Huffington Post: The Powerful Trend to Improve Schools through Expanded Learning Time
As state legislators and school boards complete their sessions and schools break for the summer, we are reminded of the tremendous momentum over this past year to expand and strengthen learning time in schools.
Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Unified School Board unanimously passed a resolution calling for the superintendent to plan to dramatically increase instructional time to improve student success for Los Angeles's students. Last month, the Iowa legislature approved a bill to fund a pilot project to plan for expanded learning time in three school districts.The month before that, New York City announced that it would be trying out a significantly longer school day -- two-and-a-half hours longer -- in 20 city schools. The Portland, Maine school committee also issued a report calling for the exploration of expanded learning time for the 2014-2015 school year.
In Texas, lawmakers have established an Expanded Learning Opportunities Council. In New Mexico, state lawmakers have considered legislation to lengthen the school year by 20 days. Florida is providing an extra hour per day in the 100 lowest-performing elementary schools. From Hopewell, Virginia, to Mitchell, South Dakota, to Seattle, Washington, school leaders around the country are increasingly discussing expanded learning time as a key strategy to improve teaching and learning.
Taken together, these efforts show that the movement to expand learning time has reached a tipping point. In the next several years, it's likely that millions of more students will benefit from an expanded and strengthened school day and year. Many other developments around the country are detailed in "Learning Time in America," a report issued in May by NCTL and the Education Commission of the States.
You can read the full column in it's entirety here.