Bringing you the week’s expanding learning time news:

Texas Senators Examine Longer School Day, Year Top education leaders in the Texas Senate are examining ways to extend school days and school years to improve classroom learning. Members of the Education Committee heard invited testimony Thursday from a school administrator at Houston Independent School District. There, officials sought permission to increase learning time at struggling campuses – adding either days to the school year or an hour to the school day. With the added time, the schools saw improved student academic results.

Mayor Menino, BPS and Boston Teachers Union reach tentative agreement on teachers’ contract Mayor Thomas M. Menino, in a joint press conference with Boston Public Schools Superintendent Carol R. Johnson and leaders of the Boston Teachers Union announced a tentative agreement was reached early Wednesday morning on a labor contract that reflects the city’s student-focused plan to improve academic quality, increase graduation rates, and close achievement gaps.

Chicago Reaches a Deal; Students Due Back in School on Monday After five days of a strike by Chicago Public Schools teachers, leaders on both sides said that they had an outline in place for an agreement that could clear the way for schools to reopen Monday. Since last school year, Chicago has been planning for a longer school day in all of its 675 schools.