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ERIC Number: ED535991
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Take Your Time: Why States Should Use Education Waivers to Increase Learning Time
Owen, Isabel
Center for American Progress
Last week President Barack Obama announced that the administration plans to waive some aspects of the No Child Left Behind law. But states have to develop solid plans to improve instruction to receive a waiver. Specifically, states must adopt college- and career-ready standards for all students, focus interventions on the bottom 15 percent of low-performing schools, and develop teacher evaluation systems using student performance. Commentators are fixated on waiving the high-profile pieces of the law such as the timeline for ensuring all students are proficient in reading and math and seeking flexibility for the highly qualified teacher targets. But a critical waiver option on expanded learning time is being overlooked in all the hoopla. Expanded learning time is a valuable tool for improving student achievement, as demonstrated by schools that have implemented this school improvement strategy. Some federal guidance is needed, though, to give states a better idea of how to use that extra time wisely. States applying for federal waivers ought to follow the example of Massachusetts, where the state carefully crafted a definition of expanded learning time to ensure the additional time was used wisely to make a difference in the experience of both teachers and students. Waivers are undeniably an opportunity for states to build on the best parts of No Child Left Behind and drive improvements in student achievement. Turning around the most troubled schools is crucial, and expanding learning time at those schools is one strategy that should not be overlooked as states build their waiver applications.
Center for American Progress. 1333 H Street NW 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-682-1611; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for American Progress
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001