Topic: Teachers

Designing Schools for Success

By: Chelsea Murphy

How can we create a school that can support the needs of every student?

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ELT Soup 01.31.14

By: Chelsea Murphy

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

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ELT Soup 01.17.14

By: Chelsea Murphy

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

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When we were thinking of a way to show how the outdated calendar shortchanges students, we knew we needed to visually break down what the average state minimum requirements in annual school hours actually mean. And although over 1,000 schools are breaking the 180 day, 6 ½ hour mold, others are stuck with a minimum hourly requirement that, when broken down, amounts to a time spent gaining new knowledge that is, well, embarrassing.

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This post is part of a 4 week blog series from teachers at The Salemwood School in Malden, Massachusetts. Learn more. Having expanded learning time (ELT) has given us the opportunity to teach on a much deeper level. In the days prior to ELT, we had almost every “tool” necessary for teaching our most neediest of students (materials, wonderful new curriculum, dedicated teachers who were always willing to go the “extra mile” to help our students achieve academic success) but we were missing one key characteristic of successful teaching: TIME. ELT provides us with the crucial minutes that we so desperately need to help close the achievement gap.

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This blog post was written by Anne Marie Frassica, a former teacher in the Boston Public Schools, who is currently earning her MBA at Harvard Business School

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In an op-ed yesterday in the Wall Street Journal, American Federation of Teachers President and Time to Succeed featured signatory Randi Weingarten, with Chicago Union President Karen Lewis, outlined the tentative agreement made in Chicago last week including the longer school day and year, the importance of wraparound services, and ensuring that teachers have the supports they need in the classroom. Their op-ed reminds us that when people come together to deal with matters affecting education, the voices of the teachers are critical. When they are, ‘students, parents and communities are better for it.’

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Eric Schwarz is a Time to Succeed signatory and the co-founder and CEO of Citizen Schools, a nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities across the country. In the debate over longer school days, the conversation often turns to the logistics of how teachers will staff the extra hours. On CNN's School of Thought blog, Eric writes on how Citizen Schools and others, are working on inventive approaches to lengthening the day. 

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We were delighted to see the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) announce their newest publication last week. NCLR, led by President and CEO Janet Murguía, also a TSC featured signatory, recognizes the positive effects of expanded learning time on the academic achievement and social and emotional development of Latino youth and English language learners (ELLs).

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Last month we invited our signatories to contribute to the TSC blog answering one simple question: “Why should schools expand learning time?” We will be rolling out the submissions in the coming weeks and to get us started is a submission from Jennifer Burn, Policy Analyst for the New Teacher Center on the importance of expanding learning time for the benefit of teachers. 

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