Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel, like Richard M. Daley before, wants a longer school day, implying that Chicago public school kids and taxpayers aren't getting full value for the price.
Well, sure, Chicago Teachers' Union president Karen Lewis allowed, a longer school day would be better, although she suggested that it doesn't much matter, at least in Houston, an "outlier" (as she called it), which sends it K-12 kids to school for a total of four years longer. As she said, Houston kids didn't score “significantly better” results on standardized tests.
Is this a joke?
As Fran Spielman reported in the Sun-Times:
The only question is, how schools would use the extra time.
"One of the things we want to make sure is that we have professional development built into the day and that we also have a full, rich curriculum that includes art, music, recess, p.e., history and science for all students," Lewis said.
Building "professional development into the day" means paying teachers not to spend their time in the classroom. And a "full, rich curriculum" is jargon for suggesting that perhaps what will be taught is a matter for collective bargaining.
Do the teachers really need someone to tell them what they should teach? Why don't they trying teaching the kids to read and do math?
Notably, the teachers' union didn't back the winning horse in the mayoral election. What with the dismal record of the Chicago public school system and all the other problems, I wonder what union leaders think they have as leverage.