More than 100 National Leaders Join Forces to Advocate for Expanded Learning Time in Low-Income Schools
Great news from my friend Chris Gabrieli, who's been one of the leaders of the push for extended learning time:
The short of it (in my mind) is that a growing body of evidence (much of it from Roland Fryer) shows that expanded time is one of the central levers in successful charters and schools serving high-poverty students. Now, an amazingly diverse coalition (Randi Weingarten, Dave Levin, Mike Feinberg, Richard Barth, Linda Darling-Hammond, Jon Schnur, Wendy Kopp, Cory Booker, and former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist; superintendents of NY, Chicago and LA; civil rights leaders and business leaders; top academics such as Tom Kane) has come together to say – with over 1,000 schools proving it, let's get it done for all high-poverty schools. With billions of dollars of federal resources newly available as well, this is a moment in time.
Below is the press release:
More than 100 education and civic leaders from a wide variety of backgrounds launched a national coalition today to encourage an educational shift that could change the way American children learn. The mission of the coalition is simple: to inspire and motivate communities across the country to add more learning time to a redesigned school day and year, enabling children everywhere—especially in disadvantaged schools—to get the education they need to succeed.
Expanded learning time is an approach that is taking hold in low-income communities in many cities nationwide—including Chicago, Boston, Charlotte, Houston, Denver, New York City and Newark. These efforts have inspired a diverse group of more than 100 nationally known educators, policy experts and public officials to form the Time to Succeed Coalition. Each has pledged to champion a new calendar in American education, one no longer based on a 19th-century farm and factory society. They are leading a drive to turn successful ad hoc efforts into a nationally transformative movement.
Approximately 1,000 schools serving 460,000 students have adopted expanded learning time, adding hours to the day or days to the school year, while also redesigning how they deliver instruction. The coalition's aim is to catalyze the movement to double the number of students in schools with expanded schedules over the next two years.
Empirical evidence bears out the experiences of these schools and districts. Exhaustive research by Harvard University economist Roland Fryer has found that more learning time is one of the factors most closely correlated to improved student achievement.
More than $4.5 billion in federal resources has been made available by the Obama administration and Congress to support expanding learning time. At the state and local levels, governors and mayors are making expanded learning time a priority.
Former Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee and Mayor Cory Booker of Newark are founding signatories of the coalition, which is co-chaired by Chris Gabrieli, co-founder and chairman of the National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL), and Luis A. Ubiñas, president of the Ford Foundation.
"We no longer structure our lives the way we did a century ago; why should we structure our schools that way?" Ubiñas asked.
10 May 2012