Pilot Project Experiments With Longer School Days

Monday, 03 Dec 2012 09:27 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Five states will begin implementing longer school days for some students starting next September, federal and state officials are expected to announce today.
 
According to the Boston Globe, Massachusetts, Colorado, Connecticut, New York, and Tennessee will participate in the pilot project aimed at improving academic performance and enriching the overall school experience for students.
 
The project,  dubbed the Time for Innovation Matters in Education Collaborative, is modeled after a program that began in Massachusetts six years ago when the state decided to experiment by adding extra hours to the school day in several districts. It expands on that effort by adding an additional 5,000 students in Massachusetts and another 14,000 in select schools in the other four states.

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The project calls for adding at least 300 extra hours to the school year for instruction and other enrichment activities.
 
“It’s a pretty red letter day for Massachusetts,” Christopher Gabrieli, chairman of Massachusetts 2020, the group that spearheaded the program that launched in 2006, told the Globe.
 
Gabrieli said Massachusetts is the only state policy for allowing traditional public schools to extend the day. He said the policy was "the inspiration" for the federal project U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is scheduled to announce later today.
 
The participating schools, the Globe reported, can expect to receive technical assistance and a combination of federal and state funding. In addition, the Ford Foundation is also contributing private funding to the project.

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