A new analysis of data from high schools in six urban districts says the schools structured class time too rigidly without allowing for demands of specific subjects, waited too long to provide extra learning time for struggling students, and failed to provide individual attention to students not in special education.
In a paper released with the Boston-based National Center on Time and Learning, Education Resource Strategies found that the schools did not use data to adjust the management of time based on student demands. Particularly, class sizes were not adjusted for high-priority subjects or students, and in half the districts, the smallest class sizes were found in upper-grade electives, says the paper by the Watertown, Mass.-based consulting organization.
The study compares time-management strategies in those districts with those of nine urban high schools that an earlier ERS study held up as exemplary. In that study, the leading-edge schools were found to adopt flexible time-use strategies to advance schools instructional models and to increase time dedicated to core academics and overall time spent in school.
A version of this article appeared in the April 21, 2010 edition of Education Week as Schools’ Time Use