As schools across the country struggle to find time to provide their students with engaging hands-on lessons in science, five schools and their science partners have received grants from NCTL and the Noyce Foundation to introduce a new STEM education program to their students. 

Kathleen Megan of the Hartford Courant wrote a great article last week on the Casimir Pulaski Elementary School in Meriden, CT, one of our TIME Collaborative schools beginning their third year with an expanded school schedule.

At NCTL, we spend a lot of time thinking about alternative school schedules and helping schools and districts plan new schedules that meet their students’ learning needs. As students across the country are returning to school this week, a new twist on school scheduling is very much in the news. 

There is plenty of evidence demonstrating that more time in school can help students learn a broader set of skills and subjects. If you want the hard facts, check out our ELT research section. Not only does more learning time play a pivotal role in enabling a well-rounded education,  we know that expanding learning time can lead to accelerated student achievement.

An intriguing poll by Education Next was released this week that shows declining support for the Common Core. While a majority still support the math and literacy standards now in place in 43 states, the size of that majority has definitely shrunk from a year ago (65 percent support in 2013 vs. 53 percent support in 2014).  Interestingly, the decline in support seems largely a case of the Common Core as “a tainted brand,” to use the term of the survey authors.

Today’s blog post is written by our summer intern, Talia Mercado. 

Growing up with a mother as a teacher taught me the importance of education at an early age. I grew up going into school with my mother and sitting in on the elementary school classes she taught.

Nearly everyone in my family works or used to work in education, so it’s only natural that I have an interest in the field as well. Throughout my experience I have worked in many schools in my college town of Lewiston, Maine, and have felt frustrated by some of what I see in those classrooms - run down facilities with insufficient resources, failed grades on standardized tests, and projects left unfinished as teachers work hard to keep up with curriculum requirements. I know that expanded learning time could help these struggling schools.

recent story out of New Haven, CT has been making the rounds in the education reform world. The tale is of one school’s effort to expand learning time and how that attempt failed to meet expectations.  Here’s the story in brief, as reported by Melissa Bailey of the Hechinger Report:

Earlier this month, Governor Patrick signed the MA state's FY2015 $36.5 billion budget. As with every year, there are many competing priorities and we are grateful that the budget includes a $500,000 increase for the MA Expanded Learning Time Initiative, bringing the funding for the Initiative up to $14.6M. 

Today’s blog is written by summer intern, Jeanie Mai.

Every child should be given an expanded learning time (ELT) education, but most don’t have that opportunity. Fortunately, I lived in an area where an ELT school had just opened up, and conveniently, in the grade I was entering.