From guest blogger Hannah Rose Sacks Would you teach through the summer for the chance at $10,000? That's what the Houston Independent School District is counting on. In order to entice teachers to work during summer school sessions, HISD is offering teachers higher pay and the chance for up to $10,000 in bonuses if they help failing students pass Texas state exams, reports the Houston Chronicle. Ninth graders took the new, tougher State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness this year. Students must now pass 15 end-of-course tests throughout high school in order to graduate. Seniors are still ...


14-year-old Snigdha Nandipati won the 85th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee yesterday in Washington.


A new campaign from the National Summer Learning Association is aiming to increase the profile of summer-learning groups in the fight against obesity.


An after-school program in California's Lodi Unified School District may stay open for at least another year after district officials were able to come up with more than $40,000 in donations


In case you faithful and interested readers missed it, yesterday I moderated a webinar on providing professional development to out-of-school-time staff. You can still register to watch the archived version here. This webinar followed a story I wrote a little while ago, called "Training of Out-of-School Staff Debated," which addressed challenges and issues surrounding professionalization of the workforce. Yesterday, I was joined by Nancy Peter, the director of the Out-of-School Time Resource Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and Charles Smith, director at the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality in Ypsilanti, Mich., and vice president of research ...


The Ford Foundation has pledged $50 million over the next three years to work with the National Center on Time & Learning and a coalition of supporters to promote expanded learning time efforts nationwide. The coalition, with 100 supporters already who include Geoffrey Canada of the Harlem Children's Zone, Eli Broad of the Broad Foundation, and John Deasy of the Los Angeles Unified School District, will push schools to lengthen their day and calendars using the extra time to help close the achievement gap and meet student and staff needs at individual school sites. In light of the announced partnership and ...


Several large school districts are planning to cut summer programs in response to budget deficits.


The latest in a series of briefs from the Harvard Family Research Project looks at how family engagement can be capitalized on in out-of-school time and other expanded learning opportunities. According to the brief, outside classroom opportunities can prove helpful in engaging families in more meaningful ways in their children's learning, which can have long-term positive impacts on students both inside and outside the classroom. Parents serve as a "bridge" between the multiple and increasing settings in which kids learn, it says. "Even though school teachers and administrators realize the benefits of family engagement, obstacles often exist to engaging families ...


The start of May means summer and summer brain drain, or the learning loss that occurs over the summer when students aren't in school, will be upon us quickly. Today also marks the first day in a free, three-part webinar series hosted by the Department of Education School Turnaround Learning Community and the National Summer Learning Association to combat the learning loss, which research has shown to more significantly affect underprivileged students who lack exposure to academically enriching experiences when they aren't in school. Guest speakers for today's 1 p.m. (EST) webinar on "Summer learning loss and the achievement ...


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 ...


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