Video: How schools can best invest time to raise student achievement

Is the amount of instructional time available to American teachers and students in an average school day adequate? Expectations for what students should know continue to rise, but the time allocated to meet new standards has not kept pace. Where can schools best invest time to achieve positive growth?

Getting time to work for, and not against, educators’ efforts requires that proper consideration be given to time’s purpose. “Making Time,” a new video from the National School Board Association’s Center for Public Education (, finds that the true relationship between time and student learning is not about the amount of time spent in school, but in how effectively that time is used.

Making Time from Center for Public Education on Vimeo.


The research shows that:

You can leverage time to raise student achievement. Here are some strategies:

Use time differently:

  • Year-round schools have a positive relationship to academic learning, especially in reading and math.
  • Block scheduling is intended to increase “time on task,” but the achievement results are mixed with the so-called 4x4 block producing the least gains.
  • Four-day school weeks were designed to help save overhead costs, but also appear to have educational and morale benefits for students and staff.

Find more time for teachers and students:

  • Reconfigured schedules can provide a weekly block of time for staff planning, professional development, or collaboration.
  • Block schedules can be used to extend extra time to struggling students.
  • Starting high school later in the day leads to better attendance and more alert students.
Go to top