Commissioned by The Wallace Foundation, the guide is based on decades of social science research on child development, teaching and learning, and organizational management, as well as the forum’s experience working with more than 70 after-school efforts around the country. It draws heavily on efforts in six communities to build systems to improve the quality of after-school programming: Atlanta, Ga.; Austin, Texas; Chicago, Ill.; New York, N.Y.; Palm Beach County, Fla.; and Hampden County, Mass. Each city’s effort is profiled in a case study.
The new guide, called “Building Citywide Systems for Quality: A Guide and Case Studies for Afterschool Leaders,” explains an emerging practice known as a quality improvement system (QIS), an intentional effort to raise the quality of after-school programming in an ongoing, organized fashion. The approach is based on what management gurus call “continuous improvement”: the idea that organizations should regularly take stock of themselves against a standard; develop plans to improve based on what they learned; carry out those plans; and begin the cycle over again so that the quality of their work is always improving.…Read More