Parents Raise Concerns About Longer Day

Today's education news includes a report on how much money CPS has spent on the pilot extended day program, news that Bronzeville doesn't want the turnaround plans CPS has made for its schools, and a new recess guide.  At least some parents are joining teachers in expressing concerns about the funding and implementation of the longer school day next year -- a much more difficult group to deal with than teachers.

Longer School Day Has Cost CPS Nearly $10 Million CNC:  Many parents and community members said they fear that a longer school day would not be adequately financed next year, forcing schools to do more with even less. ALSO Longer School Day cpsobsessed

CPS community group for Bronzeville rejects district's plan for school closings and turnaround Tribune:  Chicago Public Schools'official community group for Bronzeville has decided against supporting the school district's proposal to close and "turnaround" failing schools in the area.

CPS developing recess guide Tribune: With many schools implementing recess for the first time in more than three decades next fall, Chicago Public Schools is developing a resource guide for principals.

Education group to call 50,000 Chicagoans tonight WBEZ:  If you live on Chicago’s South or West Sides, you could be getting a phone call tonight from an education activist group.

Univ. of Ark. banners to be displayed in Chicago Public Schools KATV: At the request of Chicago's mayor, the University of Arkansas is helping to get Chicago school children to think about their college aspirations.

Project Outreach Links High School and College Students ChicagoTalks:  The first part is a pen pal program where students already enrolled in a college or university volunteer to be matched up with a student from Benito Juarez.

IL lawmakers set to push for school vouchers, again Statehouse News: Lawmakers are set to push for school vouchers this spring following the massive school reform package that moved through the Legislature last year.

Internet blackouts leave users grasping for answers Medill Reports:  Thanks to blackouts, Chicagoans are in the loop Librarians link Internet users to options beyond Wikipedia

Another fly in the school lunch program: abuse Chicago Reporter:  Just because a family isn't receiving food stamps or public aid doesn't mean they aren't poor... The article leaves out another beneficiary of the free-lunch program: agri-business.


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  • here's what i've been told is the letter sent from bronzeville to CPS about community concerns if you want more specifics on the story above

    thanks for sending it in

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Alex, you're welcome!

  • I visited a school yesterday with a huge play area and nice playground equipment. However, I was told that the children can't play outside because of violence and gang activity. How will mandated recess work in schools where it is unsafe to allow the children to play outside? BTW, I'm 100% behind the idea of having recess. Children need that time for good health and good learning.

  • Chicago had no murders/shootings these 24 hrs. Recess Everyone!

  • It is cold outside--we have no place for recess but in the classroom. No auditorium and the gym is used by students all day so teachers can have a prep and students can at least have PE 1 day a week.
    CPS hired a Boston FORPROFIT company to (not)help with longer school day--what a waste of money--telling schools to serve lunch in the classroom-using examples of small charter schools--CPS-get our money back! This $$ should have been spent on students in the schools. What a waste--who is accountable for this? Remove them!

  • Such a shame that more money isn't spent on our children. What are we, 24th in the world league tables for education standards? It's shocking, and partly because our kids aren't in school as much as other countries' kids. I'm not advocating really long hours, but with three months off in the summer, teachers lose a good month just in catching up.
    Obviously the longer kids are in school per day and per year the more it's going to cost, but we need to get rid of ridiculous spending in other areas and prioritize our kids.

  • In reply to Expat in Chicago:


  • In reply to Expat in Chicago:

    The quantity over quality argument is pure bunkum. Finland ranks #1 in the world with empowered teachers, strong unions, collaborative teaching, and the FEWEST hours in the classroom. More of the same when it is being dished up by the likes of Obama/Duncan/Bush/Paige/Brizard/Emanuel/Rhee/Gates/Rangel/Oprah and the rest of the oligarchs is ineffective. Remember, these plutocrats are concerned with money, not kids.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Every lemming who promotes the longer school day and in the same breath robo-babbles about the need to be more like Finland, should be required to read it…maybe the Tribune and the Sun-Times should be required to reprint it over and over again...
    And for those Eric Hanushek cult followers who think smaller classes sizes are meaningless, make them examine Sidwell Friends where O'bomb sends his kids, or the Chicago Lab, where Rham sends his! Or have them review "Measures: Mark Wilson, Sophia Rabe-Hsketh, and Eric Hanushek" debate where Hanushek is basically reduced to a "deer caught in headlights" as his BS is stripped to a peanut before a live audience at Berkley University. You can watch it at

  • Abuse by parents/schools for free lunch?--What about abuse of paying cereal manufacturers for forced breakfast for everyone in school?

  • The last Time
    In 1993 the Board changed the schedule of High schools. They made every class 50 minutes long, instead of 40 minutes. This additional time worked out to 20 days a year without any pay raise. But the sneaky part is what they did to the kids. All students were in school 9 periods a day before the increase in time. Then they were all put on a 7 period day.
    This effectively reduced the classes a kid could take by 2 per day Included with this scam was the decree a kid could take no extra enrichment or catch-up classes. Suddenly home economics, geography and a host of other course offerings disappeared.This was done in the name of increasing test scores by adding time on task.
    Yesterday I read the proposal for the “Full Day” high school. It was a strange document full of more reasons than solutions. What it did champion was an increased time in core classes just like 1993,it did not work then and it will not make a longer day better .

  • In reply to rbusch:

    If I recall correctly didn't we also lose mandatory duties that were required for teachers as part of those changes?

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    yes! but the main idea is that the enrichment of curriculum was shed and that no academic achievements have followed.

  • Did anyone see that CTU is working with the gangbanger and felon Mark Carter to create trouble at Crane? Substance News has an article quoting a union organizer talking about the CPS public meeting a couple weeks ago saying, “Then it got even better, if such were possible. Mark Carter [sic] who had been a thorn in everyone's side came up to me and said ‘We are on the same side.’” (
    Since when do things get “even better” when a gang member gets involved? Parents should know this is Mark Carter the gang member who was questioned by the FBI last year for making threats against Congressman Danny Davis. I sure hope someone is trying to figure out who is paying this guy and why CTU is working with him.

  • In reply to SandraC:

    it's called irony, stupid!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to SandraC:

    No, the trouble at Crane is the attempt to disrupt my neighborhood by displacing a whole bunch of kids.

    I'm not much interested in what Mark Carter is doing compared to that.

  • Becky Caroll says that 'cuts would need to be made elsewhere for the longer day to fit into the district's nearly $6 billion budget". From what I've seeing, 'elsewhere' seems to mean cuts to teachers who work in African American schools, further cuts on resources in African Americans schools…more cuts to SPED resources...If Becky Caroll wants to talk about budget cut, maybe we should start with budget cuts to Becky Carroll

  • Rod
    On the 40 minute period a normal teacher taught five 40 minute periods
    A day. We also had a duty period ,a cp period ,a pp period , lunch, and division.Duty periods were a great source of administration power. If you were one of the chosen it could consist of no duty at all. Others were given the choice assignments of lunch room proctor, study hall , or hall monitor. The Counseling and Prep period was principal directed, many a time we had to cover a class on our CP.The Preparation Period was usually ours.
    The duty period was eliminated in1993 and most people were happy .
    But if you do the math they gave us nothing. Five 40 minute periods added up to 200 minutes of face to face with your kids, add a 40 minute duty period and That equaled 240 minutes. On the 50 minute schedule five 50 minute periods equaled 250 minutes of face to face. While that 10 minutes a day seems petty It added up to 50 minutes a week, or put in other terms one extra period per week, four extra periods per month times ten equals 40 extra periods a year that 10 extra minutes becomes ten days, Based on a 200 day year it becomes
    a 1% increase in work without pay.
    This is what I blame for a disconnect between the faculty and students.
    The duty period was a pain in the ass but we got to interact with the kids
    outside our classrooms. For 24 years at two schools I pulled lunchroom
    duty every day. And I did a better job than most of the clouted non
    certified so called security walking around today.

  • Almost a year.

    In a couple of days I will reach my first year of retirement. I miss the people but Am keeping very busy doing the things that the pressure of teaching in Chicago prevented I am sure a lot of readers consider 1993 ancient history .I only write because , so far, nothing the board is trying To impose on the schools wasn’t unsuccessfully tried before .
    Going back to 1993 the board offered a 5+5 which was embraced my many veterans who retired. They were not replaced, schools had to do with a reduced staff. This was accomplished by gutting enrichment classes, in the name of the children"Time on Task" was the flavor of the year then. Students who had nine periods to fill every day now were programmed into seven. Gone were opportunities to take classes a kid wanted .Students were forbidden to take any extra classes no matter what the reason. It was about this time many bands began to disintegrate
    sacrificed on the altar of the new longer core.So what do I read in the new guidelines for the ”Full Day “ in high schools?
    The board is just going to pile on the core classes. That term must appear in every Paragraph I read. There was scant mention of a schools leeway ,it did mention enrichment classes on the bottom of the page. Nowhere did I see anything about adding more periods to the “Full day “or allowing more class selection for students. So my take is this : Time will be added to the core classes just like 93, absolutely no opportunities , during this engorged day ,can be spent on enrichment. The ‘Full day” becomes a “Bull Day” .

  • Crane Technical is not a school, it is a prison. Drugs are sold, prostitution in the bathrooms, beatings, daily intimidation, gang recruitment. That is probably why a gang banger was at the meeting. They need to hold on to Crane to keep the cycle going. It is a gang recruitment center too. Why else would Felony Franks be so popular with the kiddos.
    Now that we know Alderman have affiliations with gang members we can see why they are behind keeping Crane open. Danny Davis has been in power way to long and now he want to be an alderman too. This is corruption at it's finest. He is Chicago's black king.
    All of these west side alderman and reps are a joke and puppets of the gangs. Ricky HEndon got millions from the Feds to take down Rockwell gardens and replace it with more crap. Those guys must have pocketed millions, no wonder he retired!
    I am just so sick of all the bull crap that goes on, on the WESTSIDE of Chicago.

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