BRIZARD 'TELE TOWN HALL' for February 16 continues arrogant and lopsided 'Communications' nonsense... Principals ordered to send home Brizard nonsense on 'Full School Day' even as parent, teachers and students organize against it across the city

Chicago's public school principals, already choking on mandates from the Brizard administration and buffeted by attacks that include a mayoral and media threat to take away their accumulated sick days and vacation days, had injury added to insult and indignity on February 10, 2012, when Chicago Schools Chief Executive Office Jean-Claude Brizard ordered them to force their teachers to send home, with every student, the latest Brizardgram promoting the controversial "Full School Day", this time in the form of an upcoming "Tele Town Hall" featuring, as usual, Brizard without any intervening critics.

The last time Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel allowed his hand-picked schools "Chief Executive Officer" Jean-Claude Brizard (above right) to go face-to-face with Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis at a public forum was on September 13, 2011, because the Chicago Tribune insisted on it. Since then, Brizard has been kept away from any public discussion of the increasingly bizarre policies that he is implementing from the leadership of CPS, from the so-called "Full School Day" to "Turnaround." The expensive publicity center at CPS — the Office of Communications — doesn't even allow Brizard to answer most questions from reporters when issues arise. Brizard is either kept in exclusive and highly controlled media environments (such as staged conversations with people organized by Mayor Emanuel's press office) or speaking through Becky Carroll. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.The bulletin sent to the principals reads as follows:

From: Internal Communications Sent: Friday, February 10, 2012 5:23 PM

Subject: REQUEST: Please send home attached with your students on Tuesday or Wednesday

Dear CPS Principals and Assistant Principals:

Please copy and send the attached letter from JCV Brizard to parents/guardians home with your students and/or send it out via whatever means you currently use to communicate with parents. The letter is an invitation from Mr. Brizard for parents and guardians to participate in an upcoming tele-town hall next Thursday, Feb. 16, at 6:10 pm. The topic is the Full School Day.

Thanks so much for your help in this matter!

CPS Communications

The expanding "CPS Communications" department, under controversial Lane Tech Alumna Becky Carroll (she was mathematically challenged then and hasn't improved since) has been hiding behind every corner trying to keep Brizard from direct dialogue with parents, teachers, students and community leaders whose opposition to his policies has been growing since his first year as "Chief Executive Officer" of CPS began in August and September 2011. While claiming CPS was facing unprecedented financial problems, the Chicago Board of Education has been expanding its patronage programs for "Communications" (Becky Carroll is paid more than $160,000 per year, more than her predecessor, while the department is expanded), "Community and Family Engagement" (Jamiko Rose is in a job that didn't exist one year ago, pouring out patronage and apologetics for every bizarre Brizard program daily), and exotic activities like Preacher and Professor Patronage.

By January 2012, while cutting schools' budgets, including security at a time when the gangs problems in CPS schools were growing, the "Office of Communications" at Chicago Public Schools had exploded in size and budget. The new "Chief Communications Officer" Becky Caroll (above) is currently paid nearly double what her most famous predecessor (Peter Cunningham) was paid. Carroll, like most members of the Brizard administration, came to CPS with no knowledge of or experience in education (except, in Carroll's case, a rocky time as a student at Lane Tech). Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.The Bulletin principals are supposed to get home with students for parents doesn't allow for any disagreement with Brizard's version of the "Full School Day," even as parental, teacher, and student opposition grows from O'Hare to Hegewisch and from the 19th Ward to the 49th. Under the protection of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Brizard and those he appointed to top executive positions (virtually all of whom are out of towners with more business than education experience) are planning to ram through the latest round of "reforms" no matter what the majority of parents, teachers, and students want or need.


Dear CPS Parents/Guardians:

Please join me for our next “tele-town hall” teleconference call scheduled for next Thursday, Feb. 16, 6:10 p.m. These tele-town halls are designed to help you, our CPS parents and guardians, understand the various initiatives that are taking place in your children’s schools and provide you the opportunity to ask questions of members of my staff and me. To access the call next Thursday, please call 1-877-229-8493 toll-free from any phone, and, when prompted, enter the access code 18528.

The topic for Thursday’s tele-town hall is the Full School Day. Next fall all schools will have a 7.5 hour day with an additional 90 minutes of instruction at elementary schools and 46 minutes more of instruction at high schools, moving students from the shortest school day among the nation’s largest cities to bringing it on par with the national average for instructional time in both elementary school and high school.

The rationale behind moving CPS schools to a full school day is clear.

Our elementary school students are receiving 22 percent less instructional time than their peers across the country – they have been shortchanged by our system for too many years and they are falling behind in core subjects like reading, math and science. We can’t expect the status quo to give them what they need.

With a high school graduation rate of only 57 percent and 7.9 percent of 11th graders testing college ready, our children cannot afford to wait another day to get the time they need to boost their achievement.

With all schools adopting the Common Core State Standards next year, all students – whether low or high performing – will be able to use the full day to better prepare for this rigorous new curriculum.

And while some schools are higher performing than others there are NO schools in the district where more than 90 percent of 8th graders are meeting college readiness standards. We can’t wait another day to give our students the tools they need to succeed in the classroom.

What that means:

Principals will no longer have to choose between reading, math or science because of limited time in the day to adequately teach each subject.

Additional time will create the opportunity to add more intervention to ensure students who are falling behind in math and reading get up to speed

Educate, Inspire, Transform

Students will have time for lunch and recess every day to relax, re-boot and return to the classroom prepared to learn

And for the first time ever, we’re providing elementary school principals with benchmarks on the amount of instructional time students should receive for core subjects like reading, math and science.

As an example, beginning next year, every student in 3rd-5th grade will receive at least 120 minutes in reading and writing, 80 minutes in math, 60 minutes in science and 40 minutes in social studies. These guidelines are based on the expertise and experience of district content experts, an analysis of guidelines adopted by other districts, as well as the time needed for educational models that have a proven impact on student achievement.

While the full 7.5 hour day will give schools the full time they need to boost student achievement, we know it is not a one-size-fits-all model. That’s why schools will have flexibility to redesign their day to meet the unique needs of their student body with input from community, parents, students, and school staff.

The time itself is critical, but we know it’s how we use the additional time that will impact the success of all students – additional time must also be quality time.

I hope you will be able to join me and other members of my team next week. Again, thank you in advance for engaging in this discussion and for the invaluable role you play in boosting the academic success of your children.


Jean-Claude Brizard Chief Executive Officer

NOTE: If you haven’t yet completed our parent communications survey, you still have time. The deadline has been extended to Feb. 17.

Please type in this link,, into your Internet browser to access the survey. Your feedback will be invaluable to our future outreach efforts to you. If you have already completed the survey, we thank you.


February 16, 2012 at 11:03 PM

By: Hrystyna Klym

Columbus opposes longer day at tele-town hall

Dear Mr. Brizard,

Thank you for your concern in Columbus Secondary School and its students. As parents…, we’re well aware of The Longer School Day Pioneer Program. We’ve devoted much time and effort to this matter, have spoken to parents and teachers about their opinions. Undoubtfully, this program is a step forward in educating process and We’re sure it’ll bring positive results to the schools that decide to enforce it.

However, there are factors that make the Program undesirable for our school.

First is the fact that lengthening the school day would interfere with afterschool activities (swimming, dancing, gymnastics etc.) Most students of our school have those activities and longer day at school would leave no time for them.And actually after 3pm the kids are so exhausted and they can not understand new materials .

Next factor is that the majority of Columbus Secondary School students are Ukrainians by nationality. Their school score is above minimum, mainly due to afterschool home tutoring, which is highly supported by Ukrainian Community. Making school day longer would have most of home classes canceled.

One more reason for not supporting the Program is that it considerably shortens summer break. The durability of summer break is very important for the students and their families, as they get an opportunity to visit their friends and relatives overseas. Short break would take such an option from them.

Mentioned above are the main reasons why most parents are against the Program. Hope, you’ll take them into consideration. Feel free to contact me for further questions and thoughts.

Thank you for your time and effort.

Sincerely yours,

The parents of Columbus.

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