Just when it seems like the year is too long comes a study out of Mexico, that shows that the longer school year really doesn’t help students much. While Mexico’s school system is different than ours, actual hard data on a longer year is hard to find and the study of Mexican school years was very thorough. One thing it noticed was that it was particularly useless for students from lower income backgrounds.
Now, I get really irritated when Rahm takes credit for the longer school day/ year. This is because working in a school, I don’t see the value of much of the longer day. Time that could be spent after school learning piano or playing soccer is now replaced with 20 minutes of sitting in the auditorium because it’s raining and there’s recess. Unfortunately, the average person who neither works in CPS nor has students that matriculate there thinks “Yep, the day is longer. That’s got to be good.” It bothers me that the reforms that would help the students most like smaller classes are always ignored for more testing programs or stupid ideas like the longer day/ year.
“Meanwhile, despite the fact that many “reformers’” policies have spectacularly failed, prompted massive scandals and/or offered no actual proof of success, an elite media that typically amplifies — rather than challenges — power and money loyally casts “reformers’” systematic pillaging of public education as laudable courage (the most recent example of this is Time magazine’s cover cheering on wildly unpopular Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel after he cited budget austerity to justify the largest mass school closing in American history — all while he is also proposing to spend $100 million of taxpayer dollars on a new private sports stadium).”
“Roger Eddy, a former school superintendent and state lawmaker who now heads the Illinois Association of School Boards, said he trusts local districts to make decisions on classroom sizes and staff.
“I don’t think districts are going to create an environment that hurts kids,” Eddy said.” [Chatter Note: :::Snicker:::]
“High-quality early education has a strong, positive impact well into adulthood, according to research led by Arthur Reynolds, co-director of the Human Capital Research Collaborative and professor of child development, and Judy Temple, a professor in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. The study is the longest follow-up ever of an established large-scale early childhood program.”
“One important symbolic change that was instituted was a reduction in the salaries of teachers who took union jobs. Traditionally, union officers and staffers were paid salaries that were far more than that of a classroom teacher. Under CORE, staff salaries would be tied to the lane and step system of classroom teachers, and they would be paid based upon the twelve-month calendar of the union contract. This freed up a significant amount of money that could be used to hire more staff to further the organizing plans of the new leadership, and sent a signal to the membership that it was not going to be business as usual.”