Schools are approaching a tipping point on time. Throughout the country, educators are reconsidering the traditional school day and school year calendar and exploring ways to increase the amount of learning time provided to students. This increasing focus on time is based on research that proves that more and better learning time increases student engagement, achievement, and success.
The widespread adoption of expanded learning time is an imperative if we are to build a stronger education system that better prepares students for success in the 21st century economy. Furthermore, millions of students currently struggling in school are not going to overcome opportunity and achievement gaps without access to more quality learning time.
Time is a limited resource, and one that must be invested strategically and sustainably. As expanded learning approaches are tested more broadly, we are faced with key decisions that could make or break time as a pillar of education reform. Who participates? For how long? And, what characterizes that time? Expanded learning time must start as a strategic effort to deliver differentiated learning experiences to the students who need it the most.