Ed School Cohosts Expanding Learning Time ConferenceBy Jill Anderson
Over 450 education leaders from 30 states and Washington, D.C. gathered in Boston last month for the first National Convening of Expanding Learning Time, cohosted by the National Center on Time & Learning and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
“What made this convening so impressive is that while so much in education reform can divide activists into warring camps, expanding learning time unites reformers around a shared vision of bringing excellence and breadth to our nation’s most impoverished and struggling schools,” said Lecturer Chris Gabrieli, cofounder and chairman of the National Center on Time & Learning, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding learning time to improve student achievement and enable a well-rounded education.
The two-day conference provided an opportunity for education leaders to hear from a wide range of experts, practitioners, and activists who shared their insights, stories, and experiences with extended learning time. Speakers – who as a group represented a range of opinions on extended learning time – included American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) cofounder David Levin, Boston Public Schools Superintendent Carol Johnson, Ford Foundation President Luis Ubinas, Massachusetts Secretary of Education and HGSE Senior Lecturer Paul Reville, and New York University Professor Pedro Noguera.
“Few education conferences will ever have had such a blend of federal, state, district, charter, union, academic, and foundation leaders in the same room, discussing how to bring fundamental change to the status quo,” Gabrieli said. “We believe it may well represent an inflection point as expanding learning time for schools serving high-poverty students moves from exciting experiments for the lucky few towards the norm for all who deserve and need it.”