CPS website on Longer School Day starts off with phony 'facts'

Considering that it had barely been launched into Cybperspace when the first of its phony "facts" turned out wrong, the new Chicago Public Schools web page on the "Longer School Day" will certainly have its droll moments. One of the most interesting "facts" asserted, at least for the staff of Substance, states, on the CPS website, that Substance is an "affiliate" of the Chicago Teachers Union whatever that means). That paragraph reads as follows: Did teachers have the necessary materials before the vote to make decisions? All materials related to the waivers were given to the Union delegates at each school. The CTU clearly had prior notice as evidenced by the grievance it filed on August 30, its postings on the Union website and its affiliate website, Substance News, and the actions and presence of its representatives prior to the vote.

Another "fact" that CPS is claiming is that the routine waiver votes taken over the years were precursors to the current wave of centralized waivers being used by the Brizard administration. The centrally written waiver ballot utilized at STEM, Melody, and Skinner North on the first day of the waiver fight (September 2) was unprecedented. Never in history has the Law Department of the Chicago Board of Education distributed waiver language for principals to utilize with their teachers. Never.

According to the official CPS press release announcing the event:

Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard (above left) and "Chief Officer, Communications" Becky Carroll (center) have hosted fewer press conferences than any other administration in CPS history since Brizard and Carroll took their offices in May 2011 following Brizard's appointment by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Above, the two were seen with Chicago Tribune Editorial Page Editor Bruce Dold (right) at the September 13, 2011 forum at the University of Illinois at Chicago. During the event, Dold failed to ask Brizard and Carroll why they had taken more time talking to the Tribune's editorial board than they had holding routine press conference where they could be forced to answer questions from a variety of reporters — questions that had not been pre-scripted and approved by the mayor's office. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.CPS LAUNCHES WEBSITE TO ENGAGE CHICAGOANS ON LONGER SCHOOL DAY

Teachers, parents, students and all Chicagoans invited to share ideas for a longer school day on new website

For more information contact:, CPS Office of Communications, Phone: 773-553-1620, Fax: 773-553-1622, Website:, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 20th, 2011

The Chicago Public Schools today went live with a new website designed to engage Chicagoans in the ongoing conversation around a longer school day to increase instructional time for students in the classroom. The website will serve as a resource for information on the Longer School Day Pioneer Program and allow Chicagoans to provide feedback on the longer school day as CPS moves toward district-wide implementation in the 2012/2013 school year. Chicagoans can access this site by clicking on

“We built this page as a resource for parents, teachers and all Chicagoans who want to learn more about our efforts to provide an additional 90 minutes of instruction to our kids this year through the Longer School Day Pioneer Program,” said Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. “We also intend for it to serve as a source of discussion and dialogue among Chicagoans so we can gather their input as we work with schools on structuring the longer school day city-wide next school year.”

The site includes a link to an Idea Scale page that will allow Chicagoans to submit their ideas around implementation of a longer school day. Idea Scale was used this summer by CPS to get feedback from Chicagoans about its FY 2012 budget. CEO Brizard is also inviting Chicagoans to email him at with questions they have about the Longer School Day Pioneer Program.

The site also includes a “fact check” page to address issues surrounding the Pioneer Program and waiver process, as well as a page detailing numerous studies in support of a longer school day as a means to improve student academic performance.


September 21, 2011 at 10:01 PM

By: Jay Rehak

More art, music, PE

I sent this suggestion into Mr. Brizard and the Board:

If the Board of Education wants to extend the school day next year, they should begin now by recruiting and hiring more art, music and PE teachers to put into the elementary schools.

The current art, music and PE programs in the elementary schools are less than inadequate because the Board of Ed has continually cut resources to those institutions.

This would allow classroom teachers more prep time, and would provide students a more humane daily schedule. Currently, elementary schools have art, music and PE once a week, rather than once a day.

Simply having the classroom teacher work more hours for the same pay (or for a paltry sum) does not address the current inadequacies of the curriculum.

I urge the Board of Education to put their money where their mouth is. Next year, when the current contract expires, hire more art, music and PE teachers, and provide more prep time to the classroom teachers.

In this way, all stakeholders will achieve a "win." The children will receive more humanities instruction, the parents and the Board will have the extra class time that they seem to want, and classroom teachers will have more time to prepare lessons. It is a win, win, win situation if the Board is sincere in its goals.

September 22, 2011 at 2:41 AM

By: sarah Loftus


What are the phony facts?

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