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EdSource Highlighting Student Success
November 24, 2014
"Expanded learning time" is a term that is now an entrenched part of the vernacular of education reform. But just what is "expanded learning time"? I find the definition from The Glossary of Education Reform helpful: "the term expanded learning
time refers to any educational program or strategy intended to increase the amount of time students are learning, especially for the purposes of improving academic achievement." But more time on its own won't raise achievement levels -- what is key is students spending those extra minutes engaged and learning.

Take a look at this issue of Leading Change for resources to help you consider how more, and better, learning time can fit into your district's plan.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Erin Brownfield
Editor, Leading Change

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by Susan Frey, EdSource

A review of 60 school district Local Control and Accountability Plans found that 4 out of 5 include after-school or other expanded learning time programs to reinforce what teachers are doing in the classroom.   

Read more. 



by Louis Freedberg, EdSource

Even though California schools offer similar amounts of instructional time each week, and instructional days during the school year, students in high poverty schools get far less time for actual learning, according to a major new UCLA report. Read more.

A review of 30 studies on after-school and summer programs across the country found mixed results regarding their benefits on student academic performance. The report, by the American Institutes of Research, also concluded that  "additional rigorous research evidence on expanded learning time schools and year-round schools is needed to inform increased learning time practices as part of the regular school schedule. Additional work is also needed to help practitioners understand the tradeoffs when adopting different types of programs."   A 2012 Wallace Foundation report also reviews the evidence on the impact of expanded learning time.  Read more here.
  • EdSource's Common Core reporter Laurie Udesky writes that despite the perceived controversy over Common Core, more than half of California voters know very little or nothing about the standards. Read more.
  • The Wall Street Journal's "Washington Wire" blog looks at the impact of Common Core on presidential politics in "Jeb Bush, Common Core and 2016." Read more.
  • In this CNN opinion piece, "Common Core, don't copy China's test-prep culture" education professor Yong Zhao enters the debate about Common Core standards and assessments with a view of the effects of high-stakes testing in China. Read more.
Expanded learning time resources

This case study from the National Center on Time and Learning looks at Tumbleweed Elementary School in Palmdale, 60 miles north of LA. The school used a federal School Improvement Grant to expand the school day by 1 hour, provide 7 extra teacher professional development days, and have teachers spend 90 minutes each week in "professional learning communities."   

Time Well Spent from Oakland-based 
Partnership for Children and Youth is a report on helping districts use expanded learning time strategies to improve student outcomes.

The Wallace Foundation's web site offers several free resources and case studies on expanded learning time programs, including best practices, at this link. 

For more, also check out the National Center on Time and Leaming website. 
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