Education Resource Strategies (ERS) with the National Center on Time & Learning has released a paper that documents how districts fail to use time and individual attention in strategic ways to improve instruction. In an analysis of six typical districts, additional time was triggered primarily by course failure, and increased individual attention resulted almost exclusively from placement in special education. Schools structured time in rigid blocks, unvaried in length or frequency based on subject. By contrast, in exemplary schools, teachers use data on student progress to give students extra time and attention throughout the year when they need it to master important concepts and skills, allocating time to match academic priorities and to fit instructional needs. “We’re hoping that districts will first look at their use of existing time and their structures for providing individual attention to make sure they are targeting their efforts to meet the needs of each student,” says ERS Director Stephen Frank. “Some districts also clearly need to add more time for students and teachers to the school day and school year. In tough times, it may seem difficult to talk about adding time, but this needs to be on the negotiating table with other priorities, especially in districts where the day is shorter than seven hours.”
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Read the article from electronic Public Education Network newsblast.