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

New Jersey’s Star-Ledger looks at the costs of expanded learning time, following up on Governor Chris Christie’s announcement that he is developing a proposal to expand school time in that that state. Using a recently released report from the National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL) and The Wallace Foundation, reporter Peggy McGlone pulls out some highlights and ideas from the study, and demonstrates that the costs of extending the school day are lower than extending the school year.

Russ Walsh blogged a thoughtful opinion piece about NJ Governor Chris Christie’s proposal to expand the school day, stating why he thinks the proposal has merit. He proposes ideas on what needs to be included in a new school day, such as a school data analysis, added instructional support and enrichment activities, and planning to make sure the school time is well-used.

President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union Address on Tuesday opening with, “Today in America, a teacher spent extra time with a student who needed it, and did her part to lift America’s graduation rate to its highest level in more than three decades.” He didn’t specifically discuss expanded learning time, but did highlight the need to close the achievement gap and mentioned Tennessee, a state where expanded learning is on the agenda with some schools planning as part of the TIME Collaborative (a joint initiative led by the NCTL and the Ford Foundation): “Teachers and principals in schools from Tennessee to Washington, D.C., are making big strides in preparing students with skills for the new economy.”

Education Week showcased a Chicago school that is broadening the reach of the blended learning model, beyond the classroom. This Chicago high school combats the challenges of students not having reliable internet at home by opening a safe, web-connected facility, where students can complete assignments requiring technology there on the weekend.