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Longer School Days Are Coming to Some Massachusetts Schools

Massachusetts is one of five states to add 300 hours of class time every year for a handful of select schools. Will it help?

Will more time in school translate into greater student achievement?

Federal and state officials are announcing today that Massachusetts, along with Connecticut, New York, Tennessee and Colorado, are participating in a pilot program to find out.

Csmonitor.com reports that the program will add at least 300 hours of learning time in some schools starting next fall. 

Fall River and Lawrence are the two Massachusetts towns included in the pilot project. Boston.com reports that this new program adds to an effort launched six years ago in Massachusetts to lengthen the school day in several school districts.

The pilot program reportedly will last three years and include almost 20,000 students in 40 schools with an eye to bringing in more schools if it is effective, particularly lower-performing schools in poor communities. Each school district gets to decide exactly how the school time will be increased - either longer school days or more of them? Or both?

The pilot is part of a project called the TIME (Time for Innovation Matters in Education) Collaborative, a partnership between the Ford Foundation and the National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL). 

What do you think about this pilot project; do you think this is a constructive approach to improving student achievement?

Would it be helpful or useful in implemented in Danvers?

Tell us in the comments.

Sean Ward December 06, 2012 at 04:16 AM
Homeschooling is done sooner because the teacher doesn't have pace themselves for the slowest kid in the class. They don't have to waste time on topics the kid already understands.
carolyn kelleher December 06, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Sean, I agree with you- homeschooling families are able to adjust their curriculum to fit all learning styles and aren't under the same bureaucratic constraints of programs like no child left behind and constant policy headaches that affect classroom management. As far as the workload you describe in the private sector we are a family that lives under those same workloads-- my husband is in design and advertisement. Most teachers work almost year round as well -coming from a family of teachers the whole summer off scenario doesn't happen in reality. Teachers have to work often in the summer to make up for income due to low salaries, take workshops to stay current and often work in the school district for summer school and other academic needs to be met. Also given the amount of vacation, sick time and flex time in the private sector and the higher pay you might be surprised to find out who does have more vacation time. I can also say the clientele being served is very different - you may serve 10 different companies at any given time (and usually as a fairly large team) but you have to see each of the often 30 or more students as a separate 'company' and only one teacher to meet all that demand. Richard it is sad we can't have a mature exchange of ideas without the word moron coming into play, but having been in a classroom I can tell you that adding more time to the school day will not guarantee more time for a struggling student.
carolyn kelleher December 06, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Also I do agree with you Sean about how private schools use their extended time better by developing the whole person with the extracurricular activities and the built in homework time-- when I went to school for education and then entered the public school system I could not believe how much of what we knew to be good education did not get translated into the actual school day.
richard kee December 07, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Carolyn, did you read the post I replied to
rachel January 04, 2013 at 03:19 PM
I agree. to add to that, Let kids be kids, let them enjoy their childhood. They are forced to grow up so fast these days. Let them do more extracurricular activities or come home and play with their friends. They shouldn't have to grow up so fast, childhood is a precious gift we can't take that away. They're only little for a short amount of time then they have to go out into the real world for the rest of their life. Leave the school day alone.

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