Emanuel Touts Charter Model As Way To Teach Students For More Days

CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Emanuel is using the charter schools run by the United Neighborhood Organization to show how the Chicago’s Public Schools could give children more time – an additional three weeks — in the classroom.

The change at the UNO-run charter schools means thousands of Chicago students will be in the classroom for more hours than any other major school district in America.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

Beginning Aug. 1, the schools will have 190 days of classroom instruction, up from 175 for the school year that ended Thursday.

Emanuel and his schools CEO, Jean Claude Brizard, were impressed with the plan.

“Our first day of school starts Aug. 1, not the day after Labor Day,” Juan Rangel, UNO’s CEO, said.

And once it starts, it’ll last for 190 days of instruction, far more than the 170 days in traditional Chicago Public Schools. Those public schools are actually open with teachers inside for 193 days.

“This is criminal, what we do to our kids,” Brizard said. “We have about 193 days schools are open, but only 170 days kids actually attend schools. I’m not sure what happens in those 23 days when the kids are not there that the schools are actually open.”

It’s called teacher development, which teachers here will now be doing day in and day out during the school year, rather than emptying the UNO schools of kids for teachers-only development days.

“This is doable. It’s possible in every single public school across the city of Chicago,” Rangel said.

Charter school teachers aren’t part of the Chicago Teachers Union, though they say their pay is nearly comparable.

On Thursday, the CTU accused the mayor and his schools chief of “proposing half-baked ideas in the press rather than sitting down with the people who spend their time in the classroom to come up with reasonable solutions.”

  • tom Sharp

    In spite of that fact, kids going to almost any Catholic school for about one-fourth less time will tie or outscore the the UNO/Charter kids on any test! It’s the parents and the value they put on education at home that is the key variable here, not the hours in school. If you don’t think this is true, compare Charter schools’ to Catholic schools’ test scores.

    • Roberta Waker

      You are so right, Tom. I know young kids that went from a poor education in a public school to a Catholic School, where they had to play “catch up” but are now outscoring their friends. There are many good teachers out there; but those in Catholic schools get a lot less money and seem to do a better job educating our children. Unfortunately, that has always been the case. Ever wonder why?

  • judy

    I am in complete agreement with you. The private schools do a much better job of educating children. Charter schools are not doing bad either. They have a challenging curriculum, clean enviroment, and a no nonsense attitude toward education. If you need assistance, they will provide you with that and parents are not involved with their children, they are responsible for their children. There is a big difference there. If your child is a behavior problem THEY HAVE GOT TO GO IMMEDIATELY, thus the rest of the children can learn. That does not happen in the public schools. The curriculum is poor, especially in the neighborhood schools, the principals are rude and distant, (I know of one that requires her staff, parents and students to make an appointment to just speak with her.) Many of them are snobs, (first class, second class snobs.) The teachers in the public schools are good and some of them are horrible. The children are dumb (at least some of them are) rude and they have no regard or respect for education and how it can make life better for them.The parents leave a lot to be desired too. The books are old and there is a dire lack of technology. The mayor does not understand the issues in CPS nor does the person he brought in. He is from NY and there were issues with him while he was in NY. Parents if you really care about the education of your child, DO NO PUT THEM IN A CPS SCHOOL.

  • retiredinAZ1

    I agree somewhat with all the comments but let’s not look at the “Catholic” school as one that is being better managed, having better teachers, etc. What it comes down to is NOT ONLy the parental support….but the discipline code in the catholic Schools. When a child messes up once too many times, he/she is out the door, not to come back! CPS Schools give the kids a slap on the wrist (not really) and then then child is back ….doing the same stuff that got him/her in trouble in the first place. The CPS has what is called a “Uniform Discipline Code” but it is not followed and what could be a consequence today may not be so for the same offense tomorrow. the discipline needs to be uniform from day #1……meet with the student body, go over the consequesnces for various offenses…AND DO NOT DEVIATE FROM THIS RULE!

  • rooni

    don’t they have to pay for charter schools? Who will pay? The parents? No, might not have a job. The state? Probably….improving intelligence? Look at the parents and to see how successful they are.

  • tom Sharp

    Everyone seems to be agreeing here to varying degree. How can Rahm, Brizard, et al. miss this when it’s so simple? They are not that stupid. They must see that gang bangers beget gang bangers and they don’t value education–time spent in school doesn’t register with them. Those that go to school at all, go to the public schools. In addition, “special needs” students are not dealt with in Catholic or Charter schools. The kid drooling in his copy of MacBeth won’t be helped by extra days and hours. The playing field is uneven and always will be. I think the Charters exist primarily to justifying the busting of the Teachers Union. That’s what Rahm and Daley have been after all along.

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/06/24/brizard-wants-teachers-to-make-house-calls-for-students/ Brizard Wants Teachers To Make House Calls For Students « CBS Chicago

    […] The nine UNO Charter Schools are also lengthening their school year without making teachers work mor… The UNO schools plan to convert days when teachers had worked when students were not in the classroom. […]

  • FED UP

    I wish the kids would go to school 6 days a week until 6 p.m. As soon as they get out of school they are fighting; throwing rocks; hanging around; throwing quarter sticks of dynamite at cars; doing things in the alley; standing around talking on their cell phones and I’ve seen worse.

    Instead of walking home by themselves, they should all have a parent come pick them up and escort them home.

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