I think the most effective way to improve student achievement would be to hire more teachers and limit class size. If every teacher had only 15-18 students in the classroom they could do twice as much with the same amount of time. I am a teacher and curently have 37 students in my class. I find it very difficult with this many students and I know that each individual is not receiving the attention he/she deserves. finding the resources to shrink class sizes would be much more effective than adding time to the school day. I am all about improving education, but let's do it in a way that makes a difference.
While it is a step in the right direction that your boss has made use of TIF funds more transparent it does little to solve the problem. There are still many millions of dollars diverted from the public schools to serve private developers. Take back the funding that is rightfully ours and balance the books the right way. Instead of fighting against the educators of Chicago you should be fighting for us. Stand-up to your boss and tell him to give back the TIF money that rightfully belongs to CPS.
A parent, CPS teacher, and property owner
In many CPS schools, students are given 7-9, 3 hour standardized assessments per year. That means students are taking standardized assessments about every 2-3 weeks, and this doesn't include midterms and finals. The students get burned out (anybody would!), and rarely do they take these assessments seriously, yet schools are held accountable for whether the scores are improving. These standardized assessments cost thousands of dollars and take away from instructional time, but have little validity because students are just not taking them seriously. Our kids are not robots, they are intellectual and curious young adults hungry for enrichment and experience. Why not invest in enrichment programs or technology rather than dumping CPS funds into incessant assessments?
Yes, a longer school day is needed. Teachers & other staff should be compensated accordingly & should be part of the discussion. Please treat our teachers with the respect they deserve. A solid plan is needed & funding is necessary to make the most of the extra time. 6.5 hours MAX for elementary students.
We taxpayers have paid for all these schools, equipment, books, etc. They belong to us (government represents us.) I do not want our schools handed over to private corporations or groups. I want our schools to be run by us (government). And I want teachers to be maintained as public employees represented by unions.
I think that everyone knows that a longer school day is in CPS future, but we need to plan an enriched program. Consider including a second language, voice, instruments, or drama instead of more teaching to the test. Students need to be engaged not just have the day lengthened and their homework load prolonged. My child does homework from 4:00 until 9:00 and a longer day would rob my child of a life outside of school.
Students need more art, music and PE at the elementary level. Currently,in many schools, students get art once per week, music once per week, and PE perhaps twice a week. This is inadequate. Extend lunch periods for students for recess. Hire parents to work the recess time (to allow teachers to have an adequate, professional lunch of 45 minutes)
Unless I'm misunderstanding, a large portion of the proposed raise in property taxes will go to TIFs rather than schools. It is time we recognize that school funding must not be diverted to other city projects. TIF reform is imperative so that money collected for schools will actually go to the schools.
As the father of two A students with 98th percentile ISAT scores, I am opposed to the longer school day. The longer school day and year round schooling teaches kids to be workaholics. Parents in favor of a longer school day seem to be looking for free daycare or to keep their delinquent children from causing trouble on the streets to replace good parenting. I want my kids at home for those 90 minutes with me where they can learn to be smarter, healthier, and well-rounded.
How can you ask teachers to vote to extend the school day when we really don't know what we are voting for? How can we change the school schedule mid-year without an excessive amount of disruption to teachers and parents lives? What would a longer school day schedule look like? No one has been able to answer this question for me. Without details you are asking us to simply trust CPS administration, and how can we trust you when you have already broken promises?
Chicago Public School is following the path of other large urban school districts with the introduction of a new Response To Intervention (RTI) Program. The program is designed to create a learning environment and classroom culture that optimizes the potential for student achievement.
As a strategy RTI recognizes that academic, behavioral, social and emotional not only enhance achievement, but 1) decrease office discipline referrals, 2) decrease number of suspensions, 3) decrease lost instruction time, 4) increase administrative time to focus on instruction and 5) increase student and staff engagement.
When fully funded and implemented RTI along with other strategies including Restorative Justice can work together to effectively reduce the more than 43,000 students suspensions and 600 student expulsions in Chicago Public Schools during the 2009 -2010 school year.
While this budget addresses security spending in Chicago Public Schools for the upcoming fiscal year, by identifying $72 million with an additional $7 million to be spent on security cameras alone, it does not clearly state how RTI and other similar much needed violence prevention strategies designed 'to "Educate, Inspire and Transform" our students and the lives of the communities they live in are to be funded. As an example, it is estimated that if Restorative Justice was implemented in each Chicago Public School it would cost approximately $42 million per year. THIS IS LESS THAN 1% OF THE PROPOSED BUDGET.
The High HOPES (Healing Over the Punishment of Expulsions and Suspensions) Campaign city-wide coalition whose constituents include faith/ community-based, parent and student advocacy organizations is requesting that this budget increase spending on RTI, Restorative Justice and other proven strategies that promote student learning and community engagement by coordinating and advancing a system of prevention and interventions. It is also being requested that this budget increase spending on the systems to measure the effectiveness of such strategies.
Reverend Robert E.Biekman
Pastor Southlawn United Methodist Church
Leader with Communtiy Renewal Society
I think it's great that CPS is putting more focus on Early Childhood Education. So many studies have shown how important it is to get children in the classroom sooner rather than later. So great job by focusing on Early Childhood CPS.