Full Day Kindergarten is Another Brilliant CPS Plan

26 Feb

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I read in disbelief as CPS announced that they were mandating full day kindergarten at all schools.   At my school that means that we need to find at least 4 extra rooms.  We’re going to make classes larger and probably lose the music and art rooms, and possibly the library for good measure.  When they mandate things for all schools, they fail to take every school’s unique circumstances into account and this is a great example.

Mayor Expands Full Day Kindergarten to All Chicago Public Schools

“When you talk to the teachers, every one of them will tell you the different between what a child can get in three hours versus seven hours,” Emanuel said. “Identifying the letters, identifying their numbers, the shapes, the colors, how the numbers go together. And that is essential so when a child gets to first grade they are ready to do first grade work.”

Another Chicago Charter School with Clout? Why We’re Suspicious of the School Closing Process

“Anyone who’s spent any time around power, politics and clout in Chicago knows, however, that you don’t have to get caught breaking the rules to profit from your position in this city. And Jeannie Kim’s employment with CPS and her involvement with a group that’s planning on winning a contract from CPS to operate a school in a neighborhood with schools listed as “underutilized” raises many of the questions that typically come up when clout in Chicago is discussed. What are their motives? Who stands to profit? How does Kim’s employment in the CPS administration benefit Be the Change, and what connections and inside knowledge has she been sharing with this charter school? What edge do they have thanks to her involvement? And finally, what economic interest does Jeannie Kim have in the Be the Change charter school?”

Congressman Kimble Introduces Freedom to Commute Bill

“Opponents of transportation choice, say that such a program will take needed funding away from public transportation, making the system worse for those who will still be dependent on it because of age or infirmity.  There are no easy answers here.   Would you deny a commuter the right to better transportation simply because other people may be impacted by his decision?”

[Note: This seems to be satire on school vouchers]

Chicago Teachers Pension Fund Takes Unexpected Dip

“The fiscal cliff facing Chicago Public Schools got significantly larger today, with the release of a report disclosing that the cash-strapped system will have to come up with an extra $400 million next year — $70 million more than had been expected — to pay teacher pensions unless something changes.”

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7 Responses to “Full Day Kindergarten is Another Brilliant CPS Plan”

  1. DZV February 26, 2013 at 2:58 am #

    Have we gone that insane?????? Making 5 year olds attend school for 7 hours???? What about playtime, imagination time, singing letter songs, and naptime??? This is pure insanity. No child that young should be in school that long. Years ago, I taught an extended day kindergarten which was four hours long. They were done and tired by then. Now, seven hours????? That’s like child labor, child abuse, and neglect all rolled into one. Please don’t do this to our children!

  2. Anonymous February 26, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    We have the same issue at our school as far as losing rooms and such. That is very concerning to me. However, that said, as a working parent, I absolutely NEED this. I wish I had the luxury of staying at home. We tried that but could not make ends meet. So, I need for my youngest child to be in a nurturing, educational environment which I believe CPS will provide. I cannot imagine how hard it would be for other parents with less means than my own to not have full day kindergarten. I also believe my September birthday child is totally ready for the full-day experience.

    I do wish, however, that schools such as ours where many parents are wealthier than I, could offer half-day as an option. Many parents such as the poster above do not want full-day. It may be a way to alleviate space issues. Unfortunately, as was noted, CPS tends to deliver a one-size-fits-all approach to everything.

  3. Frango Mint February 26, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    CPS definitely makes a lot of bad, one-size-fits-all decisions, but this is not one of them. I am actually impressed that money is finally being invested in something that is proven to work. There is ample research showing the significant, lifelong benefits of full-day kindergarten for children in poverty.

    • cps299 February 27, 2013 at 12:02 am #

      I’m not saying that kindergarten isn’t important. I won’t even debate you on the importance that it be a full day. However, I would say there is very compelling evidence that smaller class sizes and classes in art and music are also very important to a child’s education. Unfortunately, that’s what my school will lose in order to have full day kindergarten.

  4. Vinny February 27, 2013 at 1:40 am #

    Just remember that full-day kindergarten in CPS means your 5-year old is spending all day in CPS, which means that they get to experience the joy of up to 14 standardized tests during the year (plus the PARCC and KIDS starting in 2014-2015).

    I need to dig out my half-day kindergarten report card from Prussing back in 1975-76. I was graded on things like my ability to hop, jump, and skip, not on my ability to start writing stories with a distinct beginning, middle, and end (yes, it’s on the KG report card).

    • Anonymous February 27, 2013 at 1:47 am #

      And back when I went to kindergarten, I had a mom who was home. She didn’t have to work. We were not below poverty level or otherwise disadvantaged.
      Oh. And we could walk two blocks to school … not be bussed halfway across the city.
      Today, if kids are not in kindergarten full day AND come from a family of means, they are stressed out with piano lessons and dance classes and basketball and soccer.
      I wish we could turn back the clock, but we cannot.
      Frankly, I’d prefer to entrust my child to CPS for the full day rather than a daycare center which is where they’d be — and not because I don’t want to be a full-time mom. I cannot afford to be one.
      I am only sorry that CPS does not think that art and music and small class sizes are equally important. ALL should fall within the bare minimum requirements. Bare minimum.
      I am sorry if your school (as is the case with ours), will have to make sacrifices to any of these things in order to accommodate full-day kindergarten. But that does not mean full-day kindergarten is the problem.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. I See Conflicts Of Interest, Everywhere | District 299: The Inside Scoop on CPS - February 26, 2013

    [...] Full Day Kindergarten is Another Brilliant CPS Plan CPS Chatter: At my school that means that we need to find at least 4 extra rooms.  We’re going to make classes larger and probably lose the music and art rooms, and possibly the library for good measure.  When they mandate things for all schools, they fail to teach every school’s unique circumstances into account and this is a great example. [...]

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