This is the first in a series of four issue briefs examining critical issues facing middle school youth and the role that after-school programs can play in addressing these issues. This brief explores after-school and the Common Core State Standards, describing: 1) how U.S. students measure up internationally; 2) the need for 21st Century skills; 3) why the Common Core State Standards can help better prepare U.S. students; and 4) the role that after-school programs can play in reaching that goal.
This brief provides information on the history, current status relative to implementation and success in meeting goals, as well as arguments related to their use. Its focus is on the extended day as an opportunity to further support student growth relative to the standards. The brief concludes: "The Common Core is a frequent topic of conversation among educators, educational experts and policy makers. However, much more needs to be done to familiarize students and parents with the standards, and teachers and schools require additional supports to ensure they are able to raise student achievement to meet the standards of the Common Core. Expanded learning programs are a valuable space to foster academic and socio-emotional support for children and have much to offer students, teachers and families as the Common Core enters classrooms around the U.S."