At the local level, it has become increasingly clear that as states, districts, and schools are raising standards and increasing their focus on graduating students that are prepared for college and careers, there is a need to build capacity within the education system.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Every time I head for China, U.S. teachers and parents ask me how we can get our students to be more like the Chinese students. Meanwhile, the Chinese tell me how much they long for American-style education.
It isn't the quantity but rather the quality of an education that determines a learner's success. This commonly held, simple truth seems to be oddly absent in the thinking of both decision-makers and many parents as we seek to raise the next generation of Americans.
Why do we force these kids to meet in class every day, five days a week, up to eight classes a day? Why do teachers have the responsibility to plan and execute lessons all day every day? Under these circumstances, work cannot be productive.
Digital learning won't close the achievement gap, but it will lift the floor. More students will be more academically successful. Five years from now, a higher percentage of students will soon graduate from high school ready for college and careers.
Research shows that time may be the most essential resource of the education system. However, it is important to recognize that merely increasing the amount of time students are in school is not a panacea for improving student performance.