April 2012 Archives

Middle school students in the 123,000-student Prince George's County school district in the greater Washington area will get around 40 minutes extra of class time next school year, according to the Washington Post. For those students slipping behind, the 40 minutes will be used for extra academic help; for those who aren't, they'll have more time for enrichment like music and art. Teachers will not be tacking time on to their workday, however. The time is coming from what had traditionally been teacher-planning time. Why just middle schoolers? The plan is not just part of efforts to improve academic ...


Jodi Grant, executive director of the Afterschool Alliance, expresses her concerns on expanded learning time on The Washington Post's "The Answer Sheet" blog this week, based on some recent research. Grant discusses a study released by the Government Accountability Office, which found 26 states using SIG grants said they would likely not continue their expanded learning efforts when the SIG grants that supported them ran dry. She also talks about the Education Sector report I blogged about previously, and the issues it raises on using added time most effectively to improve student outcomes. According to Grant, ELT is often "expensive, ...


California is officially launching a statewide summer learning initiative today, spearheaded by the Partnership for Children and Youth, a Bay-area-based nonprofit, and with the support of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The initiative, or the Summer Matters campaign will support summer programs that focus on combating summer learning loss for low-income children. As part of the campaign, the best summer programs will be highlighted with a map of "hot spots," and new efforts will be encouraged across the state, particularly through work with education and policy leaders and community organizations. The Packard Foundation is supporting the five-year initiative, which ...


Toyota is giving a $1.5 million grant to longtime out-of-school provider the Boys & Girls Clubs to launch a nationwide effort to prep teenagers for college. D2D, or Diplomas to Degrees, is a college-readiness initiative that was piloted in Boys & Girls Clubs in 10 cities this past year, but will now be scaled up in more than 1,000 clubs across the country with the support of the grant, according to a recent announcement. The initiative focuses on exploration of both college and careers through mentorships, internships, visits to higher education institutions, and lessons on how to obtain financial assistance ...


At the National Afterschool Association conference in Dallas last week, the Afterschool Alliance released its fourth annual compendium of briefs on major topics in after-school and profiles of some leading programs. "Afterschool in Action: How Innovative Afterschool Programs Address Critical Issues Facing Middle School Youth," supported by the MetLife Foundation, includes issue briefs on: aligning after-school with the regular school day, bullying prevention, service-learning, and promoting literacy, as well as features on five programs that received $10,000 awards from the foundation in 2011 for addressing these areas at their sites. (MetLife also underwrites Education Week's Teacher channel.) This year's ...


Interest has increased in adding more time to the school day, but many schools are ill equipped to put time to the most effective use for improving student and school outcomes, says a new report from Education Sector, a Washington-based think tank focused on education policy. In the report, Education Sector looks at nationwide trends with schools implementing expanded learning models, in addition to focusing on schools that used ELT as a turnaround strategy to receive federal School Improvement Grants. According to "What More Learning Time Can (and Can't) Do for Turnarounds," a few approaches to expand learning have been ...


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