Expanded Learning Time as an Avenue to Change
Twenty-first century teaching and learning pose stark challenges, as we seek both to educate all of our children and to do so to a level of unprecedented rigor. Meeting our audacious goals will require overhauling our outmoded system of public education. Whatever the merits of today's familiar classrooms, schools, and systems, the feeble progress born of 40 years of varied reforms suggests that current arrangements are manifestly unsuited to the challenges ahead. The path forward requires rethinking everything about how schools are organized and funded, including who teaches and how they go about their work. Happily, this offers the opportunity to transcend some hackneyed and divisive debates, and to consider a fresh take on how we use talent, time, tools, and resources to best serve kids.
Expanded learning time (often referred to as ELT) is one useful mechanism for such rethinking. Proponents of ELT hope that educators can tap the additional time needed to help drive student achievement while doing far more to inspire and engage students. They hold out the promise of doing so both within and outside brick-and-mortar school buildings and beyond the traditional 8:00 a.m.-to-2:30 p.m. school day. A recent research report, commissioned by the Wallace Foundation, suggests that ELT can make a difference for student achievement , but only if done thoughtfully and well.
In this way, ELT is no different from any number of hyped innovations, which showed promise in pilot sites only to disappoint at scale. More lasting impact will demand a more profound effort. We contend that one cannot deliver on the promise of ELT, much less transform American schools, without revisiting familiar governance arrangements, management practices, teacher job...
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- Round Rock ISD, Round Rock, TX
- Regional Area Partner
- Focus EduVation, US
- Christ the King Preparatory School, NJ
- Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning
- Roanoke City Public Schools, Roanoke, VA
- The Berkeley Institute, HAMILTON, Bermuda