Learning Time in America: Trends to Reform the American School Calendar: A Snapshot of Federal, State, and Local Action
With its profiles of numerous districts and states successfully engaged in longer school days and/or years, this report from the National Center on Time and Learning and the Education Commission of the States is a boost for those pushing to keep intact—and even expand—learning time in this austere climate. It illustrates this with a few real programs (Massachusetts’ Expanded Learning Time Initiative) and initiatives (Oklahoma City’s move to a continuous school year) that have successfully upped hours of student learning. There’s a lot here. But the most useful section offers cost-effective strategies to retain and expand learning time and shows where these strategies are already working. Among them: Stagger staff schedules, use technology as a teaching tool, free schools from restrictive CBAs, and increase class sizes. (For more on each of these, I recommend our Stretching the School Dollar volume.) The report has an obvious agenda and distinct message. But, given the short-sighted and irresponsible cuts to learning time that are all-too-common in states and districts at present, it’s one that is worth heeding.
|Click to listen to commentary on the loss of school time in CA from the Education Gadfly Show podcast
National Center on Time and Learning and Education Commission of the States, “Learning Time in America: Trends to Reform the American School Calendar: A Snapshot of Federal, State, and Local Action,” (Boston, MA: National Center on Time and Learning; Denver, CO: Education Commission of the States, Summer 2011).
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