Study on Extended School Days Presented at AEFP Conference

Date: May 13, 2011
Location: College Park, MD

The 36th Annual Association for Education Finance and Policy (AEFP) Conference was held in late March.  The conference focuses on encouraging multidisciplinary research on salient education finance and policy issues, broad-based dialogue concerning policy, practice, and research, and bridging the gap between research and application and to broaden the focus of education finance and policy. Attending this conference was Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) researcher Mark Partridge, who presentated on the implementation of a longer (7-hour) school day throughout the nation.

Patridge discusses the results of a report published 30-years ago, titled ”A Nation at Risk,” in which policy researchers strongly urged the American people to puss towards longer school days for students to try to improve results in academic performance. At that time, there was little quantitative data available to back up this claim. However, Partridge uses three recent waves of Schools and Staffing Surveys (SASS) to try to fill in those gaps of data through econometric methods to estimate what factors contribute to how likely a school is to employ logner school days. The measures also determine, to a small extent, how student outcomes could be influenced by longer school days.

Among Partridge’s findings were a correlations between a stronger teacher’s union and lack of expanded school days, expanded learning time potentially being added evenly across all subjects, or schools may be adding time to different subjects,and a potentially negative correlation between expanded learning time and graduation rates.