Key Coverage

Lessons From A School That Scrapped A Longer Student Day And Made Time For Teachers

Based on a landmark teachers contract that made work rules more flexible, New Haven in 2010 tapped one of its lowest-performing schools, Brennan-Rogers, to undergo a turnaround, where the principal replaced two-thirds of teachers and imposed a longer school day.

Principal Karen Lott extended students’ day by an hour and 25 minutes –– then scrapped the longer day one year later when it didn’t work out. The experiment had exhausted students and teachers without making progress towards its goal: closing the achievement gap between her largely poor and minority students and their suburban peers.

Based on lessons from that year, New Haven has redirected its energy toward creating more time not for students, but for teachers to help each other improve their craft.