Determining the Impact of California’s Expanded Learning Programs

WestEd’s Health and Justice Program has been partnering with the California Department of Education’s Expanded Learning Division since 2016 to evaluate the division’s afterschool and other expanded learning programs and to report the interim results biennially to the state legislature.

Key questions being answered include:

  • What are the characteristics of schools with state-funded expanded learning program grants and how do they compare to other schools in the state?
  • How many students are served by state-funded expanded learning programs, and how are they similar to or different from students not served by these programs?
  • What is the impact of expanded learning program participation on student outcomes, including school attendance, literacy and math achievement, social and emotional learning, positive development, and well-being?

Evaluators are using a quasi-experimental research design to understand impact on student outcomes, and are convening focus groups to understand the characteristics of specific programs that show greater student success.

WestEd is also assisting the division in determining long-term evaluation goals and developing a data system that will support meeting these goals.