First off I am sick and tired of the mantra that all the ills of CPS schools will be fixed once we have a FULL SCHOOL DAY! What in the world have we had for over a century already? Whether a FULL DAY of school is 6 hours, 7 hours, or 12 hours, the school system needs way more than time on the clock to make a difference in education.
Rahm was presented with a paper from CPS parents titled "The Best Education, or Just the Longest?” on Monday and by Tuesday morning he had listened to the parents' input and altered his plan...really, or was this his plan all along?
According to the current CTU contract (pages 18 and 19) teachers who have "voted and adopted" a closed-campus school day get their "continuous duty-free lunch period of forty-five minutes" (page 19 of CTU contract) at the end of the school day at which time teachers can sign out for the day.
Currently elementary teachers work 6 hours, 15 minutes (not including lunch) a day. By increasing the school day to 7 hours as Rahm Emanuel has now "conceded", does that mean he is just going to make teachers stay on campus during their "duty free lunch period" - a 45 minute period that teachers are NOT paid for to begin with? If he does that, does that also mean there will be no prep time before school to get ready for class? And if he lengthens the teachers' school day more than the 7 hours that the students are expected to be there, where is the compensation?
Emanuel is also planning to "add" 10 school days to the calendar year, but most of those are days teachers are already paid for. Professional Developments days have been switched around or eliminated, paid holidays have been cancelled, and Report-Card Pick-Up days are now teaching days too. Of the ten "added" days, it looks like all but three were already in the school year - the difference- no professional development for the teachers during the school year (with new Common Core Standards from the Federal Government and a new evaluation system on its way, who would need additional training???) and pick on Columbus and Pulaski as far as cancelling holidays. If you look at the calendar and the spacing between "days off", they certainly didn't pick these holidays "with the children" in mind.
So, could it be teachers will be expected to
- put in more days of teaching,
- get less training,
- be set up for failure when all these "new initiatives" don't work
- not get more money for the extra time/days that will be added into the calendar,
- pay more in health insurance
- get a 2% raise for year one of a new contract, NO raise during year two of the contract, and a possible raise during years 3-5 if teachers sign on to merit pay tying test scores to salaries.
- be screwed with our pensions