This post originally appeared on the Time to Succeed Coalition blog.
The New NY Education Reform Commission, tasked by Governor Andrew Cuomo to examine the current structure of New York state’s education system, released its first set of recommendations today in a report entitled “Putting Students First."

A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to view an early screening of a documentary film featuring Tony Wagner, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, who set out to explore how Finland became “he highest performing education system in the world.”  In the film he demonstrates how the intensive training of teachers, their continued collaboration, and their core approach to education—having students solve problems, rather than memorize information—all contribute to Finland’s success.

This post, authored by NCTL Co-Founder and President Jennifer Davis, originally appeared in the Huffington Post on December 18, 2012. 

Just two weeks ago, I spent the day visiting Connecticut schools with Governor Malloy. We visited elementary schools that are planning to expand learning time next year through an initiative on which my organization, the National Center on Time & Learning, is partnering with the state.

Over the last few years, NCTL has had the pleasure of visiting hundreds of expanded-time schools and documenting their individual stories which describe, how more time, used thoughtfully, can be a transformative input for students and educators. However, it is not often that we have the opportunity to step back and scan the entire field of schools, and examine the progress being made on the ground nationally in this exciting educational arena.

Last week, state and district leaders from five states, including Connecticut Gov. Malloy and Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper, joined NCTL and the Ford Foundation in announcing the TIME Collaborative - an initiative to expand and redesign the school day and year at 40 schools in 11 districts in Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Tennessee as early as next September.

What do Yo Yo Ma, the world-famous cellist, and expanded time have to do with each other? For the answer, you have to ask the students at Orchard Gardens, an expanded-time school in Boston.  On Dec. 6th, they were privileged to take a master class with Ma as he visited the K-8 school to conduct their orchestra and talk about the power of music. 

At an event today in Washington, DC, NCTL and the Ford Foundation, together with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, and a host of other education officials from five states, announced the formation of the TIME Collaborative

This morning, leaders from five states joined the National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL) and the Ford Foundation in announcing a major new effort - called the TIME Collaborative - to expand and redesign the school calendars at 40 schools in 11 districts as early as next September.

The Ford Foundation and the National Center on Time & Learning invite you to a major announcement with leaders from five states: A Step in Time: How We Will Meet the Urgent Needs of Today's Students. You can watch this morning's 10:30 am ET announcement here.

Over the last ten years, we've visited hundreds of schools and talked with thousands of educators. Through our observations, conversations, and research, we know that more time, used well, is a strategic lever to help close the country's achievement and opportunity gaps.