Time to Learn

By sixth grade, a child from a poor family has spent an estimated 6,000 fewer hours learning than a peer from an affluent household, who tends to have more exposure to everything from books to museums to travel and summer camp. The resulting divide can seem impossible to reverse. Is it? The Hechinger Report is spending a year exploring this so-called “opportunity gap” and how schools around the country are trying to narrow it by providing more time to learn. See all our Special Reports

This futuristic afterschool program really works, so why is the funding being slashed?

A funding blunder in Mississippi endangers after school programs for some of its neediest children

Summer learning loss widens the achievement gap. Here’s how to change that

A third-grader examines his new box set at a school luncheon to promote summer reading. Photo: Stephen Nessen, WNYC Most students celebrate being out of school…

In this Monday, June 15, 2015, file photo, kids build a sand castle beneath the M.B. Miller County Pier in Panama City Beach, Fla.

How to stem kids’ reading and math losses – in the summer

In this Monday, June 15, 2015, file photo, kids build a sand castle beneath the M.B. Miller County Pier in Panama City Beach, Fla. Andrew Wardlow/The News…

More quality time: Schools’ best weapon in the battle against poverty

America faces a tough challenge. Educating students in poverty requires considerably more time than the traditional school calendar offers. But there’s hope. Expanded time and learning schools are meeting the…

Dr. Donald Aguillard

How longer days helped struggling middle schoolers, other lessons, from the turnaround in St. Mary Parish

CENTERVILLE, Louisiana — We knew bold action was needed in St. Mary Parish Public School System a decade ago. Our test scores lagged behind the state average. We had several…

Jennifer Davis

How a Massachusetts school narrowed the achievement gap through more, better learning time

The summer of 2012 was a dizzying time for Lori Butterfield, the principal of the Guilmette Elementary School in Lawrence, Massachusetts. A new school year loomed, and Guilmette students…

“The achievement gap is very real, and it’s killing my people,” says Clarence McNeil, a fifth-grade science teacher at North Star Academy’s Downtown Middle School in Newark. (Photo: Uncommon Schools)

To close the achievement gap, extra hours in school have to be better hours

As New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ushers in a huge expansion of after-school programs for middle schoolers, educators and advocates are debating whether the new programs are…

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The after-school program at East Fordham Academy in the Bronx is filled to capacity and has children on a waiting list. (Photo: Meredith Kolodner)

NYC’s ramped-up after-school programs offer safety, supper and sports

NEW YORK CITY — Thousands of kids stream into Fort Greene Park each afternoon as local middle and high schools let out, but Daquan McKethan is no longer among them.…

Poor high schools in California lose 25 school days a year

Students at extremely poor high schools in California on average lose roughly 25 more school days a year — almost 14 percent of the school year — than students at…

Clarence McNeil, a fifth-grade science teacher at North Star Academy's Downtown Middle School in Newark, says hard work is necessary to close the achievement gap. (Photo: Uncommon Schools)

Wrestling Newark’s achievement gap: Why finding the extra hours is only half the battle

I am a public school teacher. I usually arrive at school well before 7 a.m. and stay at least until 4 or 5 p.m., and sometimes as late as 6…

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