University of Iowa

School Reading Performance and the Extended School Day Policy in Florida


Florida law requires the 100 lowest performing elementary schools in reading to extend the school day by one hour to provide supplemental reading instruction. This study found that those schools were smaller than other elementary schools and served a higher proportion of racial/ethnic minority students and students eligible for the school lunch program. The lowest performing schools reported increasing the number of minutes of reading instruction provided to students, increasing staff, and providing instruction in the extra hour that differed from instruction during the rest of the day. When growth in performance is measured, initially low scores generally rise, even in the absence of an intervention, because of natural year-to-year variations. While average school reading performance improved among the lowest performing schools, the increase did not exceed the small year-to-year variations expected when measuring initially low student performance.


Folsom, J. S., Petscher, Y., Osborne-Lampkin, L., Cooley, S., Herrera, S., Partridge, M., & Smith, K. (2016). School reading performance and the extended school day policy in Florida (REL 2016–141). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast. Retrieved from

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