national volunteer week 2014Happy Friday! This week was National Volunteer Week and we’d like to thank Citizen Schools volunteers who work in expanded learning time school programs to support student achievement. Thank you for your dedication to students!

Here is the recap of this week’s expanded learning time (ELT) news:

Read how economic status is a factor in learning time in a normal school day. Education Week highlighted the current poverty-related challenges that already decrease instructional time in high schools; students at low-income schools receive an average of 30 minutes less instruction per day than their higher-income peers.

Some 30,000 Oklahoma educators, parents, and students descended on the State Capitol in Oklahoma City last week to demand more funding for public education. In response, a bill approved by the state Senate Appropriations Committee on April 2 could provide schools with some of the money they need, with a tie to increasing school time. If the bill is enacted, schools would receive increased funding, and in exchange would have to add a day to their school calendar each year over nine years. All total, Oklahoma schools would add nine days to their annual calendar.

Teachers and administrators in Guilford, PA are using more time in the school day and year as a lever for turning around struggling schools.  “It comes from the internal desire to know that the kids here can do better than they’re doing,” Ashton Clemmons, the principal of Oak Hill Elementary in High Point said. “It comes from a district who knows that they want to raise the achievement of all kids but especially low-performing kids.”

A new report to be released on Monday shows that many public schools in New York City do not offer any kind of arts education, and that the lack of arts instruction disproportionately affects low-income neighborhoods. Data shows that 20 percent of public schools lack any arts teachers, including roughly 1 out of 7 middle and high schools, even though state law requires arts instruction for middle and high school students. “With more time, some schools in high-poverty communities are finding ways to integrate arts into their school day.”