ECS Reprinted Report Highlights Continued
Need To Improve Student Learning
The Education Commission of the States released in October the 2005 edition of “Prisoners of Time,” a reprint of the 1994 report produced by the National Education Commission on Time and Learning. The reprint was funded by Washington Mutual through a grant to the commission.
In releasing a reprinted version of the 1994 report, ECS is calling attention to one of the most stubborn problems in education reform.
“Unless educators and parents abandon their traditional views on the use of time in teaching, we will never achieve our goal that all children have the opportunity to succeed,” says Piedad Robertson, president of the ECS. The reprinted version includes a new introduction and examples of how schools use time in effective ways.
“Time is a resource that must be used more creatively and more effectively,” says Dr. Milton Goldberg, the staff director of the commission and an author of the report. “For more than a century we have kept time constant while allowing students to fail. It is simply the case that a school year of 180 days and a school day of six hours is not sufficient for many students to achieve the more rigorous standards that society is requiring.”
Christopher T. Cross, a commission member and an author of the report, says, “In every other sector of life we know that different people require different ‘doses’ of care. In education we have assumed that all students are the same. That is a flaw in our system that has led to failure for many students. We also know that in the decade since the first release of the report, much of the world has indeed become a single market for both human and non-human capital. Tom Friedman has it right when he notes that the world is flat.”
“The report addresses student achievement, professional development for teachers and accountability, all issues that the federal No Child Left Behind law has made national issues,” says Robertson. “As schools conform to NCLB and as we address the impact of the hurricanes — schools closings and the relocation of tens of thousands of children — the issue of time for learning is more salient than ever. The report is a reminder that we must address the issue of time, otherwise we jeopardize our ability to improve education.”
Copies of the reprinted report are available through the ECS Web site at <www.ecs.org/ prisonersoftime>.
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