Study Group on Supplementary Education
At the Henry Chauncy Conference Center
Educational Testing Service
Princeton, New Jersey
September 25 and 26, 2006
Friends thank you for agreeing to serve on the National Study Group on Supplementary Education which is concerned with better understanding the complementarities between learning and teaching that occur outside of the time spent in school and the teaching and learning that occur in school. We are jointly sponsored by the College Board, the Educational Testing Service and the Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College. The agenda of the Study Group will be determined by the members of the group, but our sponsors expect that we will seek to address such issues as:
· What is the domain covered by the construct, what is the nature of the components of these educational experiences, and what are the meanings of these experiences for academic and personal development?
· What are the mechanisms by which these experiences load onto academic development and achievement?
· What do we know and understand about the impact of these out-of-school learning and teaching experiences on academic and personal development? What can we conclude from the uneven data available from extant efforts at the evaluation of supplementary education?
· What models are available or can be created for the evaluation of so diffuse, varied and inconsistently structured learning and teaching experiences as are seen in supplementary education?
· What is the “state of the Art” in Supplementary Education?
In addressing these and other issues, much of our work will be done through commissioned papers, consultation between staff and Study Group members, observation and natural experiments in our primary laboratory (the Harlem Children’s Zone) and other sponsors of exemplary initiatives, conferences sponsored by the Study Group, and the deliberations of the Study Group members at our occasional meetings. We anticipate that the products of the Study Group will be publishable papers and a formal report in some ways similar to the products of the National Task Force on Minority High Achievement and the National Study Group on the Affirmative Development of Academic Ability. You will recall that the Task Force report, Reaching the Top, was instrumental in focusing the attention of the nation on the problem of the academic achievement gap. The report of the Study Group, All Children Reaching the Top, was widely distributed by the North Central Region Education Laboratory and has become a standard reference for a number of school systems across the country. Scott Miller, Executive Director of the Task Force on Minority High Achievement, authored the seminal book on the achievement gap, An American Imperative: Accelerating Minority Educational Advancement. My edited volumes on Supplementary Education: The Hidden Curriculum of High Academic Achievement and Affirmative Development: The Cultivation of Academic Ability were stimulated and informed by the work of the Task Force and the Study Group on the Development of Academic Ability. I hope that our study group on supplemental education will be similarly generative of information that informs education policy and practice.
Edmund W. Gordon