I wrote two days ago about an Expanded Learning Time pilot program in Massachusetts that has generated improved academic performance. Didn’t really think it would be time to harp on the same subject again, but …
Hawaii has passed a new law that guarantees 180 days per school year. (Our 50th state had the fiasco in 2009-2010 of furlough Fridays when state budget shortages sent teachers home at the end of the week and resulted in 163 days of instruction). Indiana and a large number of other states have been at that 180 number for years.
Big deal! Other countries around the world are at 190, 200, 220 days and more. They’re greatly exceeding the five-hour daily instructional average that Hawaii is also putting into law and others undoubtedly are following. And those countries are somehow ending up with better test scores than their U.S. counterparts in international comparisons.
Let’s review. More days in school plus more time on task each day helps equal better results. Sounds like a basic elementary school equation.
Oh, by the way, in Hawaii, leaders indicate the next challenge is bargaining with teachers unions on how to implement the new requirements. Don’t get me started on that.
Read the Hawaii story if you wish; more importantly, speak up and support school reform efforts before more students pay the consequences.