Today's post is written by Antonio Parés.

The momentum behind expanded learning time to improve student achievement continues to grow. Learning time is a resource that education leaders across the country are eager to maximize for students from high-poverty communities.  Unfortunately, we often believe, and it’s often the case that more time involves a tradeoff, and in the education sector that tradeoff is money.

This morning, NCTL co-founder and president Jennifer Davis discussed the announcement of the Extended Learning Grant in Utica, NY on Utica’s WIBX radio.

We are pleased to welcome Guilmette Middle School in Lawrence and Boston's Young Achievers K-8 Pilot School and Dever Elementary School to the MA Expanded Learning Time Initiative. 

Today's blog is written by our summer intern, Abby Cobb, who is heading into her junior year at Yale University. 

Dear Skeptical Students,
At the end of my spring semester, I couldn’t wait for summer and the start of my internship with NCTL, a welcome reprieve from lectures and midterms.

Making Every Minute Count is an essential element of effective expanded learning time schools.  When coupled with other essentials such as time for teachers to collaborate and a positive school culture exciting things happen for students. See for yourself in these three video clips from a Palo Alto, CA third grade classroom as featured on the Teaching Channel.

“We congratulate the nine school districts across New York state that have been awarded the state’s Extended Learning Time Grant. For students, particularly in our neediest communities, the current school calendar of 180 six-and-a-half-hour days is simply not enough, and these schools are taking an important step forward by designing a modern school schedule. 

This past Friday was Summer Learning Day, a national advocacy day recognized to spread awareness about the importance of summer learning for our nation’s youth in helping close the achievement gap and support healthy development in communities all across the country.

"You are never strong enough that you don't need help." 

This quote, by famous labor leader Cesar Chavez, seems a fitting start to a post about this year’s Massachusetts Education Partnership Conference, which revolved around the theme “Leading K-12 Innovation through Labor-Management Collaboration.” With an emphasis on the future of labor-management collaboration, the conference reflected the spirit of Chavez’s words and served as a forum to discuss the future of education with regards to labor negotiations.

I recently listened to a fascinating radio conversation on WBUR’s On Point program with a group of teachers who had left the profession. For an hour, they engaged with each other and with callers about how teaching today is fraught with so much regulation, pressure and lack of support that they felt they had no other choice but to leave.  

This week I read the article “Professional Learning Takes Time in Education Week.  The article is an honest teacher perspective from Noah Zeichner, a Teacher at Chief Sealth International School in Seattle, Washington, who shares his belief in the value of building professional learning opportunities into the school day.