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Thompson: More Time, Yes -- But Better Planning, Too

24brooklyn_lede Education Week's Sarah Sparks has just written about updated research from the National Center on Time and Learning showing that it "generally takes an increase of 300 hours of additional time each year to make a real difference for students."  The problem is that systems do not take the time to plan for using that time effectively. So, districts fall into "the Christmas tree effect—just adding more things."  I was pleased to learn that Oklahoma has inventoried the quality of time use in our schools.  I was not happy to learn, however, that schools spend as little as 32 minutes a day on academic instruction, or that other states have not looked into the ways that discipline problems and scheduling issues detract from learning.  The best news in Sparks' piece was that the Brooklyn Generation School  "staggers four sets of teachers throughout the school year to create a schedule of 200 seven-hour days, with class sizes below 18 students and more teacher training time."  Also, both Joel Klein and the NYC union have been equally enthusiastic in praising the school.  More unplanned time, doing the same old things, is a recipe for burnout for adults and students.  Increasing time on task must be a team effort.- JT (@drjohnthompson)Image via.


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