The Longest Day Revisited

2 Jul

ImageWe’ve survived one school year with the longer day and school year that Rahm Emanuel decided to impose on the Chicago Public Schools and more time in school is quickly becoming a national trend.  In New Jersey, Governor Christie has called for a longer day in his usual charming manner.

When people from outside Chicago look at the school day, they ask themselves if it’s longer, they count the hours, and consider it a success.  Unfortunately, when you take a deeper look, you notice some of the problems.

1. Absenteeism: I can only offer anecdotal evidence here, but for the first time in anybody’s memory, our attendance dropped below 95%.  Students are rundown and anytime there’s an orthodontist or pediatrician appointment, students wind up having to miss a half day.

2. Burn Out: Homework completion was down a ridiculous amount in just about every class in our school.  This despite trying to decrease homework because of the longer hours.

3. Funding: All funding for the longer day has ended.   There are still hours that need to be filled, but resources must be taken from the regular day instead.

There are other smaller issues like recess that becomes sitting in the hallway or auditorium once the weather gets bad and a lack of time for things like tutoring in the morning before school.   I have seen few teachers or students who don’t dislike this longest school day and longer year, but I also realize the chances of ending it are only slightly less than the chances of properly funding it.

UNO Had Money for Grand Opening, But Not to Pay Contractors for State-Funded Charter School

“In lien documents filed with the Cook County recorder of deeds office, Rodrigo d’Escoto says the money his company is seeking is for work it was asked to do on the Galewood school that went beyond the scope of its original contract. Scott R. Fradin, an attorney for Reflection Window, says the company and its suppliers did the extra work “with the understanding that they would be fully and fairly compensated.”

Chicago Public Schools Sound More Like Private Schools

“It seems the antithesis of public education. Students who parents are lawyers or accountants will be able to buy their children the college-admissions pleasing class—the richer transcript, but the students whose parents have lower paying or no jobs won’t? Kenner has also proposed canceling or curtailing the school’s ACT prep courses—parents with disposable income will compensate by buying their children private test prep—as well as cutting the writing center, cutting some foreign language electives, including Latin, cutting some programs in art, music and business.”

Progressive Charter School Doesn’t Have Students

“Thanks to our groundbreaking methods, we’ve established a structured yet free-thinking environment where the student is taken out of the equation entirely, and in fact is not allowed on school property. And the results, we think, speak for themselves.” According to its budgetary records, Forest Gates has so far received approximately $80 million in public funding from the state of Georgia.

Rahm Emanuel’s Reform of the Chicago Public Schools

“If for profit charter schools are not performing better than public schools why would politicians be in favor of them?  The best answer I have to that question is to repeat the statement made by the infamous “Deep Throat” of Watergate fame.  “Follow the Money”!

Newark Union Head Barely Wins Reelection

“Tuesday’s NTU election follows April’s leadership election in the AFT’s largest local, New York’s United Federation of Teachers. In both cases, incumbents survived challenges from caucuses demanding more aggressive opposition to the mainstream “education reform” agenda backed by billionaires like Zuckerberg. Both Newark’s NEW Caucus and New York’s MORE Caucus have taken inspiration from the Congress of Rank and File Educators, a caucus that seized control of the Chicago Teachers Union in a 2010 election and then mounted last summer’s week-long strike.”


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