Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Mayor Thomas M. Menino and other officials recently visited the Clarence R. Edwards Middle School in Charlestown to celebrate the success of the Massachusetts Expanded Learning Time (ELT) Initiative, the first-in-the-nation state initiative to redesign schools with substantially more time for learning. Senator Kennedy called for a national expansion of the initiative through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization.
The Edwards, one of four Boston schools participating in the program (along with the Timilty Middle School, Umana Middle School Academy and Boston Arts Academy), began implementation in September 2006. The redesigned school day allows more time for innovative academics and includes a wide range of enrichment activities. In addition to regular math classes, students at the Edwards now participate in Math Leagues, a competitive and socially engaging way to learn and practice math. As a result, math scores rose across all grades. The Edwards School increased the percentage of students scoring proficient on the math MCAS at more than twice the rate of the district and also of the state. The school also was highlighted in a recent Education Week story about the initiative.