Friday, August 27, 2010

A Cost-Efficient Strategy to Extend School Days: Have Chicago Public Schools Found the Answer?

Research has consistently determined that students learn more the longer they spend in school. Extended days allow students to commit more time to learning new topics and reviewing their classwork. President Obama, as part of his education platform, has advocated an increase in both school hours per day and school days per year. Although students may benefit, such an extension would require teachers to work additional weekly hours. Last September, FoxNews published an article on the “dire economic effects” of an extended school year.

Fortunately, the Chicago Public School District has developed and implemented a cost-efficient pilot program that would extend the school day. The School District intends to lengthen the school day by 90 minutes at 15 elementary schools in Chicago this year. If successful, the program will expand to schools throughout Chicago in upcoming years. Administrators have limited costs by utilizing non-teachers, who will administer online math and reading courses during the extended period. Much of the more than $10 million allocated to the program will support the installment of a technological infrastructure in Chicago elementary schools.

For another blog post on extended school days.

For more information on preparing children to succeed in school.

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