For decades, k-12 education had a laser-like focus on academic success as measured by standardized test scores. While this was happening, educators struggled to find ways to provide the well-rounded educational experience for students they knew was important.
More than 200 educators and district leaders across seven states gathered last Friday and Saturday to discuss how Expanded Learning Time can improve learning for students and help schools reach new common core standards, and how to pay for it.
As the authors of A Nation at Risk pointed out more than 30 years ago, America's students simply do not spend enough time in quality learning environments to reach the high expectations of the modern global economy.
While the Common Core State Standards in two subjects represent a groundbreaking step forward, we cannot wait another twenty years for American schools to focus on the broader subjects and skills that are necessary to prepare students for success in our changing world.
Schools are approaching a tipping point on time. Throughout the country, educators are reconsidering the traditional school day and school year calendar and exploring ways to increase the amount of learning time provided to students.
President Obama's 2014 budget proposes an increase to funding for expanded learning opportunities through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant program. This is an exciting step in the right direction for our low income children and youth.
Time has to be high quality for it to be effective. It has to reach the students who need it most -- those who are struggling academically and who lack educational opportunities and support outside of the school.
We hold out hope that Americans will begin to see as a higher priority the necessity of strengthening our education system, if for no other reason but to keep alive the hope of their children achieving the American Dream.
Attending the KIPP 10th Annual School Summit last week gave me the chance to reflect on my early work with KIPP, its intersection with my organization, the National Center on Time & Learning, and what the future holds for both.
As CPS prepares to extend both the school day and school year, I question the potential impact on professional learning and sharing. Will the full day schedule be flexible enough to allow for collaboration?
The Expanding Learning and Afterschool Project is a 50-state initiative that gives educators easy and direct access to research and promising practices that can help them use time beyond the conventional school day most effectively for learning.
By next school year, all Chicago Public Schools will be required to add more minutes of instruction to their school day -- taking the district from having one of the shortest school days in the country to one of the longest.