Longer School Days Are Coming to Select Massachusetts Schools

Massachusetts is one of five states to add 300 hours of class time every year for certain 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 lower-income communities. Each school district gets to decide exactly how the school time will be increased: longer school days? More of them? 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?

John Merrett December 03, 2012 at 10:46 PM
What genius believes that keeping kids in school longer will somehow address the myriad of issues facing our educational system?
Judy McKenzie January 12, 2013 at 02:53 PM
A longer school day can be beneficial to student achievement--but not alone. Class size, engaged & enthusiastic teachers, stimulating curriculum--are all part of the solution. Any one of these alone will not solve the issues facing our schools today. And obviously each of these is complex and costly. And a longer school days needs to have physical activity built into the schedule for children. They cannot be expected to be academically focused all day. As a society we have to decide that we care enough about education to make the commitment to change it. Until then, we keep trying bandaid solutions to see if we can accomplish it without a major shift in our approach to education.


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