More time in classroom raises student test scores

Published: Sunday, March 18 2012 12:04 a.m. MDT

In an analysis of schools using an extended time model the National Center on Time and Learning found that only about half of the schools offer teachers additional compensation. "In schools with autonomy in the area of compensation, the costs of an extended time schedule are negligible," said Gabrieli. These schools simply recruit teachers willing to sign on for all the components of working at the school — including longer school hours, he explained. Other schools choose to pay teachers more my compensating with a smaller non-teaching staff. One well known example of this is the Equity Project, a New York City charter school that pays its teachers $125,000 per year but expects them to work an extended schedule and assume some administrative duties.

Other schools accomplish the goal of an extended schedule in the face of limited funding by staggering teachers hours and inviting community partners to teach classes. Brooklyn Generation School, a New York City charter that operates within the United Federation of Teachers union contract, was able to add 320 additional hours of instruction time at no additional cost, simply by shifting teachers work schedules and involving community partners to teach subjects extra curricular subjects. In this model the school is able to significantly add to students total learning time without asking more of individual teachers.

Another option is using adaptive software that allows students to learn at their own level and pace. New education software can expand and personalize learning time in ways traditional classrooms can't, said Chris Gabrieli, of National Time in Learning. Rocket Ship Education, a charter elementary system in California, as well as Khan academy are successfully harnessing the power of technology to provide personalized, extended instructional opportunities for students.

Email: mwhite@desnews.com

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