Expanded Learning Time (ELT) included in NCLB waivers and federal budget

David Goldberg reports that expanded learning time (ELT) is included in the Obama Administration’s No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) waivers and in the budget. Goldberg, the director of federal policy and national partnerships for the National Center on Time and Learning, noted that last Thursday President Obama announced the first ten states that will receive waivers from some of the requirements of NCLB. He said that schools can use ELT school designs to improve high-poverty, low-performing schools.

The Obama Administration made high-quality ELT schools an important part of the waiver plan. ELT is woven throughout the guidance given to states for developing their proposals, and expanded-time schools are specifically included as a whole-school alternative in places where federal funds had previously been restricted to other uses.

Goldberg also says that President Obama’s FY 2013 budget gives states and school districts the flexibility to choose ELT within the 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) program and when choosing an intervention for their lowest performing schools.

Let’s hope that school leaders also recognize that students in high-performing schools also deserve to have adequate amounts of learning time. It would be a shame if an emphasis on ELT for a few schools takes attention away from the idea that all schools with a below average school day should provide more time for the students. Perhaps the education community needs a new abbreviation– NLT for Normal Learning Time. Administrators in a school district such as Fairfax County should not smugly ignore the fact that they are lagging behind most other school districts in their elementary school schedules.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • LinkedIn