Date of Award

12-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Christopher Griffin

Second Supervisor

Michael Robinson

Abstract

Since the concept of extended or expanded learning time (ELT) in its modern-day form began to develop approximately 50 years ago, there has been substantial controversy as to whether the application of ELT in a U.S. context could achieve the desired result of improved academic outcomes. Numerous empirical studies during the past 25 years have at least hinted that this could be the case, especially with regard to disadvantaged populations, but all of these studies have been criticized as being flawed in one respect or another, thus limiting their value with regard to demonstrating the efficacy of ELT. The purpose of this study, simply stated, is to help to fill a gap in the existing literature, with a quasi-experimental empirical study that is both quantitative and controlled. The investigator utilized post-treatment data, in the form of the ELA (English Language Arts) mean assessment scores of two groups of socio-economically disadvantaged fourth grade public school students attending both traditional public schools and charter schools in the so-called Big Five (Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers). The results of the study, in brief, failed overall to support the hypothesis that ELT led to improved academic outcomes. The inability to lend support to a particular hypothesis does not in itself disprove the general assertion that ELT has the potential to enhance academic outcomes for U.S. students. That being said, however, the support of the negative hypothesis in this particular study—in combination with other recent dissertation studies—does at the very least call into question the assertions of those who state that the argument should have been considered settled long ago. In addition to suggesting the need for further research, the study results here suggest that it may be time for those who have previously looked to ELT as the main solution to begin more serious consideration of the alternatives.

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