Consensus on Learning Time Builds
Interest in Expanding Hours for Students to Master Academic, Social, and Workplace Skills Is Mounting
Under enormous pressure to prepare students for a successful future—and fearful that standard school hours don’t offer enough time to do so—educators, policymakers, and community activists are adding more learning time to children’s lives.
“This issue is hot right now,” said Bela P. Shah, a senior program associate for after-school initiatives at the National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, Education, and Families. “There’s a real understanding that we have to do more, and that everyone has to take responsibility for it.”
Twenty-five years ago, the still-resonant report A Nation at Risk urged schools to add more time—an hour to the usual six-hour day and 20 to 40 days to the typical 180-day year—to ward off a “rising tide of mediocrity” in American education. Today, in city agencies and school district offices, at statehouses and on the national stage, leaders are engaged in a renewed effort...
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