Two new studies are flashing warning signs about the move to extend the school day, says Jodi Grant, executive director of the nonprofit Afterschool Alliance, for the Washington Post. The Department of Education has made extended learning time a centerpiece of its reform efforts. This could have been a breakthrough moment for our nation’s education system, encouraging community partnerships to expand learning in ways that help students succeed and bring new resources into our schools. As decades of research on afterschool and summer learning programs show, community partners and innovative teaching approaches can help engage and excite students in learning, boosting achievement. But the extended day approach being implemented in many schools as a result of the department’s push to increase instructional time falls short. It largely ignores the deep body of research on what makes effective expanded learning. Instead, too many schools are merely adding another hour or so of regular class time onto the school day. Not surprisingly, two very recent studies suggest we might not accomplish much with this approach to improving schools…

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