A recap of the week’s expanding learning time (ELT) news:

It turns out that Oregon students spend three fewer weeks in school than the national norm of 180 days, averaging about 165 days per year. The Oregonian Editorial Board calls this practice into question, saying that it is particularly unfair to students living in areas of concentrated poverty. They urge Oregon schools to aim for at least the 180-day national average – and ideally more.

Stephenson Area Public Schools in Michigan was the only district in Menominee Country and the Upper Peninsula to have a state ranking in student achievement above 80% at all three grade levels this year. This is particularly remarkable because, just three years ago, the middle and high schools were ranked in the bottom 5% of schools in the state. In order to turn the struggling schools around, the administration and school board along with their teachers developed a plan that started with a longer school day and a longer school year.

In a survey conducted by DDB Worldwide, 76% of parents are happy their kids are now heading back to school. Additionally, they found that 44% of parents (with school-age children between 6-17) want their children to attend school for more hours each day and 47% want their kids to attend school for more months of the year. Fifty-one percent of parents said they would trade homework for a longer school day.

Schools in Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Tennessee that are part of the five-state TIME Collaborative (an effort spearheaded by the National Center on Time & Learning and the Ford Foundation which aims to develop high-quality, sustainable ELT schools) started classes this week with their redesigned school schedules. Education Week summarized some of the most recent buzz at the start of the new ELT year. One of our favorite stories comes out of Denver, Colorado!