A recap of the week’s expanding learning time (ELT) news:
This month the National Journal Magazine looks at the range of interventions involving more time from quality Pre-K to expanding learning time in school to strengthening supports for students in community colleges. The article highlights the Kuss Middle School in Fall River citing both the school’s increased academic achievement and focus on providing a well-rounded education through its expanded day. The article also points out that “[a] 2011 study of two dozen charter schools by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that for high-risk students, extending learning time was more effective than reducing class sizes, spending more per pupil, or upgrading teachers’ credentials.”
Sam Liccardo, a San Jose City Councilor and mayoral candidate, is advocating for longer school days for his city’s schoolchildren. To help gain support in his community, he’s started a petition, making his case and signing up supporters. Learn more here and find his petition here.
The international PISA test scores were released this week, which showed that while the U.S. scores are stagnant, students in countries like the Brazil and Poland are gaining. While in many ways, it is difficult to compare the educational systems across countries, one factor we at here at TSC immediately wanted to look at is the amount of time students spend in school. The BBC beat us to it with this story of South Korea, showing a school system far beyond what would make sense for the U.S. We will continue to think about this issue with our colleagues at the National Center on Time & Learning, who posted this blog on the results.
One ELT Initiative here in the U.S. that we are following closely is New York City’s Middle School ExTRA Initiative, where 20 middle schools expand their school day for 2,000 sixth-graders with the help of partners like TASC, City Year and Citizen Schools. Gotham Schools took a look at how it’s going here.