The school day or year will be lengthened for 19,500 students in 40 public schools in five states in 2013, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and state officials announced today, the Associated Press reported.
According to the AP:
More classroom time has long been a priority for Duncan, who warned a congressional committee in May 2009–just months after becoming education secretary–that American students were at a disadvantage compared to their peers in India and China.
Federal, state and local governments, along with the Ford Foundation and the National Center on Time & Learning, are funding a three-year pilot program in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Colorado and Tennessee that will add at least 300 hours to the school year, according to the AP.
It’s up to the 11 school districts participating in the initiative to decide whether to add extra hours to the school, tack on more days to the school year or do a bit of both, the AP reported.
Districts and schools will also determine how to use their extra time, the Christian Science Monitor reported.
The funders expect that schools will provide students with more one-on-one tutoring and increase opportunities for music, art, robotics, or sports, Jeannie Oakes, director of educational opportunity and scholarship programs at the Ford Foundation, told the Christian Science Monitor.
"The kind of results we'll see over the next couple of years I think will compel the country to act in a very different way," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said, according to the AP.