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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?

Ray DePaula December 03, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Its worth a try. Any thing that betters our future. Some schools that allow the kids to "be themselfs" as long as they Keep up there end of learning, seem to make a very good school. My child was fortunet to get a wonderful year and a great report card at the end of the year. Also has a lot to do with how much The educators and factulty put in to them.
Jean Tierney December 03, 2012 at 05:23 PM
I think that longer school days are fine as long as the kids don't still have 2-3 hours of homework when they get home. With a longer school day, after school activities and then homework, the kids won't have any time to relax! And they'll go to bed later which will definitely affect school performance.
Ray DePaula December 03, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Very good point Jean. Home work was long, I didnt think about the after school sports and extra things the kids were doing. Cant wear them out then they may not want to do it. Thank you for the great point.
Sedef M Buyukataman December 03, 2012 at 06:23 PM
I hope they'll be using the extra time for teaching science and math skills, or helping students who are struggling in these areas get extra help. Is there any information available on coursework changes proposed for this plan? What will they be doing in the extra hours?
gumshoe December 06, 2012 at 08:38 PM
the students will hate this reform.

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