Last night, in a speech before the Democratic National Convention (and the nation), Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts waxed on about a school in his state that offered a terrific example of how an under-performing school can get a new lease on life when given the tools to turn itself around. That school is the Orchard Gardens K-8 in Boston, about which NCTL published its own description of how expanded time has become a key catalyst in generating higher student achievement and a renewed commitment to learning.
Gov Patrick referenced the first graders at Orchard Gardens with whom he had visited:
“Those children are America's children, too, yours and mine. And among them are the future scientists, entrepreneurs, teachers, artists, engineers, laborers and civic leaders we desperately need. For this country to rise, they must rise…”
Likewise, the Republicans have also singled out “full-day school hours and year-round schools” in their party platform, as a way to enable children “trapped in failing schools” to have greater opportunities for success. As the Republican party platform outlined,
“Getting those youngsters into decent learning environments and helping them to realize their full potential is the greatest civil rights challenge of our time…. A young person’s ability to achieve in school must be based on his or her God-given talent and motivation, not an address, zip code, or economic status.”
At NCTL, we are proud to be able to promote an idea and a policy that has broad bi-partisan support because, as we have documented, expanded-time schools can offer a proven pathway towards the educational excellence that the rising generation of Americans needs and deserves.