Five States Looking to Extend Classroom Time

In an effort to lengthen the learning time for students, five governors announced today that they will take part in a special expanded year program for students in some schools in their states. 

Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee will add at least 300 hours of learning time beginning with the 2013 school year. 

The three year pilot program is intended to boost student achievement and make U.S. schools more competitive globally. The program will impact about 20 thousand students in 40 schools. 

Education secretary Arne Duncan has been a long time advocate for longer classroom time, saying it's the key to closing the achievement and opportunity gaps. 

"One of the most important things we can do is give those children who may not be blessed with a house full of books, who might not be blessed with a family members who has gone to college or even graduated from high school, we have to give them the time to learn more. And this initiative is a huge opportunity to do that," said Duncan. 

The long term goal of the program includes adding additional schools, particularly those that serve low income communities.

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