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Will Expanded Learning Time = Better Outcomes?

December 8, 2011 - 3:00 pm to December 8, 2011 - 4:00 pm
The U.S. Department of Education has established a waiver process to help states obtain additional flexibility in meeting No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) performance standards. States across the nation have begun to apply for these new waivers, which were issued this fall. The waivers give educators as well as state and local leaders greater flexibility in exchange for developing clear and rigorous plans to improve educational outcomes.

The Department of Education's proposal includes a package of 10 mandatory waivers.

But the "optional flexibility" choice, also known as Waiver 11, has captured the attention of leaders in education agencies, schools and community-based organizations. Waiver 11 gives states the option to use funds from the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) to support expanded learning opportunities during the school day. A lack of clarity on how the waiver will be implemented has left leaders wondering whether quality afterschool programming will be sacrificed in the name of a slightly longer school day.

How should states implement Waiver 11 to effectively improve expanded learning opportunities as well as student academic success?
Three members of the Ready by 21 National Partnership - the Forum for Youth Investment, American Association of School Administrators and United Way Worldwide - sought to answer this question in a recent webinar. Education and youth development communities shared their thoughts  about Waiver 11's implications for school districts and community-based organizations.

  • Michele McNeil, Assistant Editor, Education Week
  • Mary Ronan, Superintendent, Cincinnati Public Schools
  • Lindsay Torrico, Manager, Public Policy, United Way Worldwide
  • Nicole Yohalem, Director of Special Projects, the Forum for Youth Investment
Moderated by Elizabeth Gaines, Director of Policy, the Forum for Youth Investment.

Read the letter that urges Secretary Arne Duncan to provide more guidance on Waiver 11, written by United Way Worldwide, the Forum for Youth Investment and others.