Education & STEAM

BellXcel’s Quality Indicator Literature Review
Funder: BellXcel 
Project Time Period: 2020

Project Category: Education & STEAM/Literature Review/Quality Indicators/OST Programming/Summer Programming 

About BellXcel: BellXcel estimates that 7.5 million children from under-resourced communities are performing significantly below grade level. Studies show a large part of this gap is due to a lack of access to high-quality summer and afterschool learning. With third-grade reading as a powerful indicator of life-long success, these cumulative learning gaps lead to devastating consequences for children, families, and the nation as a whole. At BellXcel, they are meeting this crisis head-on. BellXcel’s solutions make it easier for school and nonprofit partners to implement and continuously improve evidence-based summer and afterschool learning programs that empower students and educators.

The Work: BellXcel commissioned MAI to conduct a literature review to explore and learn more about quality assessment in other classroom-based programs, to shed light on the efficacy of the constructs and indicators BellXcel is currently using, and to identify other constructs and/or indicators for consideration. 

What We Learned: One of this review's overall learnings is that there is a recent literature base for all of BellXcel’s quality indicators, indicating strong consensus of BellXcel’s quality standards. The indicators have been explored by other researchers and are aligned with other quality tools. Of BellXcel’s standards, there is the most empirical support for the curriculum and instruction and culture and climate indicators.

  • To learn more about this study and its findings, please click here to visit the Sperling Center for Research and Innovation (SCRI) website who invited MAI’s Founder and President, Wendy McClanahan to participate in an expert interview to discuss the review's findings and share her unique perspective on Quality Assessments in Out-of-School-Time (OST).
  • You can also download a pdf of the expert interview here