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

The most talked about news of the week spurred from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s State of the State address on Tuesday. His call to expand New Jersey school hours has bipartisan support among the political sector and has been generating a lot of community buzz. His voice joins the growing momentum of support towards expanding school time in order to raise achievement and compete with international education standards. In his speech, Christie said that his administration will work with education officials to draft a specific proposal for expanded learning time.

In Boston, the interim school superintendent, John McDonough, is making bold changes and revamping schools with a new teacher hiring plan. One school, Marshall, surrounded by poverty and violence, was failing students, and has been revamped through a multiple step process to strengthen leadership the teaching corps as well as expand the school day. Now renamed to UP Academy Dorchester as a nonprofit partner Unlocking Potential, was brought in to oversee these new changes, the school has already seen tremendous positive growth from the students. McDonough says about his plan, “Our obligation is to ensure their [students] success.”

A Maryland middle school has implemented a longer school day to give students hands-on learning time to explore individual interests. The Prince George’s County district has added 40 minutes of class time to offer more enrichment-focused learning, includingan engineering course, sports and fitness classes, and poetry and art classes. The school reports a rise in test scores since expanding their school day.