Time Matters Blog

New York Times Showcases Movement to Expand Learning Time

This is a post by Jennifer Davis, Co-Founder & President of NCTL

The New York Times today featured the national movement to accelerate student achievement and offer a well-rounded education through expanded learning time. 
 
This week, as some schools open their doors for a new school year, national education reporter Motoko Rich featured Balsz Elementary School District #31 in Phoenix, Arizona. Under the leadership of Superintendent Jeff Smith, Balsz has emerged as a pioneer in this field due to its tireless pursuit to ensure that all students succeed. Dr. Smith joined the Balsz district in 2008, and he quickly determined that expanded learning time could be a key strategy in turning around a struggling district.  As today's article notes, Balsz students have made impressive academic gains, while also having more time for enrichment classes and teacher professional development within their expanded school calendar.
 
 
The quotes throughout the article echo what the NCTL team hears as we work across the country:
 
"The kids' education is more important than all of these breaks that we have." - Debra Phillips, mother of two children attending Griffith Elementary School
 
"Better is as important as the more." - Jeannie Oakes, Director of educational opportunity and scholarship programs at the Ford Foundation
 
"The fact that our calendar has been based on the agrarian economy when almost none of our kids work in the field anymore doesn't make any sense whatsoever." - Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education
 
"Sometimes summer is really boring. We just sit there and watch TV." - Riziki Gloria, 5th grader at a Balsz school
 
To read the full article, click here.