Month: December 2020

Since 2004, America After 3PM has provided an essential view into the state and circumstances of children and young people in the after school hours. This year’s study, America After 3PM 2020, includes responses from 30,000 U.S. families and builds upon the surveys conducted in 2004, 2009 and 2014. The data has significant implications as the nation considers how to meet the needs of families and students today and in a post-pandemic world, and paints a stark picture of grave inequities in terms of which families can access and afford afterschool programs.

Never before has the American education system been put under a microscope — sometimes literally — the way it was in 2020. It was education’s worst year. But as the months crawled by, researchers kept collecting data and putting surveys in the field. They gave us a picture of which kids were most at risk of falling behind, how fast they might catch up with a dose of high-intensity tutoring, and why local leaders were deciding to reopen schools to in-person learning. Beyond the studies looking specifically at the effects of the pandemic, we continued to learn about the ways in which the nation’s 130,000 elementary and secondary schools make an impact on the lives of children.

The Every Student Succeeds Act gave states significant flexibility in designing school accountability systems. Unfortunately, new data on ESSA implementation show that flexibility and equity are often in conflict. Under the new law, the state in which students live matters a great deal.

This fall, Base 11 partnered with the Eva Longoria Foundation to launch the STEM Entrepreneur Program to an online cohort of 29 students. The program, taught by Donnell Layne, co-founder and chief operations officer for educational nonprofit Bridging the Gap, prepares and equips students with the skills and knowledge they need to transform their STEM business ideas from concept to marketable reality.

Since 2004, the America After 3PM study has provided an essential view of how children and young people spend their after school hours. This year’s study includes responses from more than 30,000 U.S. families and builds upon the surveys conducted previously in 2004, 2009 and 2014. In addition to state-level deep dives, the study offers insight into the needs of children and families today and implications for building back better in the post-pandemic world. The top findings of the study paint a stark picture of skyrocketing demand and barriers to access.

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COVID-19 has opened windows into students’ homes, as many are spending a majority of their time in front of cameras in virtual classroom settings. Not every student, though, may be comfortable having classmates or teachers gain a window into their home life. Some may prefer to attend virtual classes with cameras off, feeling shy about what is, or is not, in the background behind them. Remaining sensitive to students and their home life can help educators keep their students not only engaged, but also feeling connected to their peers — even while keeping the cameras turned off.

As the lines blurred between in-school and out-of-school in 2020, it prompted many questions about how organizations that traditionally work with students out-of-school have fared. The Overdeck Family Foundation had a chance to catch up with the leaders of FIRST, Learn Fresh, and Girlstart – three leading out-of-school STEM organizations – and ask them how the events of this year have affected their operations, plans, and outlook on the future.

Difficult conversations, more transparency throughout the organization, and ensuring you are hiring leaders who understand equity and inclusion are critical. But how do you know if your organization truly fosters equity appropriately, if at all? The answers partly lie in conducting an equity audit.

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