Building a Better School Day: The Massachusetts Expanded Learning Time Initiative

Building a Better School Day: The Massachusetts Expanded Learning Time Initiative
Building a Better School Day: The Massachusetts Expanded Learning Time Initiative


This webinar examined the creation, implementation, and results of the Massachusetts Expanded Learning Time Initiative. Presenters highlighted the need for more time in school, discuss best practices and models for ELT, and explore the impact of Massachusetts ELT, which adds 300 hours to the school year in targeted schools for more enrichment opportunities, increased instruction time, and more time for teacher planning and professional development. The presentation included a session with the former principal of the Clarence R Edwards Middle School, the highest performing ELT school in Massachusetts. The webinar also addressed recommendations for policy that can support expanded learning time at the local, state, and national level.




Ben Aiken joined the American Youth Policy Forum as a Program Associate in 2009. His work focuses on the role of expanded learning opportunities in closing achievement gaps and preparing youth for college and career success.

Before joining AYPF, Ben was a 2006 Teach For America corps member and taught English at Kensington Culinary Arts High School in Philadelphia. After his two years with TFA, he remained at the school for a third year and held the position of Academic Coordinator, overseeing out-of-school programs and English standardized testing initiatives at the school. While at Kensington, Ben also coached the varsity wrestling team and started the school newspaper, The Kensington Voice. He was the school’s 2008-2009 recipient of the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award.

Ben earned his Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland in 2005 and his Master’s degree in Urban Education from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008.

For the last twenty years, Jennifer Davis has held numerous positions at the federal, state and local levels focused on improving educational opportunities for children across the U.S.  Jennifer Davis’s previous positions have included U.S. Department of Education Deputy Assistant Secretary; Special Assistant to U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley; Special Assistant to the Executive Director of the National Governors’ Association; and the Executive Director of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s after-school learning initiative.

In 2000, Jennifer became the Co-founder and President of Massachusetts 2020, an education organization dedicated to expanding learning opportunities for children across Massachusetts. Over the last eight years, Massachusetts 2020 has lead eight strategic initiatives impacting over 25,000 children.  In 2004, in partnership with the Governor’s office, legislature and state Department of Education, the organization launched the Expanded Learning Time Initiative (ELT) – a research, policy, and technical assistance effort to redesign public schools to extend their day and year to include at least 300 additional hours of learning and enrichment time.  On October 2, 2007, Jennifer became the President & CEO of the National Center on Time & Learning, a new organization to advance the issue of time and learning nationally.



Jeff Riley

Jeff Riley has been a teacher, administrator, principal and now Deputy Superintendent over his fifteen years career in education. Jeff Riley led Boston’s Edwards Middle School in Boston from 2007 to 2009. The school was on the verge of being shut down. But by 2009, due to Riley’s leadership and Expanded Learning Time, a renaissance at the Edwards made it one of the highest performing and most desired middle schools in Boston, dramatically narrowing and even eliminating academic achievement gaps while delivering a far more well-rounded education to its high-poverty student population. This year, he was promoted to Academic Superintendent for Middle and K-8 Schools.

Before joining Boston Public Schools, Jeff was the Academy Director of High Tech Academy at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School, a position he has held since 2005. Previously, he served as principal of Tyngsborough Middle School, which became the town’s first middle school as it transitioned to a middle grades program. Mr. Riley was a Principal Intern and Director of Instruction of the Edwards Middle School from 1998 to 2001. He also served as Assistant Director and Adjustment Counselor for the Phoenix Program at Brockton High School, and was a teacher and team leader at the Booker T. Washington Middle School in Baltimore. Mr. Riley holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy from Pomona College, a Master of Science Degree in Counseling and School Guidance from Johns Hopkins University, and a Master’s Degree in Education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.


Ben Aiken
Program Associate
American Youth Policy Forum
1836 Jefferson Place NW
Washington, DC, 20036
(202) 775-9731

Jennifer Davis
Co-Founder and PresidentMassachusetts 2020
President and CEO
National Center on Time & Learning
One Beacon Street, 34th Floor
Boston, MA, 02108
(617) 723-6747

Jeff Riley
Academic Superintendent for Middle and K-8 Schools
Boston Public Schools
26 Court Street, 7th Floor
Boston, MA, 02108
(617) 635-9292


The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan professional development organization based in Washington, DC, provides learning opportunities for policy leaders, practitioners, and researchers working on youth and education issues at the national, state, and local levels. AYPF events and publications are made possible by contributions from philanthropic foundations. For a complete list, click here.