In Chicago, unintended consequences of the longer day Philadelphia wants
Two years ago, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel got the longer school day that SRC Chair Bill Green wants. And although Chicago officials say their “Full School Day” has helped boost graduation rates and test scores, critics point to a growing list of unintended and potentially damaging consequences.
On the campaign trail, Emanuel blamed Chicago’s short days for “stagnant academic growth.” An independent survey of public school parents showed that most supported a longer day (as well as higher pay for teachers). After a seven-day teachers’ strike in 2012, Emanuel won an extra 75 minutes for elementary schools (for a total of 7 hours) and 30 extra minutes for high schools (for a total of 7.5 hours). Teachers won small raises and a promise to hire more staff.
Officials remain bullish on their new policy, but an investigation by the Hechinger Report – funded by the Ford Foundation – found that the longer hours (along with a pension-driven budget crisis) have created new problems.
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