Validating Expanded Learning Time as a Turnaround Strategy for Persistently Low-Performing Middle Schools

January 20, 2011  • Education Innovation Forum and Expo

Citizen Schools, in partnership with 20-25 middle schools in diverse districts, will implement a bold Expanded Learning Time (ELT) turnaround model that will make schools more fun and more effective — supporting teachers, engaging families and community resources, and setting high standards for improvement.

Citizen Schools has piloted a full-grade and full-school ELT model that has generated substantial achievement gains for students and sparked the turnaround of low-performing schools.

Our ELT turnaround schools will add at least 380 more hours of learning time annually. A ‘second shift’ of talented aspiring educators and trained volunteers who will provide intensive academic support, engage students in relevant projects, and illuminate connections between current learning and future college and career opportunities.

The five-year project will serve approximately 25,000 students. The expected outcomes for each turnaround school are declines of 30% or more from pre-ELT rates of absenteeism and suspension and absolute gains of 15 percentage points or more in proficiency rates on state assessments in English, math, and science.

The project will also work to create conditions that will support, simplify, and accelerate school district’s adoption of a robust ELT model. We will work to establish: 1) reliable talent pipelines for second shift educators; 2) scalable tools for instruction and management, including curricula and training materials available online; 3) evidence of the model’s impact and knowledge about the essential elements driving the impact; and 4) accessible and sufficient funding to support ELT.

To learn more, contact Eric Schwarz.