ERIC Number: ED461695
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
Extended School Day/Year Programs: A Research Synthesis. Spotlight on Student Success.
Evans, William; Bechtel, David
This analysis reviews the data on two types of extended school programs--those that extend the number of hours per day students spend in school, and those that extend the school year. Proponents of extending the school day or the school year frequently cite examples from outside the United States, where the average school year is often longer, and the average school day is also frequently longer. Although the news media focus on extended school time as a remedy for low educational achievement, little evidence exists to support this claim. A study by the Carnegie Corporation has indicated that students spend just under one-third of their time in school, and that they face the greatest risks and opportunities during their discretionary time. Opponents of extended day/year programs recognize the noninstructional reasons that might make longer time in school more attractive, but they also cite the bulk of research suggesting that increased time in school does not lead to greater academic achievement. Opponents of such programs also note the financial problems associated with increased schooling time. Joint programs between schools and community services present an opportunity to deal with the risks that exist for disadvantaged children without radically changing the school hours or calendar. Schools may play a coordinating or facilitating role in engaging students in a variety of after-school activities. Another option educators have considered is year-round schooling, a reorganization of the school year into several instructional blocks, interspersed with shorter and more frequent vacations. Proponents of this type of program emphasize the potential negative impact of summer vacation on student achievement. They see alternative modes of scheduling as a way to remedy inequalities of learning opportunities. The research literature indicates that time is a necessary but insufficient condition for improving achievement. The crucial issue is how time is used, with quality of instruction being the key. (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, After School Programs, Disadvantaged Youth, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Extended School Day, Extended School Year, Flexible Scheduling, Synthesis, Time Factors (Learning)
Laboratory for Student Success, 1301 Cecil B. Moore Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19122-6901. Tel: 800-892-5550 (Toll Free).
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Mid-Atlantic Lab. for Student Success, Philadelphia, PA.