Providing Increased Learning Time Opportunities to High School Students

Each year, an increasing number of high schools provide longer school days, longer school years, or partner with community-based organizations for out-of-school academic support to close achievement gaps. This number is expected to keep climbing with the new budget proposed by President Obama, which includes $600 million for School Turnaround Grants (increased learning time is a requirement under SIG).

This funding may help sustain the momentum created by state departments of education and school districts partnering with intermediary organizations and community providers to offer academic and enrichment opportunities beyond the regular school day to improve student performance and increase engagement. The Massachusetts Department of Education (DOE) has participated in those pioneering efforts, by implementing the nation’s first state-sponsored, multidistrict effort to redesign the school day that adds two hours to the traditional school day. This initiative involves a partnership between Massachusetts 2020, an educational nonprofit dedicated to expanding educational and economic opportunities for children and families across Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts DOE. Massachusetts 2020 provides technical assistance to schools for all aspects of redesigning the school day, including curriculum and instruction, staffing and scheduling, and teacher professional development.

To learn more about those models see the High School Alliance report, Academic Interventions to Help Students Meet Rigorous Standards: State Policy Options; a report by the Center for American Progress, Expanding Learning Time in High Schools; and a report by the Center on Time and Learning, Tracking an Emerging Movement: A Report on Expanded Learning Time Schools in America.

Note: This blog post was originally authored under the auspices of the National High School Center at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). The National High School Center’s blog, High School Matters, which ran until March 2013, provided an objective perspective on the latest research, issues, and events that affected high school improvement. The CCRS Center plans to continue relevant work originally developed under the National High School Center grant. National High School Center blog posts that pertain to CCRS Center issues are included on this website as a resource to our stakeholders.

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