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Time to Learn

“Cracks in the Hourglass: Inequalities in Learning Time Between Low-Poverty and High-Poverty Schools”

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Poverty-related challenges steal time from high school class periods, leading students at low-income schools to receive an average of half an hour less instruction per day than their peers in higher-income schools.

Those preliminary results were drawn from a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, held this month in Philadelphia. The study, based on a 2013 survey of a representative sample of 783 teachers from 193 California charter and regular public schools, was led by John Rogers of the University of California, Los Angeles, and conducted with assistance from the Ford Foundation. (The foundation also underwrites coverage of more and better learning time in Education Week.)

Disruptions such as welcoming new students to the classroom, locking the school down during emergencies and drills, administering standardized tests, and coping with teacher absences eat away at more instructional time in high-poverty schools than in lower-poverty schools, according to the study. So, too, do such routines as the transition of students from the hallways to the start of a new class period.

Vol. 33, Issue 28, Page 5

Published in Print: April 16, 2014, as Time to Learn
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