Letter to Chicago Parents from JC Brizard
A great letter to Chicago parents by the new super, JC Brizard (yet another Joel Klein protégé), cranking up the pressure on the union (which deserves all the jeers its getting):
As I begin my fifth month as CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, I wanted to reach out and thank you for all the feedback and input I have received from so many of you at my listening sessions, during school visits, by email and in person at multiple events I have attended throughout the summer. One issue that has been very top of mind for many of you has been the longer school day. In fact, recent polls taken by Raise Your Hand and FOX 32 Chicago show support among CPS parents ranging from 64% to 68% for a longer day. So I thought I'd take the time to revisit where we are with our efforts to lengthen the school day and why we and so many others support efforts to provide our students with more time in the classroom with their teachers.
As you know, Chicago currently has the shortest school day and year compared with all major U.S. cities and school districts. I think this is an injustice to our students. That's why in school year 2012-2013 CPS will adopt a longer day and year in every school throughout the system to bring our students on par with the rest of their peers across the country. To put it in perspective, every student attending a Chicago Public School today from kindergarten through high school will receive nearly three years less instructional time than students in Houston. Some of you may ask, has this actually put our children at a disadvantage? My answer to this is unequivocally, yes.
Despite the hard work and efforts of our school leaders and teachers, our children are falling behind. I would argue that having the shortest school day and year in the country has resulted in our students – as well as our teachers – getting shortchanged every day of the school year. Here are a few facts to consider: