Sunday, September 4, 2011

Emanuel: 3 schools 'did right' voting for longer class days

This was announced at a press conference before the Chicago Football Classic:
Teachers at the three Chicago Public Schools campuses who agreed to opt out of their union contract in exchange for 2 percent bonuses "voted right for our children's future," Emanuel said during a news conference before the 14th Chicago Football Classic at Soldier Field.

"The teachers did right by their profession and they did right by the children that they teach," Emanuel said while surrounded by several schoolchildren in cheerleading outfits and band uniforms.

A majority of teachers at Genevieve Melody, Skinner North and STEM Magnet Academy schools approved the pacts to extend the school day, CPS officials say. They were rewarded with one-time bonuses equal to about 2 percent of the average district salary, and the schools were awarded as much as $150,000 in discretionary money.

On Saturday, Stem principal Maria McManus stood by Emanuel and said teachers at her school were eager for what she said would be 40 minutes more for math and reading. CPS officials say 76 percent of teachers at Stem voted in favor of extending the school day, starting this month.

"We have a very unique curriculum at the Stem Magnet Academy, and in order to effectively execute that, they felt that they needed a longer school day," McManus said.

At Skinner North, 60 percent of the teachers supported extending the school day, also this month, a district representative said. At Melody, 75 percent of the teachers approved starting a longer school day in January.
And the teacher's union isn't very happy about this at all:
The teachers union is accusing Chicago Public Schools of bribing teachers at three schools that agreed to adopt a longer school day.
The union had advised teachers not to vote in favor of any waiver to their contract, but the 90-minute additions were approved at Melody Elementary on the West Side, Skinner North in Old Town, and the new STEM magnet school on the Near West Side. Skinner and STEM will begin their longer day immediately. Melody will start in January. They join about a dozen schools that already have an extended day.

The Chicago Teachers Union immediately filed a grievance. The union says teachers are being coerced into holding the school-by-school votes to add the 90 minutes, and the payments amount to bribery.
What do you think about an extended school day? Should more of our neighborhood schools have 90 extra minutes?

1 comment:

  1. The CTU is not going to get any sympathy on this issue. It appears a number of schools are going to extended days without the fanfare.

    Something new I haven't seen before at the high school level is college class schedules that CPS is terming "Block Scheduling". It's based on the two day college scheduling system. It also extends the day and gets rid of the short and long scheduling some students would have.

    Overall, the mayor has won this battle and CTU needs to accept this or risk a major public backlash.


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