Budgets: Get Rid Of "Nonattendance" Days?

image from lovelife.typepad.comYesterday we discussed how much -- and what -- to cut from the central office budget.  Today let's talk about the 23 nonattendance days in Chicago's school year.  Cutting some of them seems to be what C Brizard wants to do: "I'm not sure what happens in those 23 days the kids are not there, but we've got to change that." (Dennis Byrne)  A long time ago I remember writing about a study showing that each of these days cost roughly $7 million and were (at the time) f dubious instructional value (though many administrators and teachers rely on them for organizational tasks and breathers from having kids in the building). What do you think?  How many to keep, and which ones?  


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  • Anonymous at 11:09 AM makes reference to elementary school teachers and their 3 prep periods a week being in the contract. That section of the existing contract is now void at the determination of CPS. This is because of the provisons of SB7.

    115 ILCS 5/4.5 (a)4 states: "Decisions to determine class size, class staffing and assignment, class schedules, academic calendar, length of the work and school day, length of the work and school
    year, hours and places of instruction, or pupil assessment
    policies . . . are within the sole discretion of
    the educational employer to decide to bargain, provided that
    the educational employer is required to bargain over the impact
    of a decision concerning such subject or matter on the
    bargaining unit upon request by the exclusive representative.
    During this bargaining, the educational employer shall not be
    precluded from implementing its decision."

    So if CPS determines that elementary school teachers are no longer to be paid for prep periods it may implement that any time it decides to, even if the CTU objects and wants compensation for additional instructional time. CPS can tell teachers if it wants to that preparation must be done outside the work day and because teachers are professionals it is expected they will be well prepared for class including having records in order and papers graded.

    CPS teachers need to wrap their heads around the fact that much of their existing contract has been voided should CPS elect to do so.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Rod Amen!

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    The Line
    Well the morph from a professional to a line worker is speeding up.
    In all my 42 years nobody ever asked what to do on a PD day although
    I have given presentations.
    PD days were sometimes a exercise in boredom
    Other times they were just an excuse for pitchmen to try and sell us everything
    from pepper spray to credit cards. Occasionally the halls were set up like flea markets
    with vendors lining the walls. Most of the time at least part of the day was useful
    with good speakers and teacher discussions. The problem is that the agenda for PD days
    is in the hands of administrators , not the teachers for which the time was intended,
    Thus we get peddlers and out to lunch speakers instead of useful activities.
    Now the extra 23 days is just another part of the plan to turn teachers into
    Factury workers .Do you realize that will be another Month of production
    For the classroom teachers with no compensation attached.
    I don

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    apparently brizard was wrong -- it's "only" 12 days of PD etc. still... that's a lotta days, especially if they're not being used well and/or cost us a lot.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    I thought that 23 number was too high. The Track E 2011-12 calendar only has 11 PD days, not counting the 2 Report Card pick up days. Personally, the only days I would really hate to lose are the 3 at the beginning, because even though we sit in meetings part of the time, at least it gives you a chance to get your room ready for the first day with kids. IF those 3 days were changed to 1/2 principal and 1/2 teacher - directed, I would not object to losing the rest. And it's good PR for us to have parents see us add about 10 days to the kids' school year.

  • Dear Anonymous, I agree! P.S.- I was a CTU union delegate for 15 years!

  • There is absolutely NO reason for any PD days to happen during the school year instead of students being in attendance. All PD needs to happen either before school starts for students or after it ends. And I agree, I have only been to ONE pd session in the 10+ years I have been teaching (both city and suburbs) that was worth the time. PD sucks, but students shouldn't have to lose instructional time. We need to start school in late August, like Catholic schools do for students, adding a week onto our year and eliminate all the stupid PD days. That'd be a good 2-3 weeks of additional learning time. Just my opinion. And teachers need access to their classrooms at least a week before school starts to get their rooms ready. None of this "waxing the floor" crap the last week of summer so noone can get in.

  • How about getting rid of central office! really we do not need all of those NON_certified people up there doing nothing because they are too removed from children. Why dont they break the ditrict down to true areas and have each area run through that office! it would save soooo much money! look at any other smaller distirct and thier make up.....no one has as many layers as we do down town in central office. AND MANY MANY are NON certified......check out OSES for instance! WOW there are so many layers in this office! and so many non certified staff it is crazy

  • recently saw this--not everyone like Rahm.

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