Expanding Equity through More and Better Learning Time
Voices in Urban Education

Jaime L. Del Razo and Michelle Renée

At the start of the New Year and the second Obama administration, a national dialogue about extending and improving the school year for all students – especially those students who face limited resources within and outside their schools – should be a national priority. Students from affluent families already make up for the short school day and year by counting on their parents to fill these crucial, and sometimes dangerous, afterschool hours with a cornucopia of rich learning experiences.

Middle-class families use their own resources to fill their children’s afternoons, summers, and vacations with private tutoring for academic enrichment, music and art lessons, science camp, and sports activities. Parents know and research proves that these activities are not “extra” – they are essential to rounding out their children’s education and giving them the skills and experiences that prepare them for college and successful careers.

Expanding learning time is as much about improving the quality of the actual amount of time a child learns as it is about expanding the quality and diversity of a child’s learning. Many parents cannot provide such activities for their children.