Two good letters appeared in today's Sun-Times in response to the mayor's longer-school-day scam. Here they are in full:
Embarrassment all around
Shame on the mayor and the “lackey” aldermen who voted to back the mayor’s plan for a longer school day and for not standing up for the Chicago Teachers Union and the students. Ald. Ed Burke (14th) expressed his embarrassment by the CTU’s action — is this because he is trying to keep his key position?
The CTU and the teachers all favor a longer school day — the mayor and Supt. Brizard keep overlooking this fact. The problem is in structuring the longer day. They should include the CTU and teachers in the planning for the longer day, not singling out individual schools.
Burke is not the only one “embarrassed” — I am at the scab schools that were bought out by the mayor. Embarrassed that Brizard and Emmanuel are playing politics with the children of Chicago. Funny how this money was found and being donated for schools opting for a longer school day, but can’t be found for the teachers’ raises.
A longer school day without structure is like a restaurant serving “lots” of food — if the food is not tasty — who cares if you get a lot of it!
E. Toni Curtis,
Don’t blame the teachers
CPS created the shorter day and now is trying to blame the Chicago Teachers Union for it! When CPS moved most schools to closed campus, they put teachers’ lunch at the end of the day and 30 minutes planning time at the beginning of the day. We do have low instructional time (not as low as CPS claims, however) but our teacher work day is on par with most teachers around the state. There is a simple solution to the instructional time problem: Rearrange the day. Let the students be in the building during the teachers’ work day (normally, 8:30 to 3:30), stagger teachers’ lunch and a.m. planning periods so that students can receive instruction during these times. Hire art, music, library, or math teachers to teach students while regular teachers are at lunch or planning, and the short school day is over. Easy. No drama.
Carol Caref, Hyde Park