Daley: Increase Time In School

November 21, 2005

Mayor Daley has proposed that Chicago Public School students should spend more time in school (link via Joanne Jacobs):

He says he will push for a six-day school week, a shorter summer break or a longer school day.

As Joanne says, the six-day school week is a nonstarter. The teachers union would never allow it, and parents and students would likely reject the idea as well. The shorter summer break may be doable, but CPS already lasts longer into summer than other districts and many of the school buildings aren’t equipped with the proper air conditioning to provide an effective learning environment during a hot Chicago summer. The longer school day, however, is probably a really good idea and one that has the potential to actually be implemented. Some CPS schools let out as early as 1:45 (and possibly even earlier) and the students could probably use more time in the classroom.

The best part of Daley’s statement, offhand as it may have been, is that it shows that he is willing to try different things and propose bold and even radical methods to improve the city’s school system. Renaissance 2010 is another such plan that is trying out new solutions and providing test cases for broader school improvement in the future. I wish the Mayor luck in his plans and hope that they bear fruit.


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