Project-Based Learning (PBL)

Third-Party Assessment of Citizen Schools

All of the programs in our New Day for Learning, Part Two, series have undergone outside evaluation to either gauge their success, improve performance, or both.

January 20, 2009

Independent, third-party assessment that quantifies accomplishments and identifies areas for improvement is what can transform a good program into an exceptional one. And investigating what makes full-time-learning programs work can lead us to that new day for learning, when all kids have access to the people and programs they need to flourish.

Since 2001, Citizen Schools has engaged Policy Studies Associates (PSA), an outside agency that conducts research in education and youth development, to perform a longitudinal study of the Citizen Schools program and its impact on students, comparing students who participate in the program to similar students who do not participate, and following both groups from middle school into high school. PSA's findings demonstrate that Citizen Schools bridges the transition from middle school to high school and improves performance in core academic courses and high-stakes tests well after students graduate from the program. For example:

  • Sixth- and seventh-grade Citizen Schools participants earned better grades than peers who did not attend the program in English and math and scored higher on a state English exam during their first year in the program, all at statistically significant levels.

  • Fifty-nine percent of Citizen Schools participants enrolled in top-tier college-track high schools, versus 28 percent of similar peers.

  • Students who participated in Citizen Schools in middle school continued to attend school at higher rates in high school.

  • In tenth grade, 46 percent of participants earned A's or B's in their English courses, compared to 26 percent of peers who did not participate, and 36 percent scored A's or B's in math, compared to 28 percent of their peers.

Click here for details and the full report.

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