Schools that successfully extend learning time to improve student achievement change their practice in eight critical ways, according to a study by the National Center on Time & Learning.
NCTL researchers led by Claire Kaplan, the center’s vice president of knowledge management and strategy, identified 30 schools nationwide with high concentrations of poverty that have used extended days, weeks, or years to improve student achievement. The schools vary in size from 188 students to more than 800, span all grade levels, and range in schooling hours per year from a low of 1,277, at the MATCH Charter Public High School in Boston, to a high of 1,680, at An Achievable Dream High School in Newport News, Va.
The researchers found that the schools that improved achievement through extended learning time: “made every minute count,” by maximizing time on task; prioritizing time use according to focused learning goals; tailoring instructional time to individual students’ needs; building a culture of high expectations and accountability; and including time for a “well rounded” education, including the arts.
These schools also used time to continuously improve instruction, such as through teacher planning, collaboration, and coaching; set aside time to assess, analyze, and respond to student data; and included college- and career-readiness preparation.
It wasn’t just about expanding time for students; it was expanding time for teachers, Ms. Kaplan said.
A version of this article appeared in the October 05, 2011 edition of Education Week as Study: Ways to Use More Time Well