Mass Insight Education Calls Attention to Time On Task In School Improvement

This is a guest blog post from NCTL's Policy Associate, Kyle Linhares

In a new report, Boston-based Mass Insight Education researchers call for more sustained and better coordinated school reform and improvement efforts. Among the eight strategies used by successful School Improvement Grant (SIG) recipients they highlight is “more time on task.”   
The report examines a range of successful SIG schools nationwide. These observations are condensed into a “Three C’s” framework: Conditions (for student improvement); Capacity; and Clustering. More time used well is a crucial factor in at least the first two components. Quality expanded learning time models obviously offer students more time on task, but they also contribute to other  strategies sited in the report such as “[significantly increased] common planning time and professional development for teachers” and improved performance goal-setting and data use. 
Probably the most encouraging aspect of this report, however, is the focus on broader, deeper, and more sustainable school reform. By indicting the “light touch” reforms that either do not work or are not seen as long-term solutions, Mass Insight acknowledges the need for thoughtful, whole-school solutions. We believe that quality expanded learning time has a central role in improving U.S. education.   Many thanks to our friends at Mass Insight Education for their important work in this area.