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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Making Longer School Days Affordable

From WBUR 90.9 FM's Radio Boston

By Aayesha Siddiqui
May 14, 2012

Does more school make a better school? You can make a pretty persuasive argument that it does.

Listen to Radio Boston's Monday May 14th broadcast with Anthony Brooks HERE, or download it HERE.

Research by Harvard and MIT found that Boston’s best charter schools are getting some pretty impressive results. And one of the reasons why? Charter school students spend a lot more time in school — more than eight hours a day, on average. That’s two hours more than at Boston’s traditional public schools.

Across the country, more than 1,000 schools have extended their school days. Of those, 90 are here in Massachusetts. Now a coalition of educators and policymakers says it’s time to expand the movement for longer school days to all high-poverty schools within the next decade.

It’s an ambitious goal. It costs money; teachers need to be paid for the extra work. And in this city, the teachers union and the school department have been arguing for years about cost of living raises and pay for extended days. So how do we make this all work?


Chris Gabrieli, chairman and co-founder of Massachusetts 2020, which helped launch the Massachusetts expanded learning time initiative. Gabrieli is also chairman of the National Center for Time & Learning and co-chair of the newly formed Time to Succeed Coalition.

Leo Flanagan, principal at Clarence Edwards Middle School in Charlestown. Massachusetts 2020 and the National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL) have a report on Edwards’ transformation due to expanded learning time.

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