NEW REPORTS: Expanded Learning Time; Studying Successes and A Detailed Look at Implementation
WASHINGTON, DC – The Center for American Progress, made possible with support from The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, released today two reports geared to help policy-makers and practitioners make practical and informed decisions on expanding the school day and year to create more opportunities for students to learn.
The first, “Expanded Learning Time in Action – Initiatives in High-Poverty and High-Minority School and School Districts,” reports on whether and how high-poverty and high-minority schools and districts are rethinking the school calendar.
The second, “Taking Stock of the Fiscal Costs of Expanded Learning Time,” provides guidance for district policymakers on how to evaluate various costs that result from expanding the length of the school day. Specifically, it provides a framework for policymakers and practitioners to identify the key cost components involved, cost out core design elements and compare these costs against other reform initiatives. Finally, the report looks closely at external factors affecting efforts to extend learning time, such as existing fund ing sources and other trade-offs and strategies that must be considered.
“Expanded Learning Time in Action – Initiatives in High-Poverty and High-Minority School and School Districts” is a culmination of an over-two-and-a-half year period of research to identify and study schools and districts across the country with more learning time. The report identifies more than 300 current initiatives in high-poverty and high-minority schools across 30 states, implemented between 1991 and 2007. It also offers snapshots of school and district initiatives that incorporate additional learning time into the school calendar.
In presenting these initiatives, this report explains why schools and districts choose to expand learning time, how that time was added to the calendar, and what the reform means for schools and students. This report also begins to consider the impact of more time on student achievement.
Based on this research, the report points to a few key findings:
- Schools are extending their learning time. Charter schools lead the effort, significantly expanding learning time.
- Time on task is added through a longer school day, school week, school year, or a combi nation of these options.
- There is great diversity in the ways in which schools are utiliz ing additional learning time. Approaches vary in terms of focus, content, and structure, with schools tailoring their programs to meet their students’ needs.