Changing life trajectories

We have evidence: students who participate in Citizen Schools are more engaged and successful in schools than their peers–even years after the program


Abt Associates (2010-2016): Citizen Schools commissioned Abt Associates to conduct a five-year quasi-experimental external evaluation of the implementation and impact of the Citizen Schools Expanded Learning Time (ELT) initiative as it scaled across the Citizen Schools national network. The final report includes 35 schools across seven states that implemented Citizen Schools ELT for one or more school years. The evaluation was designed to assess both fidelity of implementation and student impact relative to a set of carefully matched comparison schools in the same school districts that did not adopt the Citizen Schools program. The most pronounced student impacts are in the critical area of Social Emotional Learning (SEL). Based on student and teacher survey responses, Citizen Schools participants are significantly more likely to report that the program helps their self-esteem and pro-social behaviors. They are also more likely to participate in activities that help them learn about college and careers. While the evaluation revealed consistently positive impacts on students’ academic achievement (as measured by state assessments in Math and English Language Arts) the overall results were not statistically significant. However, exploratory analyses do show statistically significant impact, equal to three additional months of learning gains in Math, after the first year of Citizen School implementation, as well as an additional three-and-a-half months of learning gains in Math for 7th grade participants specifically.

Citizen Schools is deeply appreciative of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, and the Citizen Schools ELT Impact Fund co-investors for their support and funding of this important multi-year evaluation. 




Policy Studies Associates Evaluation (2001-2010): Citizen Schools Engaged Policy Studies Associates (PSA), a national leader in educational evaluation, to conduct rigorous longitudinal study of its Boston program from 2001 to 2010. The study found that the Citizen Schools program engaged students who were at greater educational risk than district students overall prior to enrolling in Citizen Schools (Arcaira, Vile, and Reisner 2010). PSA found substantial evidence of statistically significant positive impacts on students’ engagement in school, achievement, and graduation.