Over the past 20 years, the public charter school movement has been on the cutting-edge of key school reforms: setting high expectation for all students, offering an education that prepares students for success in college and careers, and identifying highly effective teachers.
A new report documents just how far public charters are leading in another area: expanded learning time.
The National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL) examined all of the schools in its database of schools with school days longer than the tradition 6½ hours. They found that 60 percent of them are public charters. What’s really noteworthy about that figure—only 6 percent of all public schools are charter schools.
Here’s more from the report:
- Expanded-time (ET) charter schools typically offer longer school days than traditional district expanded-time schools. Just over half the traditional district ET schools provide a school day longer than 7.5 hours. In contrast, three-quarters of all public charter ET schools operate a school day that is longer than 7.5 hours, and nearly half of all charter ET schools operate a school day that is longer than 8 hours. This difference is particularly apparent at the elementary and middle school levels, where charter ET schools are much more likely than traditional district ET schools to offer a school day longer than 8 hours . Charter ET schools are also more likely than traditional district ET schools to offer a longer school year. While nearly one-third of charter ET schools operate with yearly schedules that are at least 10 days longer than surrounding schools, only 10 percent of traditional district ET schools fall in this category.
- Charter ET schools offer more total time in school per year that traditional district ET schools. Charter ET schools in the NCTL Database offer on average 100 more hours per year than traditional district ET schools in the database. Charter ET schools are also more likely to offer both a longer school day (8+ hours) and a longer school year (>187 days) than traditional district ET schools. Over 41 percent of charter schools fall in both these categories, while only 17 percent of traditional district schools do. By contrast, 81 percent of traditional district ET schools have both the shortest school year (<181 days) and the shortest school day (< 7.5 hours).
Images via the National Center on Time & Learning. See the full infographic here.