I recently spent a few days at some schools in Colorado and have come away with many stories. But there is one particular scene that has really stuck with me because it resonates far beyond the little classroom nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where I sat.
Fueled by policy action at the federal, state and local levels, the number of expanded-time schools has doubled over the past two years! Schools with redesigned and expanded schedules are now serving over one million students in predominantly urban communities across the country.
We appreciate that bipartisan progress has been made this week by the Senate HELP (Health Education Labor & Pension) committee on reauthorization of the Elementary & Secondary Education Act. We were particularly pleased that the committee passed two bipartisan amendments that are crucial for maintaining and growing powerful education reforms - the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program (21CCLC) and a new evidence-based innovation fund (similar to the Obama Administration's Invest in Innovation grant program).
We also call on Congress to continue their focus on providing targeted resources that support interventions - including expanded learning time - in the country's lowest performing schools, as has been done under the School Improvement Grant (SIG) program.
We are pleased today to announce the redesign of our website - www.timeandlearning.org - which highlights all of the services we provide to districts and schools around the country as well as many of our resources.
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of listening to a renowned Finnish educator, researcher, and thinker. The theme of the discussion was on what Finland’s education system can teach us about how to support our schools.
The Kuss Middle School was the first Massachusetts school to be declared "chronically under-performing". Then, the school added 300 hours to its school leveraging significantly more time to improve instruction and student engagement.