Here are some of the most exciting developments in expanding learning time from states and districts across the country in April.
This month marks the 30 year anniversary of the release of A Nation at Risk. Among the recommendations of this landmark report was increasing the amount of time students in the U.S. spend in school. As this Washington Post article highlights, that recommendation has a long way to go for broad implementation, but we at TSC see great movement every day with new schools in high-poverty communities joining the movement to provide their students with more and better learning time to prepare them for success in college and careers.
TSC made news this month as we launched our first state coalition – Time to Succeed Massachusetts (TSC-MA) – at an event at the Massachusetts State House featuring Governor Deval Patrick and key education and policy leaders across the state. TSC-MA will be focused on building momentum and support for expanded learning time across Massachusetts and already boasts more than 85 featured signatories and more than 5,000 grassroots supporters. The launch was covered by an editorial by The Boston Globe and local newspapers.
The After School Corporation (TASC), led by TSC Featured Signatory Lucy Friedman, released a report outlining the impressive findings of its ExpandED Schools initiative, which was launched in 2011 and has grown to 11 elementary and middle schools in New York City, Baltimore, and New Orleans. Among the report’s key findings is that students in all ExpandED schools increased their math proficiency, outpacing the citywide gains in all three cities.
Outlining the persistent problem with learning time in America, University of Pennsylvania Professor James Lytle breaks down time spent on learning per week for inner city public schools, suburban public schools, private schools, and boarding schools illustrating the vast learning time gap in this piece in the Philadelphia Public Schools The Notebook.
A New York Times article provides insight into Tennessee’s Achievement School District, a state controlled school district comprised of some of the state’s lowest performing schools with data-driven reform strategies and more flexibility. Many of the schools are choosing a longer school day as one of the reforms.
Tiffany Cooper Gueye, CEO of Building Educated Leaders for Life (BELL), wrote an article for the Huffington Post summarizing the momentum and importance of expanding learning time. She argues we must continue to set a targeted approach with clear and achievable standards as the movement continues to grow.
NYC Department of Education Chancellor and TSC Signatory Dennis M. Walcott and NYC City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn announced a new pilot program yesterday to extend the school day and offer intense literacy training for 20 high-needs middle schools in New York City. The pilot program is in partnership with TASC and Harvard EdLabs and will provide an additional twelve hours per week of literacy-focused support embedded within an engaging, high-interest expanded day.