Publications & Resources

Long-Term Outcome Study: A Longitudinal Study of LA’s BEST Students’ Persistence and Graduation Rates

Jan 2019

Deborah La Torre, Seth Leon, Jia Wang, and Li Cai

Regular participation in afterschool programs by elementary students in low income communities may lead to improved college and career readiness. This study found that students who had high levels of participation in the LA’s BEST afterschool program over three years were five percent less likely to dropout and six percent more likely to complete high school on-time than were students in the same elementary schools who never participated in the program. However, students with low levels of attendance did not reap the same benefits. These results were found within the context of more rigorous California State University aligned graduation requirements by Los Angeles Unified School District.

The authors recommend increased funding for afterschool programs to improve attendance and increase the number of students served. They also argue that in large, economically diverse regions such as Los Angeles, even small increases in graduation rates may positively impact opportunities for thousands of students and their families.

La Torre, D., Leon, S., Wang, J., & Cai, L. (2019). Long-term outcome study: A longitudinal study of LA’s BEST students’ persistence and graduation rates (CRESST Report 862). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).