Tracking An Emerging Movement: A Report on Expanded Time Schools in America

The National Center on Time & Learning has released a groundbreaking report documenting the state of expanded-time schools in America. The report draws from the organization’s new national database of schools that have broken from the conventional school calendar in order to improve educational outcomes. The database and report represent the most comprehensive attempt to define and describe this growing and much watched field. 

Both President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have consistently called for expanded learning time as part of their ambitious effort to reform the nation’s schools. The guidelines for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), including the highly competitive Race to the Top grant, highlight lengthening the school day and year as a key strategy for improving low-performing schools.  

With support from the Hewlett Foundation, the report, Tracking an Emerging Movement: A Report on Expanded-Time Schools in America, draws from a database of the 655 schools the center identified across 36 states serving more than 300,000 students. The report analyzes the schools’ key characteristics, as well as survey data on a subset of 245 schools on how the added time is utilized and funded. Notable findings include:

On average these schools offer about 25 percent more time than the national norm of 180 six-hour days;

While a majority of the schools included are public charter schools, more than one-quarter of the schools identified are standard district public schools;

Compared with national averages, schools with expanded time serve a more heavily minority and poorer student population; and

Data suggest that more time is associated with higher academic achievement, as students in schools with an expanded school day were found on average to outperform their district peers.

Download the entire report.
Source: The National Center on Time & Learning

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