Framing an Evidence-Based Decision about 21st CCLC: How do we see the value?

Our investment in the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) program is indeed a rare example of a social investment with substantially bi-partisan support and, equally important, a growing footprint of local collaboration with elected officials, school administrators, and community providers. Although the program enjoys wide support, the depth of the investment, $1.2 billion each year, should lead us to regularly ask questions about social value. Is it worth the money? In this policy commentary, we do some reasoning about how 21st CCLC produces value and discuss the limitations in one particular way of seeing that value – the intent-to-treat impact evaluation design. Because some actors see the intent-to-treat evaluation design as a sufficient source of evidence for high stakes policy decisions about 21st CCLC programs (e.g., Dynarski, 2015; Kremer et al., 2015), we want to take time to understand how the decision to use this powerful evaluation method affects what gets seen and what gets valued.


Authors: Charles Smith,Stephen C. Peck,Gina McGovern,Karen Pittman

Publisher: David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality

2015-05-11_21st CCLC Eval_Smith Pittman Peck McGovern.pdf - 165.11 KB