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. 

Last spring, California Governor Jerry Brown made clear that, given the state’s ballooning deficit, the state might be forced to make drastic cuts in education funding to local districts and, in turn, to then allow school districts to cut days from the school year by up to three weeks. 


I have long been an admirer of Teach Plus, an organization that works with teachers to help make their voice heard within the many education policy debates that run through the public discourse. In service to their mission, Teach Plus recently released the results of a survey of over 1,000 teachers...