August 10, 1995
Dear Fellow Educators:
Children who attend high-poverty schools often lack opportunities outside of school to extend their learning. It is time to make dramatic improvements in our nation's poorest schools, and the Title I program, the federal government's largest elementary and secondary school program, has been totally redesigned so it can contribute to this effort in new ways. Recognizing that students spend only a small part of their day in school, Title I encourages greater and more productive use of time outside the classroom. Title I, working in tandem with principals, teachers, school district and community leaders, and parents, can contribute to enhancing learning outside of the traditional school day, week or year.
Extending Learning Time for Disadvantaged Students: An Idea Book, one in a series the Department will issue, suggests numerous ways to extend learning time using available community resources. This idea book describes approaches that rely on a broad definition of learning time that includes traditional classroom instruction, community service, and extracurricular and resources activities. It is intended to serve as a resource for practitioners, policymakers and parents to use the new opportunities of improved federal education legislation to strengthen and expand local improvement efforts.
We encourage you to draw on the guidance in this idea book and the successes of the profiled schools to improve your schools, to help all children lean more, and to work hard toward higher standards.
Richard W. Riley
Our mission is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the Nation.