“I think these are the kernels of a national movement,” Secretary Arne Duncan said earlier this week during the announcement of a major new effort by public schools in five states to add significantly more time to the school year for tens of thousands of students starting in the 2013 school year.
The schools in Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee will use a mix of federal and state funding to cover the cost of adding 300 hours of instruction and enrichment to the school year, and will receive technical assistance from National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL) and capacity building grants from the Ford Foundation, which has committed $3 million a year over the next three years in support of the state efforts.
Secretary Duncan, who joined Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy at the announcement, has made increased learning time a priority during the Obama Administration. “I’m convinced the kind of results we’ll see over the next couple of years I think will compel the country to act in a very different way,” Duncan said.
In conjunction with the announcement, NCTL released a new report showing a significant increase over the last three years in the number of public schools that have expanded learning time. The report, Mapping the Field, shows district schools now account for 40 percent of all expanded-time schools, up from 20 percent of the total in 2009.
For more information on the TIME (Time for Innovation Matters in Education) Collaborative and to read the full Mapping the Field report, visit www.timeandlearning.org.