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Report Series: Higher Achievement Evaluation
Part 2 of 2

Staying On Track

Testing Higher Achievement’s Long-Term Impact on Academic Outcomes and High School Choice

Summary findings from an evaluation of Higher Achievement, an afterschool and summer program for middle school students founded in Washington, D.C.
November 2013
A female teacher standing in a green field outdoor with a group of mixed gender and race student all wearing orange
  • Author(s)
  • Carla Herrera, Jean Grossman, and Leigh L. Linden
  • Publisher(s)
  • MDRC
Page Count 23 pages


How can national nonprofits provide learning opportunities to as many children as possible while maintaining program quality and financial stability

In November 2013, Wallace’s expanded learning grantees gathered in Brooklyn, N.Y., along with researchers, experts in nonprofit strategy, communications professionals, and foundation staff members to talk about the challenge of “scaling up” both effectively and responsibly. This report captures the resulting lively discussion. It features conference participants speaking in their own words about doing “the jujitsu” that turns a small innovation into a large-scale solution; avoiding the “sugar high” of too-rapid expansion; providing children with the educational equivalent of “a hand-tailored suit” rather than one-size-fits-all programming; and “supporting the ‘What Works Movement,’” a reference to the Obama administration’s strategy of investing in nonprofits that have shown they can deliver positive results.

The report describes communications efforts intended to establish the need for expanded learning opportunities. It also highlights the results of a project to determine what it means for an expanded learning program to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards.

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