Boston Public Schools: Turnaround Using Increased Learning Time
Boston Public Schools (BPS) and the National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL) are partnering to turn around two low-performing Boston middle schools. The Turnaround Using Increased Learning Time (TILT) model that is being implemented builds on the successful turnaround of Boston’s Edwards Middle School and employs the same strategy of extended learning time. Supported by NCTL, the schools will redesign their school day to add 300 hours more per year, or nearly two hours of additional instructional time per day, for all students. The additional time is balanced between three priorities: more time for high-quality academic instruction focused on specific student needs; more time for enrichment programming such as inquiry-based science and social studies; and more time for teachers to collaborate to improve instruction and address student learning needs. Implementation of the turnaround model is scheduled to begin in fall 2012 and will continue through spring 2015.
As the external evaluator, AIR will examine program implementation to provide periodic formative feedback to BPS and partner organizations and to document the implementation process to enable replication or testing in other settings. Implementation data will be collected through a teacher survey, administered once per year; site visits conducted twice per year; and document review. To measure the effect of the model, the evaluation uses a comparative interrupted time series design to compare the outcome trends in TILT schools in the years preceding program implementation to outcome trends in the years following program implementation to determine: (1) the extent to which there is a sharp improvement in TILT schools at the point of implementation and (2) the extent to which there was continued improvement in student outcomes after the initiative was introduced. Trends in comparison schools will be included in analytic models to control for factors other than the inventions that influence student performance.
The primary goals of the evaluation are to help BPS and NCTL further refine and develop their model, including alternative resource allocation, scheduling, and staffing strategies to sustain the expanded school day beyond the i3 grant; investigate and document effective practices to inform continuous improvement efforts; and provide evidence regarding whether the model is effective in turning around schools.