In place of extending the school day by 45 minutes across Boston, Superintendent Carol R. Johnson proposes adding two hours at a handful of schools (“Schools chief pares plan to extend day by 45 minutes,” Page A1, July 26). As a Boston Public Schools teacher, I urge the district and the Boston Teachers Union to continue working toward an agreement that will provide all Boston students with additional classroom time.
At my current and previous school, and through the Boston Teacher Residency, the school system’s math department, and the Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellowship, I have seen the range of resources provided across the district. Extra funding, programming, autonomy, and time are allocated according to a well-intentioned effort to support schools when they are most at risk.
But this ebb and flow of resources makes it difficult for schools to improve and stay improved. Just as a teacher shouldn’t focus only on students below grade level, the Boston Public Schools must be more consistent with the resources provided to meet the needs of all students.
The option to extend the school day at some schools for two hours as opposed to 45 minutes at all schools is a matter of equity. This should be considered an opportunity to make long-term progress, not just meet short-term goals.