More Longer School Day News
The longer school day issue is starting to bubble up in the press.
The Chicago News Co-op just covered the topic:
I think this quote sums up my feelings perfectly:
Wendy Katten, co-founder of the parent organization Raise Your Hand, which favors a truncated longer day and has advocated for equitable school financing, said the district already has been “underfunding the five-hour-and three-quarter day.”
She added: “It’s not that more time wouldn’t be good, but I just think it’s unrealistic with the situation we’re in economically. It seems like ‘la la land’ to think that we can do this properly.”
Someone from my son’s school passed this along and says the comments are interesting too:
The Mayor’s Education Town Hall Meeting is Monday Jan 23rd at 6pm and I’ve been invited to attend and “live blog/tweet” from there (if I can figure out how.)
Don’t forget to submit your questions and VOTE on existing questions here:
I see that the Lincoln Elem people have gotten their question to the top:
#1How do you propose to deal with the high performing neighborhood schools that are overcrowded, for example Abraham Lincoln Elementary? Does your plan inlcude both short and long term solutions? The goal should be to expand on the success of these schools! (*I believe it’s clear that CPS hasn’t quite figured that out yet, right?)
#2Where’s the research behind the Ed policies you push (and why are you doing what Finland is doing?) (*Finland? do they happen to have a giant population of “at risk” kids to educate?)
#3Do you think the extended school day applies to everyone? Would you consider looking at the needs of each schools’ student population before implementing this policy? (*I like this one, but let’s really think about how CPS would decide which schools are in or out?)
Many of the rest are different twists on the longer school day and school closings. As I said, I anticipate hearing “Research we have from XYZ shows…” “Parents have told us….” “Portfolio approach….” “Prioritizing the budget….” “Moving kids to better performing schools….”
I’m not saying these comments aren’t valid statements, it just would be more FUN to get one shocker for the night from Rahm such as ” or “Yes, I’m asking parents to figure out 7.5 hours themselves, suckas!” Or “100 new gifted/classical schools coming soon!” Or “I am a golden god!”
Frankly, I’m still mixed about the longer day. If I thought my kid would actually learn more, fine. I just priced a math tutor today. $125/hour. I’m still laughing. If they keep my kid at school 7.5 hours a day and I still need to pay $500 to teach him math, that ain’t working. He’s still going to be 1 of 28 kids with 1 teacher trying to explain goofy Everyday Math, just for maybe 15 minutes longer.
If he gets to do some deeper, richer, interesting things at school, maybe that’ll make him hate Mondays less and it’ll feel fine. Maybe he’ll get some unstructured time where he gets to talk to his classmates socially an not get shushed (the beauty of our current 6.5 hour longer day with lunch/recess.)
I agree with those who feel that resources (ie longer day) should be directed at the schools with more “at risk” kids/low-performing schools. Do you really feel like it’s possible that CPS could implement this? Won’t parents at high-performing schools scream that their kids are somehow getting the short end of the stick? Will teachers want to work at the 7.5 hour schools? I think it’s a sensible solution, just not sure how parents would react. Also wondering how bussing will work if schools don’t have staggered start times. It’s just a lot to think about and I continue to feel like CPS is a do-it-yourself school system. Maybe I just have to accept that as a fact of life in a large urban district. I still can’t fathom living in the suburbs so I guess I have to find a way to make it work.
There is a group of parents at Mount Greenwood Elem and also organizing a letter-writing campaign. Feel free to join them or organize your own:
Let us know if your school has discussed the topic at all….
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