Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chicago parents pushing back on Rahm's longer school day

At yesterday's march to the mayor's house. (M. Klonsky pic)
At Drummond Montessori school, parents conducted a survey that showed that only 8.5 percent supported the seven-and-a-half hour day that Emanuel favors. Nearly three-quarters preferred a six-and-a-half or seven-hour day. Parents and students at two of the city’s selective public high schools — Northside College Prep and Walter Payton College Prep — have circulated petitions raising concerns about the longer school day.

Jonathan Goldman, a parent and Local School Council member at Drummond helped organize the survey. He told the Chicago News Cooperative that the district seemed more intent on selling the seven-and-a-half hour day than on listening to parent concerns. He said district officials have tried to marginalize opponents of the C.P.S. plan as a small group of parents.

“If you’re really interested in fostering an environment of input and discussion, you welcome all the input,” he said.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a parent who marched but didn't get a copy of the CPS press release, so to correct the record --

    The average length of the school day in Illinois is 6.5 hours. The average in the U.S is 6.6 hours. NO state or district has a 7.5 hour mandatory school day. Not one.

    CPS is not putting Chicago "on par" with the rest of the country. It is pushing an extremely long day that is unfunded across a large, diverse district. We have repeatedly been told that there is no funding for any real enrichment and remediation programs.

    As State Rep. Monique D. Davis has said to us, "A 7.5 hour day is a working man's day." And after school programs help parents who need childcare.

    As Diane Ravitch has written to us on Jan. 28, 2012, "All of this is nuts. There is no evidence that longer school days produce better education, unless children are engaged in wonderful after school activities that give them a chance to sing, dance, inquire, play, and just be children."

    That's why we marched. Thanks so much for posting our photo, Mike.

    BTW, on Feb. 2, Mt. Greenwood school held a petition drive. In two hours 500 parents came to sign petitions in the middle of the afternoon. 13 were for a 7.5 hour day. The rest were for either no change or a 6.5 hour day.

    19th Ward Parents





Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.