Redesigning and Expanding School Time to Support Common Core Implementation
In this report, the authors from the Center for American Progress and the National Center on Time & Learning argue for expanded learning time in schools and offer several recommendations for states, districts, and schools to consider the benefits of expanding the school day or year to support the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The authors believe that expanded learning provides both teachers and students with a critical tool to meet the demands of the CCSS. Redesigning schools with expanded learning time increases the time students have to learn the demand of the CCSS content and allows for teacher professional development and collaboration, which are ways to make CCSS implementation successful. As states implement the new standards, it is important that they “include policies and supports that increase the amount of time teachers have for collaboration and professional development and the amount of time students spend in school learning the new standards. Meeting the demands associated with the Common Core will be a challenge, but high-quality expanded learning time is one of the most far-reaching implementation strategies and can enable students to successfully meet these higher expectations” (p. 3).
While valuable in its content, this publication was somewhat biased due to its development by the Center on Time and Learning. The recommendations provided, however, are sound given the positive impact time for both professional development and learning can have on the implementation of the CCSS. While not concise, this resource was well-organized with visual supports for its findings. Additional relevant and timely resources would have added to its overall utility. Evidence from numerous studies supports the practice of providing additional time within schools for learners engaged in the CCSS and professional development to support new teaching practices.