Busy week for expanded learning time! Here is this week’s news:
The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation – a TSC supporter – released a report detailing the best practices of the 2012 Public Charter School winner, YES Prep Public School in Houston, Texas. The charter school network has impressive 100% graduation rates; with an expanded school schedule is one its key practices.
Stanford’s University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes released a new study documenting the boost in student achievement seen by charter schools in Massachusetts. The study highlights the schools’ longer schedules as critical to their success as Boston charter schools have an average of 8.2 hours a day while traditional public schools only have 6.1 hours a day.
Catalyst Chicago announced on Wednesday that they would be participating with four other newspapers across the country in a year-long, multi-city reporting project examining expanded learning time. The collaborative effort was made possible by a grant from the Ford Foundation (which is partners with NCTL to lead the Time to Succeed Coalition).
In Washington, D.C., negotiations around the next teachers’ contract are believed to include more flexibility for principals and teachers to opt into longer school days and years as a way to compete with the District’s charter schools.
The Boston Teacher’s Union President Richard Stutman wrote a piece supporting expanding learning time and Governor Patrick’s proposal that would increase the funding available for middle schools with high-poverty populations to expand the school day.
A bill proposed by Missouri’s Representative Lyle Rowland (R) would increase the minimum requirement of instructional time by 36 hours. Representative Rowland argues that the alternative increase in hours would provide more flexibility for school districts. The Governor’s office is now backing the bill.
In an op-ed, Michigan Howell Public Schools Superintendent Ron Wilson , a TSC Signatory, outlines his reasons for supporting expanding learning time, explaining that while the responsibilities and pressures of schools have increased over the years, the amount of time has stayed the same.