Sunday, April 06, 2008

Class Schedulers Think Outside the Blocks

By Jay Mathews
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 10, 2008; Page B01

In most public high schools in the Washington area, classes last as long as 90 minutes apiece and course lineups for each student alternate every day under the block-scheduling innovation that took root a decade ago. Campuses often use color coding to remind students where to go. Fairfax High School, for one, has "blue days" and "gray days."

But some schools are switching back to the old routine of 45-minute daily classes as educators and researchers question whether the new approach has led to higher achievement.

Block scheduling aims to maximize time for in-depth teaching and opportunities for students to meet graduation requirements. Usually the schedules mean four courses one day and four others the next, although sometimes courses alternate in fall and spring.

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