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Documented in Substance article and on crusading website... Year-round schools are a failed fad that had racist results in Illinois and California

In November 2005, Substance published an eassy entitled “The Year-Round Mess” in our “Afterthoughts” section (the back page article that allows our writers to take a bit more time than usual covering an issue). The story was by Billee Bussard of Talahassee Florida, a veteran reporter and editor who also edits the web site called “Summermatters” (www. summer matters.com).

Ms. Bussard’s essay was written for Substance in response to continuing demands by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley that Chicago extend its school day and lengthen its school year. The writer demonstrated, citing numerous examples, that the hype supporting year-round schooling was shallow at best and dishonest at worst.

Citing a major lawsuit from California, the article also demonstrated that year-round schools have tended to disciminate against poor and working class families. These same patterns have been growing in Chicago as the Chicago Board of Education tries to force more and more overcrowded elementary schools on to the "Year Round" model, despite the wishes of parents and the community. Pressure has especially been great in the areas where many Mexican Americans live and attend public schools in Chicago.

Now that the story is again relevant to Chicago as a result of protests from Hurley, Gallistel, and dozens of other schools (as well ad speches by Mayor Daley), we will be covering the background and foreground of this story on the Substance website and in future issues of this newspaper.



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