February was an exciting month for expanding learning time! Here are some of the most exciting developments from states and districts across the country.
Mathematica Policy Research released a study outlining the impressive gains KIPP middle schools are seeing in math, reading, science and social studies after three years. KIPP schools, which predominantly serve students from high-poverty communities across the country, have expanded school days and years as a key pillar of their model.
Tom Torlakson and Jennifer Peck wrote a Huffington Post article, following the release of the Expanding Learning & AfterSchool Project’s compendium, Engaging Minds and Opportunities. In that compendium, Torlakson and Peck have a chapter outlining the collaborative effort in California to fund expanded learning time through Proposition 49, which allocates $500 million to after school and summer programs.
The Equity and Excellence Commission issued a report, “For Each and Every Child,” to the U.S. Department of Education about the disparities in educational opportunities across socioeconomic groups across the country. Expanded learning time was included among the commission’s recommendations as one of the strategies that can close the opportunity gap for children living in communities of concentrated poverty.
The New York Times recently highlighted the growing trend of school districts encouraging physical education teachers to move beyond soccer, kickball, and tennis and include more academics into traditional physical education time. This growing trend is just the latest example of schools being asked to do more with a resource of which they don’t have enough: time.
NPR ‘s All Things Considered reported on the Pulaski School in Meriden, CT, an expanded-time school in that is working to create a cost-effective and sustainable schedule. The segment includes interviews with Principal Daniel Coffee and TSC Co-Chair Chris Gabrieli.
A bill proposed in Arizona would increase funding for schools that expand the school year for an additional 20 days. The current law offers an additional five percent of funding for school districts that expand the school year; the new legislation proposes to increase the funding to eight percent and allows individual schools and charter school networks to apply as well. The bill is bolstered by the success of the Balsz Elementary School District #31 in Phoenix, led by TSC featured signatory Jeff Smith.