Extended Learning Time Hits the Big Stage
Both houses of Congress introduced the bipartisan Time for Innovation Matters in Education (TIME) Act last week, which would establish a competitive federal grant program for states hoping to add at least 300 additional hours of instruction per year to their underperforming schools.
The TIME Act parallels many efforts either underway or in planning throughout the First State. These include the requirements for additional time through Delaware’s Partnership Zone Initiative and the National Center on Learning’s workshops to expose educators to national best practice around extended learning time.
The monies will be given to states, districts, and community organizations to provide expanded learning time opportunities, which could include core academic studies, enrichment opportunities, and added planning periods. In order to receive funds, applicants must specify which schools will receive funds, how they will restructure their school day/year, and how they will hold the schools accountable for results.
The legislation comes as California debates cutting time on task for students by as much as five weeks for the 2011-2012 school year, which would undoubtedly have negative consequences on student achievement long-term.
Additional learning time, particularly for students from underprivileged backgrounds, is a critical lever in closing the achievement gap. We believe that Delaware would be well positioned to compete if the legislation passes and the First State chooses to throw our hat in the ring.