write to:

The After School Project,
180 West 80th Street
Second Floor
New York, NY 10024
                                         Designed by Amy Sturge. Cover photo courtesy of LA’s BEST.
For additional copies, please contact:

The After School Project
180 West 80th Street
New York, NY 10024

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