Chicago goes to longer school days

“Many children in Chicago Public Schools will go from having the shortest school days in the nation to some of the longest this fall,” reports MSNBC. Will it boost achievement?

. . .  in Chicago, public school students have the shortest school day — 5 hours and 45 minutes — among the nation’s 50 largest districts, according the National Council on Teacher Quality. The national average is 6.7 hours in school. Under Chicago Mayor Rahm Emnauel’s plan, elementary schools will move to seven hours and most city high schools will extend their day to 7½ hours, although one day during the week would be shorter by 75 minutes.

. . . “Among 10 of the largest cities in the U.S., our students have 22 percent less instructional time than their peers, and 83 percent of our third-graders are not reading at their grade level,” Marielle Sainvilus, spokeswoman for the Chicago Public Schools, told “We had to do something to ensure that our students had the time in class needed to succeed.”

The school board is negotiating with the teachers’ union over the longer school day, but already nearly 90 percent of teachers have authorized a strike. “Mayor Rahm Emanuel last year rescinded a four percent pay increase and pushed for a longer school day. CPS has since proposed a five-year contract which guarantees teachers a two percent raise in their first year and lengthens the school day by 20 percent.”

That’s a very chintzy offer. I don’t see a peaceful resolution.

About Joanne


  1. Maybe if Scott Walker’s not too busy he can offer Pat Quinn some advice about how to handle unions gone wild. Rahm Emmanual seems to have some notions about that already.

  2. The Rahmster isn’t going to get anywhere unless he offers major concessions elsewhere.

    Something that doesn’t seem to be tried too often is better working conditions.  If CPS offered major improvements in school discipline, teachers might be willing to spend more time in front of classes.  But that would not only require less time spent out of class, but an exemption from the civil “rights” apparatus which would otherwise demand “racial parity” in everything from classroom organization and regimentation to punishment rates for violations.

  3. A strike about now would be so novel I’d almost look forward to seeing one.