More School Days, Longer Hours for Some CT Students [UPDATE]

Connecticut is one of several states testing a program for the next three years.

Update 8:58 a.m., Tuesday: Links to more articles now are at the end of this article.

Students in five states throughout the U.S.—including Connecticut—will have longer school days and in the hopes of increasing learning in public schools. More school days will also be added to students' schedules. 

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was in Washington D.C. on Monday at the Pew Charitable Trusts for the planned announcement of the program. The three-year pilot program is being funded through a combination of public funds and private funds from Ford Foundation and the National Center on Time & Learning.

According to the Hartford Courant, the program affects only the East Hartford, Meriden and New London school districts. Each district will be able to plan how to add the extra hours to the calendar.

The Associated Press reported that the program will add at least 300 hours of learning to the school calendar. Joining Connecticut in the program will be Colorado, Massachusetts, New York and Tennesse.

Editor's note: This article originally was published on Monday. The time stamp has been changed for layout purposes on the Home page of Darien Patch. Here are some additional articles published about this subject:

"Longer school day? How five states are trying to change education" (Christian Science Monitor):

"Some of the additional time may be more personalized academic time, but some will also be enrichment opportunities like music, art, robotics, or sports, adds Jeannie Oakes, director of educational opportunity and scholarship programs at the Ford Foundation."

"Extended School Day Long Overdue" (editorial in The Day of New London):

"Today keeping kids in school a couple of more hours will often only mean two less hours of them sitting in front of the TV watching any number of mindless programs available on hundreds of channels."

"School Districts in 5 States Will Lengthen Their Calendars" (New York Times):

"A growing group of education advocates is pushing for schools to keep students on campus longer [...] Advocates also say that poor students tend to have less structured time outside school, without the privilege of classes and extracurricular activities that middle-class and affluent children frequently enjoy."

"Day To Get Longer At Some Low-Performing Schools" (National Public Radio):

"Frank McLaughlin is president of the teachers union in Lawrence, Massachusetts, where troubled schools are now in state receiverships. He says complex problems and deep poverty in communities like his can't be solved by something as simple as a longer school day. It can help, McLaughlin says, but teachers need to be better paid for the extra hours."

max December 04, 2012 at 12:59 PM
I wish that Darien was part of the program.
Chris December 04, 2012 at 04:05 PM
It's exactly the opposite of what Darien needs. This program is about about keeping poor kids who don't have extra-curricular opportunities occupied and focused on achieving basic standards. Since 90-95% of Darien students exceed these standards, we need more individualized education to encourage achievement and advancement beyond what the state has decided they should know at a certain age, especially at the elementary school level. That doesn't need to happen in a traditional classroom. Charter schools are finding success with a model that devotes a large portion of the day to invidualized lessons at computer work stations. Many states are offering on-line schools, which are inexpensive and encourage children to learn at their own pace. I never understood until I had kids that "learning" and "going to school" are not synonyms.


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