In Chicago, longer school day for students, but not for teachers
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (L) listens to Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard while participating in a forum about education in big cities
July 27th, 2012
06:00 AM ET

In Chicago, longer school day for students, but not for teachers

By John Martin, CNN

(CNN) – Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing for a longer school day. The city’s teachers are insisting that their work days not be extended.

The agreement reached this week is something you might not see every day: both sides in the dispute are getting what they want.

Under the new proposal, elementary school children will have a 7-hour day this upcoming school year, while high school students will see their day increase to 7 ½ hours. Those figures represent a 20% increase in the school day for students.

But there will be little to no impact on the amount of time teachers spend in the classroom each school day. Instead, Chicago Public Schools will hire additional teachers to fill in the gaps.

With those hires, elementary school teachers will maintain a maximum of 296 minutes of instructional time per day. High school teachers will work about 15 minutes longer per school day than they did last year.

The school board president says the increased hiring could cost the district between $40 and $50 million per year, but neither the board nor the mayor’s office has yet to determine where the additional funds will come from. All of this is part of ongoing negotiations between city leaders and teachers unions to avoid a teachers strike.


Do you think a longer school day would benefit students? Tell us in the comments below.

Posted by
Filed under: Policy • Practice • teacher unions
soundoff (722 Responses)
  1. Teens Need a Say So

    I think this whole thing is silly and unfair.I mean who gave adults the right to consume the life of a child like that. What you people don't understand is that teens have more things to worry about than school,yes school is our first priority but it is not our only priority. Some teen have jobs that have to attend to friends and family that they would like to have enough time to spend with and also what people don't get is the more time we are in school the less time we are going to have to focus on homework especially. High school we get homework from 7 different classes throw on us daily with us getting out 4:30/3:30 or whatever time they plan to throw on us we will have less time to get it done. I know first hand when you come home from school first thing you want to do is eat then get some rest from your long day by the time you get around to your homework it is already like 7/8 o'clock then you have all this homework to do but still have to make it to bed on time so you won't be tired in the morning and you have to do this 10 months straight for 5days a week with the minor breaks in between. Now tell me does that seem fair to you? I also think people who think that this idea is going to help gang violence and it will help kids get better educated are wrong because people who do things like that already don't care for school and education they barely want to be in school the hours they are in there so making them stay longer will probably make them drop out or cut school. Another reason is kids already have a hard time finding school intresting enough to stay awake,stay focus,and get there work done extending school hours is just asking for more students being unfocused in class,less work being done,more dropouts ,and very unhappy students.If you ask me if you want more kids off the streets, more children focused and excited about there education then make learning exciting and more interesting. Higher teachers that will make the subjects math,reading,science,and english exciting because kids are like babies just with more since if you dangle something in front of them that they like I guarantee they will take extreme interest in it but if you push something on them that they don't want they will have a fit mark my words because I am a teen and I hang around teens I know this will not have a good reaction.

    August 2, 2012 at 3:39 am |
  2. T

    No, I don't think prolong school day or school year will be the best, especially for elementary school students. We all know that it's more productive if we can take a nap during the day. Kids need even more sleep than adults. A nap will refresh their mind. How much can they learn if their mind/brain is mentally blocked from input information?
    Kids are still kids, so they need time to play. I don't mean watching TV, playing video game, or electronic toys. I normally let my kids playing lego, puzzles, sliders... or something that need their creativity. They need a balance of academic study and play. Don't forget that they also learn while playing.
    Kids need a break from school, too, and summer is for that purpose. It's just a matter of how parents schedule their time. I buy next grade level books to keep academic study going during summer time. I ask them to read books, any one that they feel interested in, as long as they read. Barns & Noble has a reading program for kids during summer that if they read 8 books, Barn & Noble will give them a free book. I use this to motivate my kids' reading interest, too.
    I divide the day into 2 parts: before and after lunch. I give them enough homework for 2 hours in the morning. As soon as they finish it, and the answers must be at least 90% correct, they can play. They take a nap after lunch. Afternoon is for activities: swimming lessons, piano lessons, dance...After dinner, I sit with them for about an hour to go over their homework, and give them instruction for next day homework. No, I'm not stay at home mom. My husband and I are both working full time.
    I don't think elementary kids need more time in school. They need more quality time so they can learn more effectively. To me, it's a balance of study, rest, and play.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  3. Names

    If a student actually wants to learn, sure this is a good idea. For the children of gang bangers and ingrates , at least it keeps them off the street for another half hour.

    July 30, 2012 at 1:12 am |
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    July 30, 2012 at 12:10 am |
  5. Aurora Chuck

    This like many government jobs is a sweet gig! You don't have to be accountable, there are no performance standards and you can retire at the age of fifty with full benefits. If you performed like this in the private sector you'd be fired. But lets just keep giving them more money. Have you noticed their test scores keep getting worse. Time for another raise!

    July 29, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • Joe

      Agreed. The truth about education in this country!

      July 29, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • april

      If the teachers are not able to teach whats needed in 7 hours how is a half hour going to add to what the children learn? Better teachers or new methods might motivate these spoiled apathetic children but longer days will just turn them off!

      July 29, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Joe

      Maybe people should stop pointing their fingers at other people and start point them at themselves. Especially if you have children that are not excelling in school. Most of these kids have no parental guidance at home to push them to excel at education. I've seen it over and over where kids are now being raised parents who don't care, grandparents too old to put in the necessary work or parents who think sports are more important than education. Society is devolving not evolving someone needs to hit the reset button on everything and completely start over from scratch. Kids who have parents that care how they do in school and are willing to put in the time to work with their children usually have kids that almost always do well or improve over the school year. Putting kids and teachers in school longer or hiring more teachers will not help the kids who don't want to be there and have parents that don't care enough to correct their child's view on education, these children will continue to fail. Look at other countries that are beating us what is the 1 thing that stands out the most... Education is regarded as the most important thing in these countries especially education in Science and Math fields (Doctors, Engineers, Scientist). Why do you think other countries are willing to pay sometimes double or triple what teachers make in the US to their teachers. Go to http://edudemic.com/2011/10/global-teacher-salaries/ and look at the data it's old 2007 but not that old and most interestingly is look at the avg. salary per GDP for each country and look where the US is...I'm sure if you did an athlete's salary or the avg. TV personalities salary per GDP we'd be #1 by a ridiculous amount. Also where are all these smart kids going to work... 8% unemployment rate and a lot of these kids will come out of college with thousands if not 10's of thousands of dollars in debt.

      July 31, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Joseph

      Aurora Chuck, It's sad how clueless you are regarding education. No accountability? I'm 55 but started teaching at 49 after working in the private sector. In my first 3 years of teaching I was evaluated 15 times by department heads (not counting 4 or 5 walkthroughs by superintendent). Each evaluation had 2-3 pages of detailed notes covering various aspects of my performance. If you don't do well in your evaluations, the school can fire you outright in your first 90 days or at the end of each of your first 3 years. I work at an urban school district, come to school at 7:15 am and leave at 4-5:15 pm. I usually have about an hour or two of work to do at home before starting all over again. I take grad courses over the summer for my Master's degree (mandatory) which will end up costing me at least 17 grand. As far as pensions go, teachers contribute to most of the pension fund and would have to work 30 years to get a full pension. I'll be lucky if I receive 20%. I like what I do, I'm a very good teacher and I work extremely hard at it. It infuriates me when I see misinformed statements like yours. If one of my students wrote such a poorly researched paper, they'd receive an "F". Stop watching nothing but Fox news and do your homework before expressing your opinions.

      August 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  6. Robert Zimmer

    This is a win-win scenario. Teacher burnout is prevented, the kids are off the dangerous streets, and teachers who are looking for jobs get them through this plan.

    July 29, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  7. Maggiemae

    If the schools use this time for students to do their homework in a supervised environment I would definitely support it. Kids seem to have a great deal more homework than when I was in school. The education folks often bemoan the fact that parents don't make sure kids do their homework. Why not do this in a room with a supervisor who can assist with questions?

    July 29, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Ceri

      Now that wouldn't actually be homework, would it? It would be more school work.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
  8. Zero

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/04/11

    A must read about teachers and the education system.

    July 29, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  9. Charles Brenneman

    A longer school day does NOT increase student achievement. Kids need a chance to get out, play and BE KIDS and not be forced to follow Rahm and Arne's Master Plan.. Life is more important than test scores. Obama (besides bush) is the worst education president in US History...

    July 29, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • xbox

      the only thing kids are playing these days are video games! they don't need anymore time to do that!

      July 29, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  10. vps

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    July 29, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Heinrich

      The paragraph found above is proof that our educational system has already failed.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  11. Diane

    Do the smart thing and pay the money for a 15 minute extentions, to have the schools going year round instead. If not, then stop paying teachers year round when they are physically only working at the schools for like 8 to 9 months out of a year. What will anyone one learn in 15 minutes more in a day, if anything will be accomplished at all and why even waste the time to invest in it.

    July 29, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Diane

      With children going to school year round, this will cut down on crime, allow for children to remain active, eat heathier and consistenly learning, as well as piece of mind for the parents. Think about it, what is safe for your children to do anymore outside?? What do they accomplish from sitting in front of the TV and technology all day long while the parents are at work?? Children need to be acitively learning and doing constructive things at all times while they are growing and thriving through life.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
      • Moncada

        That would just be spending more money. If students barely want to learn now that we have a 9 month school year, are they going to all of a sudden pay attention in school when they have a longer school year? A student learns because he or she wants to not because of the amount of schooling.

        July 29, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • Teacher

      You obviously do not understand a teacher's pay. My salary is for 9 months that I choose to have allocated over a 12 month period. I don't get paid for not working. I get paid less while I'm working so I have a paycheck when school is not in session. Furthermore, while I may not have students over the summer, that does not mean I am not working. I have spent this summer doing a summer movie program for my students because there is no where for them to go in our small town. This is not contracted time, but something as their teacher I choose to do. I also spend my summer at workshops and writing curriculum units. It would be best to not judge someones profession unless you have walked a mile in their shoes.

      July 29, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Neill

      Teachers are on salary. The salary is spread out of the course of a 52 week period. Paying them in the summer or not doesn't change the income or cost to anyone.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
  12. whitetrash

    STUPIDOS ALL OFF YOU

    July 29, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  13. SUPERMAN

    Teacher Myths 101
    1. Teaches get paid for free during the summer (actually money is taken from the teachers pay check thoughtful the school year and used to pay them in the summer. In other words they pay themselves with their own money.

    2. Teachers have a 3-4 month vacation off. Wrong, teachers have different schedules throughout the year. Some have summers off and some work year round schools. Either way teachers are required by their state to continue their education costing them thousands of dollars or face losing their teaching license and end their careers. Teacher sues the summer for their state requirement fulfillment.

    3. Teachers only work 5-6 hour days. Wrong,!!!! Teachers work 9-10 days every day plus weekends. How else can they grade 160 papers a day, enter grades in, call parents, post homework online, and plan lesson plans for every day.

    4. Teaching is easy it's baby sitting kids. Wrong, try working with 30-40 kids in a typical classroom with hormonal raging students who were not taught manners and swear, insult or assault you verbally or physically on a daily basis. Remeber the bus monitor who was made fun of on the school bus?

    5.Teachers make good money and benefits. Super wrong, most teachers have advance degrees and certifications plus endorsements costing them thousands and years of schooling plus and internship. In the end teachers are the lowest paid white collar profession. They don't get giant raises or bonuses or matching 401k that everyone else get especially the Wallstreet losers who tanked our economy.

    July 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • BC-AZ

      WELL SAID and WELL WRITTEN. You are exactly correct. I'd like to add that many teachers spend their own money on classroom supplies because the districts don't have enough money to cover everything (or simply won't pay) and, oftentimes, parents refuse to buy their children supplies because they take the mentality "if my kid needs it, the school needs to provide it." Teachers are some of the most patient, giving, yet under appreciated professionals out there.

      July 29, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Lmenglish

      I agree that teaching is a difficult job & your pay scale is horrible, but you chose to be a teacher and you knew you had to continue your education in order to continue working. I believe that should be at your own cost. I and many other professionals must continue our education every year in order to maintain our prospective licenses at our own cost My income is far less than a teacher & I must pay for all my own benefits. But I chose my career and must adapt to all the changes that go along with it. Please stop complaining about all you do & don't get. Don't like the changes that need to be made, I suggest you apply your American rights & find another career. One more thing.....please stop sending kids homework that parents must figure out. I didn't go to college to be a teacher and am not qualified to explain most of today's subjects. It's not fair to the students or a busy parent after a 9 hour work day. Complain that kids are not raised properly, but then don't give us time as a family because we need to teach math or English instead of respect & manners.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
  14. Racheal

    EZO You clearly need to grow up and realize insulting people don't strengthen your argument. Your probably a young kid living at home, with no job or working at the mall and are ignorant of the facts within Chicago and its school system. Let me ask everyone what is the primary responsibility of a school? A. Educate students. B. Teach morals. C. Provide social services such as free meals, healthcare etc.... The correct answer is A. Educating students and that's it's. It's the parents responsibility in teaching their children moral behavior and providing food such as breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's the parents responsibility to care an provide for their kids not the school system. The problem with so many parents today is they expect their local schools to raise, feed and support their children at tax payer expense. If more parents got off the Internet, watching TV, and actually taught their kids from right or wrong and stop trying to be their friend instead of being a real parent, our schools and teachers would have an easier job. As for school closing during winter EZO, every school within Cook County shuts down because the winter conditions are too dangerous for the kids. only The schools within Chicago risk opening so that parents can go to work despite the crazy weather. That's just plain wrong. Schools are to teach not house students.

    July 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  15. Hmmm

    Real estate agents, engineers, doctors, lawyers, businesses, plumbers, home builders, etc. all have "unions" lobbying for them in various ways. But teachers shouldnt? I dare you all to read Diane Ravitchs book "the death & life of the great american school system". If you want schools to educate those wanting to be educated and want "the rest" left in their local public school vote for vouchers, school choice, and charter schools. It will also make jobs easier for those teachers because they wont have to deal with as many behavior issues. However, there will be high turnover at the "other" schools because top students will have been weeded out. Read her book. She was the asst secretary of education under Bush. Its all smoke & mirrors and is a bigger issue than "bad teachers".

    July 29, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Lmenglish

      Real estate agents do NOT have unions. We are self-employed and pay for everything out of our own pockets including all our Board fees. Yes we have The National Association Of Realtors (NAR), not a union, who lobbies Washington on various issues, but it is on behalf of all homeowners in the entire United States. It has nothing to do with our own benefits of which I have NONE. Yet I pay out of my own income huge fees to the NAR to fight Washington to protect the rights of every homeowner, not realtors. One huge issue my fees are paying for right now is a homeowners right to mortgage interest deductions, which is at jeopardy and will effect your taxes and the ability for young people the previledge of ownership. Please know what your talking about before you incorrectly speak!!!!

      July 29, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
      • Hmmm

        Explain to me how a union and the National Association of Realtors are significantly different. They are lobbying for homeowners (great ploy) but, in reality, YOU make significantly more money if there are more homeowners. Teachers unions have positive and negative impact on education. Just like the NAR. It just depends on your viewpoint.

        July 30, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  16. sheldon

    This represents failure. It does not.matter as to how long they are in class. They should look at the quality of instruction

    July 29, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Amanda

      Quality of instruction has nothing to do with it. There are so many more factors that go into the state of education in Chicago. Many of these buildings are falling apart. Classrooms havent been updated in 30 years. Buildings have no a/c and poor air flow. The district cant afford to keep up with changes in text books, so students use them longer than other districts in the area. In minority areas you have socio-economic issues. Students come from homes where parents didnt even finish high school themselves. Some parents cant read. Many many students do not own a book at home. For many kids, the only good meal they get is the free school lunch. I do not work in Chicago public schools, but I work in one of the other large, mainly minority districts in the state. We have the same problems in many of our schools. Teachers and other educators can only do so much in those 7 hours a day we have those kids. If there is no follow through at the house, there is little more the teachers can do. I think its time we stop bashing the teachers and turn the focus the parents. They share responsibility for educating their child, if you are going to bash one, you better bash the other.

      July 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  17. Joe

    Yeah, gaydad, what a whiner. I'm one of the investment bankers that screwed this country into the ground by inflating the value of homes until the bubble burst. I worked 100 hrs/wk and have an MBA from an ILS and you don't see me complaining. Sure, I'm out of work now, but I've made my millions and retired @35. Get a second job @Chik-fil-A if you're not making enough. Sheesh.

    July 29, 2012 at 6:28 am |
    • Maggiemae

      U certainly don't sound the least bit remorseful for your part in the housing market's crash. So many people lost their homes or are stuck with upside down mortgages and u brag about it? Sheesh right back at u.

      July 29, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
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  21. Mr. Conscious

    The problem with Chicago Public Schools is that the school system has turned in to a baby sitting socialist system and not one of education. In CPS, they pay and feed the students breakfast, most students get lunch for free and when snow hits during the winter, the schools rarely ever shut down in order to baby sit the students so mom and dad could go to work despite the 20 inches of snow. CPS should get out of the business of raising kids and get back to the basics of educating them. The real reason for the longer day proposal is to house the kids longer for the day in order to lower the crime rate and that's the real truth! There is no data that supports longer days with high achievement scores, that's a lie! Parents want a longer day because they use it as a baby sitting service and don't have to pay a sitter to watch their kids. CPS wants to lengthen the school day so be it but they must pay their workforce for the longer day. After all, all the people who trash talk teachers on this blog, you know the Walmart, Burgerking, KFC, or unemployed people need to stop complaining about teachers, head back to school get your degree, get a real career job and then enjoy the fruits of your labor! Educators work very hard, invest thousands in their own continuing education plus school supplies and deal with the most unruly parents and students. In other words it's not an easy job that someone can do. Respect your teachers everyone for if you don't than who do you respect?

    July 29, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • Ezo

      "The problem with Chicago Public Schools is that the school system has turned in to a baby sitting socialist system and not one of education....they pay and feed the students breakfast, most students get lunch for free and when snow hits during the winter, the schools rarely ever shut down in order to baby sit the students..." So, what exactly are you complaining about? CPS feeding hungry kids? The fact that CP schools don't shut down in inclement weather? Or the ostensible attempt to do something about crime rate? The lack of respect for teacher's hard work despite the attempt to maintain teacher's working hours? You obviously have conflicting mental issues that preclude reasoning...

      July 29, 2012 at 3:50 am |
  22. Adrienne Boyd-Akers

    My kids have been attending a private elementary school for several years, which is open from 7:30-5:30 M-F. This has not only been a great option for us as full-time working parents, but it also enables our kids to concentrate on their academics for longer periods of time. I think longer hours at school will not only keep kids out of trouble, trying to fill those empty hours until mom and dad get home, but will also improve their overall academic performance. Well played Chicago!

    July 28, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • anc

      I see nothing wrong with raising the bar a bit for our children. When they go to work they will be there 8 or more hours. Teachers should be for this..... remember you wanted to do this job, thats why you soent so much money getting your degree and you they get alot more time off than most people.....

      July 28, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
      • Julie

        Teachers ARE for this (I'm a 28 year veteran teacher in New York), but what we DON'T agree with is that we should work longer hours for no more compensation. No one would ever ask a doctor or lawyer to work more hours for no pay – teaching is a JOB, people! We deserve compensation for more work just like everyone else!

        July 29, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Sharon

      How nice that your elitist self can afford to send your kids to private school. Not everyone has that option. Stop looking down your nose at those who dont have that same ability as you.

      July 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  23. Amazed

    It amazes me how someone can think that their opinion is so right when they don't even deal with the public school systems. I'm positive that I would not let my children read alot of these comments because my children are taught to respect people and obviously a large majority of these people lack total respect for most people and most likely themsleves. I have four children all with very different learning styles I wish people were able to see that each child learns differently so each teacher doesn't just teach the same lessons year after year they teach the same lesson numerous different ways each year. Also I know that my childrens teachers will on most days be at the school at the at 7:30am even though the first bell does not ring till 8:20am and that even though school gets out at 3pm that they are there until 6pm to help children with their homework and for many parents it is a babysit and I am so thankful for these teachers. I think that we overlook that as parents we are responsible to teach our children also to help with homework and to work as a team, many parents don't make sure their children read at night (which reading books has been replaced in many homes with video games, computers, and tv) also how many parents makesure their children work on what they learned the years before over the summer. I know that each of my children have a reading list and a packet of worksheets that I make up for them every spring before school gets out for them to work on during the summer and sure they could be doing this refresher online but I find it important to be part of this with my child. Also I know for a fact that teachers have added expenses as we are starting to shop for a long list of school supplies that grows every year do to state funding cut backs I see the teachers picking up the needed items to fill the gap with what the district can afford to get and what the parents buy. Also if it was for teachers donating their time, their vehicles and the gas in the vehicles we won't have any after school sports or activities. So I am very thankful for teachers and maybe instead of acting ignorant and making comments that are half thought out you should donate some your wonderful ideas and time to a local homework help line or school.

    July 28, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • DebAH

      Very well said!

      July 29, 2012 at 1:55 am |
  24. phil fugate

    I have been saying for a long time that school should been treated like a JOB-Five days a week, 270 days a year. When we were a farming nation, yes Parents needed kids to help, but no longer.

    July 28, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Trying to awaken myself in Cali

      For phil fugate, you are right, but unfortunately so. Parents still probably will need their children around as they become very old and sick, and need their help, and prayers, and practical help, as well as needed assistance sometimes, even as they prepare for death:(
      As for farming, well, that could in many important States still be taught, as can advances in weather adaptation, farm modification for future gens in the USofA and elsewhere, so that a changing Planet Earth will support, and not destroy, human as well as an assortment of lifeforms and species living, presently, here.
      Earth is where we live and grow, anyway, regardless of human-centric socio-political and religious boundaries. If Earth cannot be made to help support human life, where are people supposed to go? Terraforming other planets will probably take thousands if not millions of our Earth years. Do people think about that or consider the barrenness of nearby planets with thin or no real oxygen-nitrogen-carbon dioxide atmospheres? (Not to mention mean healthy distance from a life-providing star called the Sun).

      July 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
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  26. Dagobert II

    "The school board president says the increased hiring could cost the district between $40 and $50 million per year, but neither the board nor the mayor’s office has yet to determine where the additional funds will come from." Tuition? Bake Sales? Blood/Organ Donations? Rummage Sales? Pay Per View Locker Room Cameras?

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    July 28, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  27. Optimistic

    I teach because I love the kids. I'm not well paid, although I have enough education to have a doctorate. I put up with those nasty parents who want to attack me because they feel they have the "right" to, but every day I return to my classroom and try and do my very best, making your child my priority. I certainly don't do it for the pay. I do it because I feel that I might make a difference in a child's life. One day, that child might make a difference in your life, or the difference to the world's existence. Focusing on our children, teaching them that the answer is not to tear down the opposition, but to try to understand it, and then come up with solutions, is what will make the difference. Every time a child hears negative parental comments towards their school or their child's teacher makes it just that much harder for the child to respect their education. If every parent, (I know some of you do!) would concentrate on encouraging their child's education, there wouldn't have to be a debate over whether more time is needed in the classroom. The kids would come, ready to listen, ready to learn, and ready to do their best, and we could teach them incredible things! We wouldn't have to spend our days managing behaviors and trying everything we can to coax a child to start working, or to finish an assignment, or even turn an assignment in! These things take time away from quality teaching! Education begins at home. Teaching a child to love learning before the child hits kindergarten will create life long learners. It's not a matter of more time, it's a matter of valuing education.
    In countries that surpass us, we need only to look at how education is valued in the home and community. There you will find the answers to their successes.
    I'm optimistic because there really isn't a need for this issue to come up to debate! We can solve it easily. If everyone puts their mind and their actions towards valuing education in the home, and in the community, we, as teacher's, will be able to bring a richer educational experience to the children, because we'll have the time to teach!!

    July 28, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  28. pgcounty

    Chicago is simply a joke. The value of its educational system is no different that that of Los Angeles, California; worthless. Continue with this charade Mr. Mayor. This country need uneducated people to do the work that educated people will not due. The seperation of class is alive and well.

    July 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Jaime

      Hahaha I hope you count yourself among them.

      July 28, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Amy

      It's do not due........you must be doing one of those uneducated jobs.

      July 28, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
      • Joe

        Whoot! Tell 'em, girl. Jerry, Jerry...

        July 29, 2012 at 6:20 am |
  29. Diane

    I vote for a longer school YEAR. Why do we need kids (and teachers) to have an entire summer off? Then the first couple of months of the new school year are wasted on review. We no longer use our children to work in the fields all summer and school buildings are climate controlled. No other occupation gives you 2 months off. There could still be breaks maybe quarterly.

    July 28, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Bruce

      Most teachers work on a ten month contract. They have a portion of their monthly checks withheld to provide a paycheck in the summer. They do not have a two month paid vacation. If you want them to work in the summer, you will have to pay them.

      July 28, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Tanner

      That may work in some areas but there are still areas that our children are needed. I believe that my children wold rather be at school than at home during the summer they are all up at sunrise and often work well past supper in the area we live in there is actually a law that schools must be out by memorial day weekend and must start after labor day because it is a resort area and most are family owned and operated also I believe that children shouldnt need to catch up in the beginning of the year because as parents we should make sure they are working on learning during the summer too or reading I believe that our tv is turned on for approx half of a hour a day and that is for the weather updates in the morning and at night.

      July 29, 2012 at 12:13 am |
  30. Donald

    When we are ranked #1 in the world for education, I will give the teachers anything they want.
    Right NOW, We are not! far from it. Grow up and start teaching the basics.

    July 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Marsha

      After working in another profession, I became a teacher in my mid-forties; My first year, I was self-righteously indignant about how much my high school students came to me not knowing, blaming my colleagues. Now, eight years later, I realize that just because it's taught, doesn't mean the student learns it. I work hard to present all information to various types of learners: visual, audio, hands-on–which means I'm teaching the same skills three different ways–and still, some kids don't learn–I now understand the cliche is especially true of teaching: you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. Sometimes, when students fail, it is their fault– not the teachers, not the parents, not the administrators, not the textbooks.

      July 28, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
      • Moncada

        100% true Marsha; You can teach the lesson all you want but that does not mean the student is learning.

        July 29, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Julie

      What we teach is dictated by the state and federal governments...it's not our choice. We believe in basics as well, but higher level thinking skills are what our children need in today's society, not just the ability to read, write, and do arithmetic! Believe me, we teachers are as frustrated as you are!

      July 29, 2012 at 11:08 am |
  31. BlogMediator

    A longer school day in Chicago means the kids will have that much less time after school to commit crimes!

    July 28, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  32. bdougherty

    Students in other countries who perform well are not coming out of public schools, they are attending the best private schools and most of their teachers are Americans. I know because I have been teaching at international schools for the past decade and would never return to teach in the US (in a public school) – the reason being that classrooms back home (and the kids in them) are not conducive to teaching and learning.

    July 28, 2012 at 7:42 am |
  33. Andrew

    I am always entertained by this argument. And its always the same points regurgitated. I guess thinking on their own is something some people will never learn. But do go on. I am very interested in how teachers have it easy. Clearly your reasoning has us convinced.

    July 28, 2012 at 6:14 am |
  34. gaydadinsocal

    About 12 years ago I was an elementary school teacher in the Chicago Public Schools. Due to the fact that I was bilingual English/Spanish, I was assigned a 2nd grade classroom in a 1000+ pupil elementary school on the City's southwest side near Midway Airport. By the time I left my position and moved out of state, my classroom had increased from 27 to over 40 second graders. My requests for at least one classroom aide were denied and when I complained to the administration that I did not have enough text books, I was told not to be a "whiner." I began to check out materials at the public library for my students' use, but when the copy machine broke in the teachers' lounge, I was told it would not be repaired because we careless teachers were making too many copies and we needed to be taught a lesson. When I asked how I might go about assigning homework to students without text- or workbooks, I was told that I should use the chalkboard–students could copy everything from the chalkboard into their notebooks.

    These are just SOME of the conditions I witnessed first-hand in Chicago. While I sincerely hope things have changed in the past 12 years, I completely understand why teachers would not desire to work more hours on a daily basis. Until adequate resources and proper staffing are put into place, that extra school time in over-populated, understaffed classrooms will not amount to more learning or productivity as much as we might hope it to do so.

    July 28, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • Daren

      Wow, when did America become the land of the complaining? Since you all think teaching is so easy I'll swap you jobs. I was in finance before taking myself off to do complete a double degree (6 Years) in education. I though I could do a better job than my old teachers – I thought I could teach better and in many ways I do. How do I know – parents compliments on their child interested in school, they want to come etc etc. As for an easy to get degree – wake up to yourself! Many of you complaining about teachers can't even control your own relationships let along be able to control, teach and advance the knowledge and reasoning skills of 30+ students – you think you can, however you don't motivate a student by being an opinionated know-it-all! And NO, I don't get paid for all 4 months in fact I get paid for a fraction of that time. I don't get paid for overtime or double time when I take students on a 7 day camp to another city in which I fly with my students, eat with my students, make sure they are safe when touring – I am the parent for 7 days and nights with two other teachers. I pay for white board pens, paper, resources, paint, printing costs, computer expenses etc. My 'company' doesn't pay for them or compensate for them. So get your facts right before you comment such uninformed and unintelligent responses. Is it any wonder the USA is the laughing stock of the world.

      July 28, 2012 at 4:44 am |
      • Student's Parent

        I'm sure you're the same narcissistic , sarcastic know it all in the classroom as you are on this comment board. Poor kids.

        July 28, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Teacher2

      Amen. I hear you.

      July 28, 2012 at 9:04 am |
  35. Chicago Facts

    Billy bob I suggest you go straight down to your neighborhood school this Monday and talk toa teacher about how long they work. Plus if you attack unions, teachers, collective bargaining agreements, and labor......gues what Billy Bob your a Republican!!!!!!! Duuugh

    July 27, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  36. mrsjdmcd

    @FreeReally I think our kids go to the same school.

    July 27, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  37. Jane

    A few questions. Looking at the time many of these are posted, shouldn't all of you non teachers be at work and working? You have time at your jobs for this? You went for coffee too I bet. Are you unemployed? If you are, then why don't you go earn a teaching degree? It is easy to get and doesn't require much intelligence, as many of you stated. Then you can become a teacher and work 296 minutes a day with 4 months off and all those other benefits. It'll be great! Surely you would do a better job than most! Good luck!

    July 27, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • TeachersSpouse

      HA... 4 months of vacation... RIIIGGGGHT!

      July 28, 2012 at 3:19 am |
  38. Dubhly

    you know the longer they are in school the less they are on the streets, the less idle time they have the less trouble they can be in. This btw is taught in criminal justice classes, control kids by giving them something to do. would lay good odds this is part of the decision in extending the school day.

    July 27, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  39. Dave

    Something that is often neglected in these discussions is the fact tha research on longer days has shown they are not effective in increasing student achievement. The mayor's claim that lengthening the day to increase time in the core subjects will lead to a significant increase in academic achievement has no basis in the research. Look it up. The Union is in favor of a longer day in order to broaden the curriculum to include art, music, recess, physical education, foreign languages, etc. And, they have indicated a willingness to work longer in order to allow these things to be taught in Chicago schools. However, they are paid by the hour, and would not elect to work for free.

    July 27, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  40. Chicago Truth

    Teachers are one of the foundations in our society. Every country pays their teachers well and have respect for them. Only in America are they considered high priced baby sitters and disrespected. People who complain about another persons job and how much that person makes is jealous. If you think educators have it so good why not go for it? Because realistically most people can't work with kids especially those that are dysfunctional and lack morals and parental involvement. Also unions are not the problem. Get your facts straight everyone we all got our 8 hor workday, holidays, Saturday n Sunday off plus benefits because of unions in the past that ALL Americans enjoy regardless if their union or not. And that's a fact! The union represents the middle class of America. The funny thing the person who's trying to break the teachers union is Obamas boy Rahman Emanuel a Democrat but really a undercover Republican!!!

    July 27, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Bob

      Spare me the teachers aren't respected crap! Try some math.... 296 minutes is just under 5 hours. Then subtract 13 weeks for summer and school year vacations and teachers get paid very well. Not to mention the benefits they receive all courtesey of their corrupt union. Now Rahm Emannuel is a Republican because he wants to extend their workday by ADDING more teachers? It's apparent teachers aren't doing their jobs with all the idiots posting here....Add to the fact that we trail every other "developed" country in Science and Math...maybe there's a reason teachers are more respected in other countries!

      July 27, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
      • Mass Dad

        Bob- Take a closer look at the scores from other nations. You will find that much of that is rote memorization. Why are some of those countries doing well on the tests? They go to school and then they study until the late hours. Why? Their parents make them. No TV. No game systems. No unstructured "play". Also, they study for those exams with material targeting those exams.

        I heard one store from a Peace Corp volunteer. In the country he was in, a U.S. teacher came into a class and asked them to write a short paper on "Who is your favorite person?" and they papers came back the same word for word. Thinking that was strange, the teacher asked them to write a paper on what they did over the summer. They next day they came back with blank papers and many were crying (young kids). Asked why they were crying, they answer that they didn't know the "right" answer.

        In another case, there was a kid that got straight high marks in Chemistry. Did wonderfully in the exams. He went off to college and ran into a problem. He had never been in a lab. Never handled lab equipment. It was all straight memorization.

        We could do that and score much better, but we would actually have to have parents change their method of raising kids and we need to kill innovation.

        July 27, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
      • cindy

        296 instructional minutes there still will be planning, meetings , grading papers, parent conferences..they will still work about a required 8 hour day at the school and still have work to do at home

        July 27, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
      • Deidre

        About the PISA scores of the 15 year olds that everyone points to as proof that the US is falling behind other countries –
        Other countries test only those students who have already passed a national exam and are going to university. The kids going on to get vocational training are not tested.
        In the US we test everyone. When researchers look at the PISA scores of middle class American students, the US scores very near the top.
        This is another indication of the affect poverty has on test scores. It is a lot to expect that poor kids should score as well as kids from middle class homes, when the poor kids have even less during this economic crisis.

        July 28, 2012 at 7:31 am |
      • authorsnote

        We ought to have a mandatory year of teaching for knuckleheads like you. It is undoubtedly one of the most stressful, time-demanding, often frustrating, misunderstood jobs in the country. As to the notion that "bad teachers" can not be let go, most districts have ways of putting low-performance teachers on probation. Most teachers I know have Masters degrees, are dedicated, and work incredibly hard. Get inside a classroom and try it for an extended period. Then you can make knowledgeable comments.

        July 28, 2012 at 8:57 am |
      • Amanda

        Actually if you break it down to beyond instructional hours to include the planning and grading and extracurricular activities you will see that most teachers are not paid exceptionally well. And not all teachers are part of a union and therefore don't get the benefits associated with the unions. I am a teacher and I do not get thirteen weeks off at summer.. instead I get 2 months (still more than most I will admit) but my days start at 7:00 and I get home around 4:00 but then I often time spend three or 4 more hours planning and grading papers. So I work about 12 hours a day which for me breaks down to 22 dollars an hour... or 271 a day... not a lot of money. But teachers do it because they have the passion for it... and yes they are disrespected and undervalued!

        July 28, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
      • dieshardd

        Teachers get paid LESS during the school year to ENABLE them to receive a check during their summer off !!

        July 28, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • Dubhly

      not sure where you work, but i work 12 hours a day, 6 and 7 days a week. btw thats in Illinois. over the past 5 years i have worked most holidays ( do get double time for them and the holiday pay), many on a non volunteer basis. I agree that unions have done many things that are positive for the worker, and we are better on the whole from them. It doesnt mean though that everyone has profited from them. I am actually fearful of what the future will bring if we get anouther bunch of republican in office. They prefer the good old robber baron days of business where the rich guy was the law.

      July 27, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  41. teechr21

    Extending the school day isn't the answer. It's about changing what happens DURING the day that makes all the difference. An ineffective teacher is still going to be ineffective, just for a longer amount of time each day.

    July 27, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  42. Kyla

    I have a friend who will be starting his third year as a math teacher in a high school that is known for it's troubled youth, will be working on his second masters degree, and is also the sole provider for his family, since his wife is in her 4th year of pharmacy school. On top of teaching, grading, prepping, ect, he has to break up fights and deal with the occasional knife being drawn on him. He has to deal with kids who are rude and disrupt his class, hindering the other student's learning experience. He then comes home, picks up his two children, makes dinner for his family, spends some time with the kids before putting them to bed, and then does more work. This year he will have the added bonus of his masters classes on top of all of the super fun work her gets to take home with him every night.

    In response to those that keep calling teachers lazy, and claiming that they just don't care about their students – I call shenanigans. My friend gives his students his e-mail address, as well as his Google voice number and encourages them to contact him any time, day or night, even on weekends, if they find that they are struggling. He is willing to meet up with them after school and on the weekends. Of the 4 classes he taught last school year, I think about 5 students took advantage of this. When going over new material and there will be a particular problem on the upcoming test, he tells his students several times to mark that problem, because there will be one just like it on the test. he goes over it step by step. Most of the kids would get these problems wrong. He was pulling his hari out by the end of the year because he was giving these kids every opportunity ti succeed, but they weren't doing anything with it.

    Yes, there are some bad teachers out there – I have had quite a year in all of my years of education. But, there are also bad students. It takes two to tango here. A teacher could be doing everything they can to help a student, but if that student doesn't want to learn, the teachers wash their hands of it.

    July 27, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  43. Terry

    I dont blame the teachers for all of this..yes, some are lazy and do as little as possible..but, seriously, what are the parents doing at home to encourage and help? How many parents actually ask their child if they have homework, make sure its done, go over spelling words with them, help review for tests, etc.....? Many parents rely solely on teachers to teach, when parents should be helping at home also. But, then again, I went to private schools, and sent my child to a private school.....the teachers there but in tons of hours for very little pay, and do a lot of extra curricular things for no extra pay, and the parents (most of them) take the time to make sure their child does the work and does learn. I guess I am asking too much of the public school system?

    July 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  44. Cea

    @George I'm curious What do you do for a living, besides bash teachers?

    July 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  45. Reply

    @ George: Actually, as a teacher, I do have most of those expenses. Now you really sounds like a moron. Please continue to talk and show us how unintelligent you really are. Better yet, answer my original question. Why didn't you, you being the dipsh!t in this case, take up the profession?

    July 27, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Kat

      George is correct! Teacher's don't personally pay all those extra expenses, They're paid by taxpayers and parents! A teacher as yourself should be intelligent enough to understand and know that simple fact.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
      • Reply

        Wow, you have no idea what you are talking about. Please do us all a favor and never reproduce. Save the world the stupidity that runs through your veins.

        July 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Kat

      Wow, a teacher that can't accept simple logic and fact, then goes on a personal attack. You obviously can't see the big picture. Talking to people like you is a waste of time.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  46. olumidge

    Wow! I am a school teacher myself. Teachers do have families to take care of after work just like everyone else. A simple solution to me would be to pay the teachers who want to stay the money. Staying longer hours don't usually help un less the classes are smaller, and teachers know what to teach. Otherwise, it is just something that sounds good on paper.

    July 27, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  47. Director1

    As a retired teacher I first of all think the dialogue here is great! While I was teaching I loved it when parents would contact me and want to know why their child was not doing better work. I would explain and give suggestions. About 5% of those parents came up with "excuses", not valid reasons, just excuses. The other 95% usually followed up and magically that student began performing better. However, in the many years I worked in the schools (and loved every bit of it!) the biggest problem came when all of this "high stakes" testing began. What an absolute joke! The kids mostly don't feel it is relevant therefore they just get through it as quickly as possible. Now administrations, legislators and other terribly important people want to tie teacher pay to those scores! How ludicrous!
    I also see that we are comparing US schools to European schools. Well, that one would be simple. Level the playing field by taking out all extra-curricular activities from the schools and let them be handled by local clubs. European schools do not have sports in school other than a Physical Education curriculum (which we badly need). Also, they are tested at an early age (around 8th grade) to determine if they are vocationally channeled or University channeled. In the US everyone is trained to be preparing for college yet 60%+ jobs do not require a college degree. Why waste the money if the student doesn't want a 4-year degree?
    Finally, all those who are blaming unions, get real! The only ones standing between the students and privatization of public schools are the unions! As a union representative I NEVER saw the Union try to save the job of a sub-par teacher if the administrator had done his/her job. You may have, I am not disputing that, but I never did and never would. I would do all I could to help a teacher improve but if the teacher was not willing to change I always counseled them to look at another profession.

    July 27, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Exhausted!

      FYI: Just stating a fact, as an administrator, student achievement is a considerable factor in my evaluation starting this school year. Teachers still have a couple years b/f theirs starts. Let's face it the state of good ol Illinois continues to ask us all to do more with less! Downstate is no different. I am personally in awe of the young people that want to enter the profession in any capacity! Our government has made it so depressing and unappealing!

      July 28, 2012 at 7:53 am |
  48. Suddenly

    Teachers are nothing but glorified babysitters so lets pay like baby sitters
    6 hours a day with 25-30 kids at 10$ a head per hour
    So that's 1500$ a day low end multiply that by 180 days a year
    That's $270,000 a year, and they don't even have to teach them anything....
    Wait a minute I made $27k my first year and I worked well over 10 hours a day!!!
    I got ripped off, The kids actually learned something too
    I should of made $360,000 a year, I'm opening a day care!!!!

    July 27, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • George

      Goodness, I didn't know that teachers had business expenses like building, untilities, insurance, employee pay, supplies, etc., etc. etc. etc. just like those daycares !!! OH wait, teachers don't have those expenses do they?

      July 27, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
      • your babysitter

        Please take your child with you everyday, its a waste of our time to spend it on children already smarter than their parents. How many children have brought a gun in to your workplace again? I noticed that you forgot to spend money on security. Would if your son gets your gun through the front doors who is going to throw their life in front of your other employees?

        July 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
      • linh

        SHUT UP

        July 27, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
      • Amanda

        Do you know anything about teachers? Maybe we don't pay for the building and utilities but I certainly pay for insurance and I pay for supplies. I can't tell you how much of my income goes back into my classroom for various supplies, especially given the current economic climate. Teachers do more than you give them credit for and until you have stepped into a classroom to teach for a year then I don't think you have any place to talk!

        July 28, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • your babysitter

      Please do just don't try to teach MATH.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
      • Scott

        So since we aren't sending our kids to public school for babysitting services and we are teaching them math, reading, writing, etc. better than the public schools, how about giving us the money that would normally be spent on our kid? In our state that's referred to as either the "Base Local Revenue Per Student" or the "Foundation" money (and while getting my MS Ed I took a grad level school finance class for administrators where we learned how school district revenues are calculated/allocated in our state, so I know of what I speak). That several thousand dollars would go a long way towards covering the cost of the curriculum and materials we purchased along with memberships to museums, zoos, etc that we take our kids to regularly. If the state would do that, we would have much better educated kids than we do now. They already have mandatory testing for homeschooled children, so they could put in a threshold level of accomplishment to receive the funding and have pay for performance standards that would put public schools to shame..

        July 28, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Latricia

      "should of made ..." How about "should have made"??? This may be why you're not making that much! Sorry, but just had to comment on the grammatical error made by a teacher.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
      • your babysitter

        I am thankful for grammatically correctness, it prevented my parents from naming me Dalances or maybe Frale, which would obviously get me many puzzled looks from those attempting to pronounce my name when growing up. Just because you combine two words that make sense does not guarantee you that you will create one word that makes sense every one else in the world you live with.

        July 27, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  49. your babysitter

    UNIONS EXIST TO GUARANTEE RESPECT AND FAIRNESS, in this case WE MAY NEED TO MAKE AND JOIN MORE............ I guess we are to blame for JAMES HOLMES as well.....STOP WHINING ABOUT HOW HARD YOUR JOBS ARE AND HOW BETTER YOU ARE and teach your children to respect others and maybe that kind of crap in Colorado wouldn't happen. Oh and how many gunmen have come into your places of profession in the last ten years? THANKS FOR GIVING THEM A GUN. ALWAYS BLAMING EVERYONE BUT YOUR SELF! You are the root of the problem not those who actually care about your children and actually spend time with them.

    July 27, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  50. doctorguy

    I just fail to understand why it is so difficult to put in an accountability system for teachers and why unions oppose it so much. As taxpayers, I feel like we give them lots of things that most people do not have. Teachers get great benefits, get summers to do as they please, get every weekend off and get instilled vacations for winter and spring breaks on top of their personal and sick days. I know that many teachers use their weekends and "breaks" to plan, but they get to use this on their own time and do not directly report to someone at these times and class planning time severely decreases after several years. However, I digress. I just think that given all these niceties, tax payers should get to see that the best teachers are the ones with the jobs and getting their money.

    July 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Sad

      Great benefits? To cover a family of 4 for basic 80/20, I would have to pay $550 every month! Summers off? I spend weeks in training for changes and to keep my license up to date. Personal days are NOT allowed to be used when students are in school. Weekends are spent planning new lessons to keep the students engaged. This is not to mention having to use sick days because parents cannot take a day off from their job to keep their sick child at home. Did I mention all of the money taken from my family to buy supplies for my classroom because budgets are consistently cut? How about buying lunch for the student whose parents forgot to pack or send money? Would I change professions? No, because sometimes my smile or hug is the only one a child receives during the day, I love seeing their eyes light up when they "get it," and I think it is the most important thing I could do. Please stop talking about things of which you have not a clue!

      July 28, 2012 at 11:31 am |
  51. Reply

    Some of you seem to believe teaching is such an easy job, with little time put in each year. I just have one question. If it is so easy, why didn't you dipsh!ts take up the profession?

    July 27, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • George

      The question is – if the teaching job is just soooo bad, why don't you QUIT ? Let's see – could it be that you know you have it made in the shade ??? Strange to me about government employees who think their joib is just sooo bad, BUT you don't see them leaving those jobs.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • doctorguy

      I don't think its easy at all, its just a profession where there is inherently less time put in than your "typical" year round job and has less credentials required than many other professions and thus it should be compensated as such. Furthermore, there is little accountability officially instilled in the system to assure that bad teachers are not using tax payer money.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  52. Amy

    I'm going to pick some random profession and then tell you what they do and how they do/do not deserve their holidays, pay, etc. Then I'm going to make wild assumptions about their mindset towards their jobs; whether they care about them or not, whether they are good at them and whether they put their heart and soul into the job. What? I'm only allowed to do that if I pick teachers?

    July 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • George

      Yes, you are allowed to do that if the TAXPAYER is paying the salary of those jobs !!!!! Sweety, I sure do have that right !!!

      July 27, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
      • your babysitter

        As a taxpayer, how can I refrain from wasting any more money on you or your children? It does take a brain to learn after all.

        July 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
      • Teacher and Mom

        Just because we are teachers does not make us punching bags. If you are a doctor - my taxpayer money is going towards your income because you have some patients who accept government assistance. Dead people don't need doctors. If you are a construction worker, my taxpayer money is probably paying for you because the GOVERNMENT funds road construction and also funds the construction of many businesses. Actually, no matter what you do, the Government has a hand in reducing your costs because of TIF funds, tax deductions, and all of the other perks demanded by business and delivered to businesses.

        July 27, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  53. Paul Karch

    Sounds like the leadership in our country is hitting new highs of stupidity. And this is coming from the people who are teaching new generations of America? Let me summarize:

    "Make students work harder and longer, so teacher(s) can make more money"

    Isn't education about the students, and NOT the teachers? America's leadership seems to be stuck on 'dunce'.

    July 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Teacher and Mom

      I guess you go to work without expectation of pay because your family doesn't require food and shelter?

      July 27, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  54. Robert

    You can make the school days longer as you want, that doesn't mean anyone will learn. That's like sitting in a cardboard box for an extra 30 mins thinking you're about to learn how to save the world. IF you don't have teaching skills, it won't work...

    July 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  55. Doc

    To those who think teachers are paid for their time "off" in the summer & over breaks... no, the salary of a teacher reflects the 10 month work load. It's one of the reasons teaching salaries seem substantially less – because they often aren't 12 month contracts.

    July 27, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • John in NY

      What makes you think teacher's salaries are substantially less?

      Locally we have many teachers making over $90k a year, not counting any summer classes they teach and/or coaching they might do. Now add to this that it's only for 180 days a year and that each day includes less then 5 hours of actual teaching I have to wonder why more people aren't disgusted by this?

      July 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
      • Teacher and Mom

        The article is about CPS teachers. A teacher without a Masters tops out at something like $70,000. With a Masters' plus 35 hours of graduate credit, teachers top out around $82,000.00. A PHD yields an extra couple of thousand dollars per year. The cheapest house in an acceptable neighborhood in Chicago was $200,000 in 1990; the last time I went shopping for a home. In NY, $90,000 may sound like a lot of money, but what is the cost of housing? Teachers worked hard to get degrees, they deserve to be in the middle class!

        July 27, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
      • math teacher

        Are you serious? My contract states that I do not have to be at my job until 7:30 am. I pull in the parking lot at 6:15am and ALWAYS have students (some mine,some from other teachers) in my room for help in the morning. What do I do on my lunch break? I have students in my room getting help from me. What do I do after I leave my job? I go home, make sure I sit down with my daughter while she does her homework, make dinner, clean up then go to soccer or softball practice. Oh, I forgot to mention I coach both of her comminuty sports AND am a single mother. After I get her to bed I spend a MINIMUM of 2 hours at night doing school work and helping students at home though email and skype. I wouldn't trade my job for the world! Would you be able to do my job? I think not!

        July 28, 2012 at 6:44 am |
  56. justanotherguy60

    As a former teacher, this will not work. It has been proven that a longer school year, or a longer day does not equate to a student to become any smarter. In the long run, everything comes out the same. Test scores will soar for a while, but then flatten out to where students were before the tests. Nothing will be gained. What needs to be done is educating a student's parent(s). Everything starts in the home. Next, teachers that work in a union city and or state are not likely to work any harder to see students succeed. Finally, if the student doesn't care, parents and teachers are at a loss; nothing like going back to square one. All three components mentioned will help in the child's development, take out one and the child will never learn or care to learn.

    July 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Felix

      This is only the 1st step....IMO the trend shoudl be towards what the countries that have surpassed the US have done.

      I.e. Longer Days...less Summer vacation if any at all (Some school systems don't have a summer break anymore...just weeks of hiatus during the summer), Less television, more after school sports/activities and more teachers.

      It is noticeable in everyday lives that the average intelligence of the US citizen is decreasing not increasing.....it is time for us to reverse this trend before it is too late.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Rockman

      Respectfully need to point something out. As true as it is that students are coming to us from their homes and families without the investment, insight or maturity we'd all like to see... as long as we continue to focus on this unfortunate and frustrating reality, we're no better than our students who also blame their families (to which we all reply "it's your life, take responsibility). We as educators NEED to continue to honor our roles as role models and responsibilities and stay committed to doing better. As unfair as it is that we get blamed more than anyone, we can't give in to the bitterness, resentment or tempting martyrdom... we simply need to be better than those who continue to finger point, and sleep better for being these people. And in no way am I advocating for putting in more time for less pay, or volunteering our services. I'm merely talking about when we are in our schools and classrooms, to find the way... because there is always a way to gain influence. Simply choosing to be the best versions of ourselves we can be. Not naive. Not pie-in-the-sky. Not holier than thou. Just the authentic, patient, committed educators we're all capable of being... and holding on hope that someone comes up with a way to inspire the same commitment from parents and families.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  57. Rockman

    The intention is there... but the insight, humility and creativity continue to be deficient when it comes to improving student learning. I'm a social worker in one of the few remaining Brooklyn, NY high schools, and the gap between what the adults think the problem is, and what the real problem is continues to grow... yet leadership continues to put forth efforts springing from the same limited paradigm. There's a way to both meet the increasingly dynamic social/emotional needs of our youth as well as their needs for structure, accountability,discipline and limits. Leadership remains conflicted and too attached to one of two schools of thought... all nurturance... or all rigidity. It's not about catering to "a new breed of student/child", nor is it about increased testing and data collection. Improvement will happen, when, and only when adults set aside their expertise and ego's, and begin to manifest the qualities adults should all be manifesting... authenticity, purposeful authority, compassion, attentiveness, directness, humility and perspective. If these qualities become the foundation of teacher training, and if educators can improve their approaches to communicating with emotionally driven youth... than the content we need them to learn will be absorbed. It's not our instructional methods that are lacking... it's the absence of a connection that is preventing receptivity. Whether educators like it or not, we can't fix deficiencies that may or may not be occurring in our students's homes (that's another problem for other leaders to address), but we can become better equipped to manage the storms and maximize the potential that are coming to us in our schools. Longer days, shorter days, increased testing, better use of technology... all ideas borne from the same limited scope. Time to broaden our perspective and elevate the importance of the fundamental nature of influence... human interaction. ROCKMANBLOG.COM

    July 27, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  58. julie

    I'm a teacher at a high school that predominantly serves the working poor. I arrive at work at around 7:20am everyday and get home at about 6:30 every evening. With the exception of a 45 minute lunch- that I always set aside- I am working all day. I don't bring work home with me as most teachers do; I just stay at work longer. I work about half the Saturdays during a school year- some for extra pay some for none. My base salary is around 50K. If my students and my test scores are to be believed, I'm a good teacher- as are most of the teachers I work with. There are some that are lousy or lazy but I've encountered people who are bad at their jobs in every profession. Why the anger at teachers? If the answer is because teachers shape America's future, do you really feel it's productive to malign all teachers as lazy failures? My job is frustrating enough with out having the added feeling that society looks down on me. In my larger circle of friends, I work longer and harder than all but two of them and they make, I would guess, 5 times what I do. I agree our schools are failing American kids, but the failure is not all or even mostly the teachers' fault. The system is broken. It was flagging and NCLB broke its back. It's easier to just point an accusing finger at teachers and teacher unions, but all you're really doing is driving the truly excellent teachers out of the profession and discouraging bright young people from entering.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • George

      Problem is sweet Julie – we don't believe a word about all that supposed extra time teachers say they put in. No one in the real world can imagine having 3-4 months a year off from their job !!!! Teachers have this little habit of saying what their ANNUAL salay is, but not wanting to note that they only work about 8 months for that pay. A little more honesty from teachrs would go a LONG WAY.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
      • Doc

        Well, George, try grading 120 papers every week and writing out mandatory lesson plans (which can't be done while you are in the classroom teaching all day, by the way) and you'll soon understand how a 40 hour week is laughable in education. And one of the reasons teachers' salaries always look so pitiful as an annual pay rate is because they work 10 month contracts, not 12. All that "break" time you seem to think exists is often full of mandatory work days that are part of the contract – so while the kiddies are off, the teachers are not. I'd put a teacher's work ethic up against yours any day, dude.

        July 27, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
      • your babysitter

        YOU ARE PROOF I GUESS THAT TEACHERS NEED TO DO A BETTER JOB, you're right.....someone obviously did not put much time into your education.

        July 27, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
      • julie

        You are welcome to ask my husband if the hours I'm reporting are correct. He loves it when I'm on "vacation" because he gets a break from the cooking. :) Not everyone works the hours I put in. I will admit I'm on the upper end at my school, but only a very few leave work when the bell rings.

        July 27, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
      • George

        Well, "Doc" we don't believe a word you are saying either there, sparky !!! If the job is sooooo bad, they should quit and join the real working world !!!

        July 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
      • George

        Julie – then tell your whinning follow "workers" to stop whinning and demanding more and more pay and more and more benefits that the real world would die for. Teaching is just soooooo bad, they should all quit and let's see how many other people would grap those jobs and be very happy to do so. It does not take any thing special to get that teaching degree. It is one of the easiest degrees in college.

        July 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
      • Teacher and Mom

        You don't have to believe it. I am willing to bet that if you get a freedom of information audit of CPS you will find that the vast majority of teachers work far longer than our "official hours". Furthermore, get a freedom of information audit of CPS-mail; because e-mailing parents is part of the job. Oh, and don't forget a freedom of information audit of gradespeed usage because there is simply not enough time in the day to enter grades for 120 students, contact the parents of the one or two students who are having some sort of difficulty and need parental intervention.

        July 27, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
      • moleculargal51

        Where in the. #%{}^. do you get the gall to say we get 3-4 months off! I get exactly 9 weeks ....that is just 2 months WITH NO PAY! Oh, I don't sit on my ass either...I am planning, reading, perfecting. how much of your salary (welfare or disabled FOX veteran my guess) do you spend on your " clients"? I spend 700.00. Please don't procreate......I have enough kids to raise in my class because parents are the #1 issue with what is wrong.

        July 28, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • Drew

      There are plenty of people who work your hours for your pay (and less), but don't get off the equivalent of 3-4 months a year between vacations, holidays and the summer along with a pension when you retire after working 25 years. I agree that teachers are VERY important and should be treated fairly, but compared to the average working stiff, the benefits you receive from the position are hardly going to make people simpathetic to your cause.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
      • julie

        I don't want sympathy- I want to not be villainized. The average working stiff is not discussed on the internet by 8 million people. I like my job and even though I would love to be paid more- who wouldn't- I'm happy with my compensation. I'm unhappy with being accused of being a lazy loser all the time.

        July 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • doctorguy

      I agree with you that there are great teachers and I believe you when I state the work that you do. The problem is that there is no system in place for accountability. There are many like you (majority in my opinion) that hold yourself to a standard, but there is no way to personally guarantee that level of professionalism as it stands for each person. There is no available database by which the public (whom pay your salary) can see how based on merit (grades, hours put in, difficulty of the neighborhood to teach in) you are paid. In my profession and most private sector jobs, my merits at work are reported by those who dictate and pay my salary.

      For every 3 wonderful teachers, in my experience there is at least one teacher who is just as bad. Teachers without passion, knowledge or are generally lazy. The protection that unions give them force the public to pay these teachers the same as you. This is not right and leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
      • julie

        I live in Texas where we do not have teacher unions- we have a similar pay arrangement. I would say your estimation is off by a little. Statistics show- and I may be remembering this off a little- that 20% of teachers are excellent, go above and beyond. 10% are bad, should be fired and the rest are adequate and those stats hold pretty true across all professions. Again my question is why do teachers arouse such ire? You seem intelligent and I really don't understand. I wish someone would explain it in a way that I could stop taking this public discourse so personally.

        July 27, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
      • LMI

        At what point in time do PARENTS get held accountable??? We get kids in kindergarten that do not know how to hold crayons or scissors, know NO numbers or letters of the alphabet. Kids that have NEVER been read to!!!!! We have parents that sit in their crappy homes bashing EDUCATION IN GENERAL, because they do NOT value education at all. I work as hard as I possibly can to make the students see the VALUE of an education and equate it to certain levels of living. You want more out of life, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! When the schools are FULLY SUPPORTED by reinforcement from home, things will change. It all starts AT HOME.

        July 27, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Doc

      Teachers certainly get maligned as a group for the misdeeds of a few or for bad administrative policies. But I'd like to know what your friends do for a living if they are earning $250K a year (you said 5X what you make), even in Chicago.

      Education is not valued in this country from the standpoint of compensation for educators – I have over two decades of experience in higher ed in a STEM discipline and make less than I would teaching my subject in public school. 100% true – I looked into it two years ago but decided the 25%-35% salary increase wasn't worth the bureaucracy & lack of discipline in public schools. Now that's saying something.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
      • julie

        One is an endocrinologist and the other a self-employed lawyer and I live in Texas.

        July 27, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
      • Teacher and Mom

        When I first got married, I had a Masters and about 70 semester hours of Biochemistry grad school, and I had a MEd. I began teaching at $25,000 per year. My husband, who had a bachelors degree made $20,000 per year as a Real Estate Manager. He is in collections now, and his base salary and mine are similar. BUT, he gets bonuses which make his salary much higher than mine.

        July 27, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Norbert

      You teach the same cirricular year in and year out regurgitating the same information in the same text books. Correcting test scores is far from real world work. Try getting paid commission only for the students that graduate directly from your efforts. And now compete for that student with other teachers where only one of you will get the graduation credit and commission. Do that everyday with only 2 weeks vacation (which you won't want to take because you might miss out on securing students for your commission.) Do that while having to pay for your own mediacl insurance. Do that while having to be accountable and pay for for your own retirement . Do that while not being allowed to accrue any unused sick days for a huge payout at the end of your carrer. Do that with having your "use-it-or-lose-it" vacation time capped at 4 weeks per year. Then you can compare your work week and working conditions to those not on the public dole.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
      • julie

        Are we having a whose job is harder contest? I give up- you win. Maybe you should become a teacher.

        July 27, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
      • LMI

        Norbert-you, sir, are grossly misinformed.

        July 27, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
      • Teacher and Mom

        Actually, a lot of teachers would make six figure incomes if the value added were honestly calculated.

        July 27, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Terry

      I want to know that if your base pay is $50,000 and all of your friends make 5x what you make, what kind of degrees and jobs do your friends have that they can make $250,000? I have a masters degree and I don't even make what your base salary is.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
      • julie

        Not all only two. One's a doctor- the only endocrinologist in the area where I live. Our sons are friends. Her schedule is unbelievable. I don't know anyone who works harder than she does. The other is an attorney and my brother-in-law. Maybe 5 times was an exaggeration but I don't think by much.

        July 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  59. doctorguy

    there are good teachers and bad teachers. the problem with the current union set up is that in order to protect the good teachers, the bad ones are grouped in with them to ensure proper benefits for the ones that do good work. My personal problem with not increasing the teachers hours in Chicago is because almost any other job I can think of, especially those in my field, if something must be done, such as increasing hours to complete the job (in this case educating children) then extra time must be put in. Of course, as is the case here, you will be compensated for your extra time. It seems very unprofessional that a union will fight to keep teachers from fulfilling their social contract with society which is to educate our students. Rather than protecting the rights of the teachers to ensure the educational system will stand, unions seem to be crippling the system.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Teacher and Mom

      For YEARS teachers have volunteered endless hours! WHAT are you talking about???? The difference between teachers "getting the job done" and having to sit in a classroom with students is that each student requires a BARE MINIMUM of 1minute per day extra – unpaid. Let me explain. If it takes 30 seconds to grade one paper, and 30 seconds to record the paper in the paper book and the computer log, file the paper in the appropriate place so that you can hand it back to the student, that is one minute. (assuming you are just checking things in, and not analyzing the work and providing feedback). A typical high school teacher has between 120 and 150 students per day. That is more than two hours per day - just on paperwork. This does not include getting supplies ready for class, making solutions of chemicals, gathering or cleaning glassware, counting supplies to ensure that you have enough; ordering refills, or any number of things which are invisible to your "customer" if done correctly.

      July 27, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
  60. mrbagly

    The problem with education isn't going to be solved with longer hours for students or more teachers. The problem is what we teach. We teach cursive–like anyone needs that skill any more. We teach sentence diagramming–so maybe that's good for language arts teacher, or an editor or journalist. But every kid doesn't need to sit through boring hours over hours learning stuff they cannot apply to their lives. We are using a 100yo model to educate children in a world that has changed dramatically. To fix education we have to get our heads out of the sands and start looking at real change.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • homesower

      Dumbing down the curriculum is not the answer. Diagramming sentences is an important skill, although I doubt most schools teach it. I received it in one of my 8 schools when I was a kid. You seem to thank that language skills are not important, but I believe they are the foundation for all the other skills.

      It may be a different century, but the need to communicate clearly has not changed.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  61. Mass Dad

    I've come to the conclusion that all of the anti-teachers are correct.

    We should not be charging you those horrible property taxes to cover public education. It is way too much. Of course, depending on what state and county you are in, not all of your property taxes are going to the school. Some is going to the police, fire, municipalities, etc. Some towns do split out what goes to school and what doesn't.

    So, it's alot of money. Say, $3K to $8K (or more if you have multi-million $ houses) per year. This, of course, assumes that you own property and are not renting or sleeping in your car.

    So, you shouldn't have to pay that.

    So, let's get rid of public schools.

    All schools have to be private schools now. For profit schools.

    It's great! You can shop around for the best school for your kid.

    Except that it will cost you $15K to $50K per year.

    So, let's get rid of the Public schools and you get either ante up or leave your kids home watching TV. Just get ready to support them the rest of your life.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • your babysitter

      But how will this teach the children to be grateful? Oh Sunday school I forgot. Once a week you can put into practice what you have learned and that should be enough.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • George

      For those of us without children, we are already supporting your sweet little darlings!!! If you have them, you should be paying for them without everyone else having to pay for YOUR kids.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
      • chanda

        AND WHO DO YOU THINK WILL ONE DAY WIPE YOUR ASS IN A NURSING HOME??? SOMEONE ELSE'S KID THAT'S WHO.

        July 27, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
      • Teacher and Mom

        Yes George, because we live in independent bubbles. The neighbors' kids are not our problem. Who cares if they end up homeless... as long as I have mine, why do I care that civilization crumbles.

        Just in case you didn't figure it out - the above is sarcasm.

        July 27, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
  62. Cindy

    As a teacher, the days are long enough, what we need is a longer school year. More contact days. Students lose ground over the summer breaks (which 200 yrs ago were so they could work on farms...I don't think we need that farm help now.) Longer school years will allow more remediation time that is needed with some students or more time for deeper teaching of intense subjects.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  63. chanda

    HOW AMAZINGLY STUPID.

    YEAR ROUND SCHOOLS not LONGER DAYS is a much better answer.

    Come on America, who doesn't get it that we need better educating for our children. In Europe they go to grade 13. Our results are pathetic when compared to other nations. SUMMERS OFF ARE A WORKING PARENTS NIGHTMARE.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • yardbird1

      Oh pahlease, not all children are educated in other countries. If a child can't cut it in many countries, they are only educated until 8th grade. In countries that do educate all, like Germany and Switzerland, teachers are respected and paid way more than here.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
      • GabeK

        Let's get the facts straight. Yes, most Europeans do go 13 years and yes, many only go 8. That's because they split off after "Junior High" and MASTER a trade for 4 years after the split. Not everyone goes to university, but everyone leaves the system with the skills to earn a decent living...

        July 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Lori Ceangailte

      "In Europe they go to grade 13." I dispute that. I live in Sweden, and obligatory schooling here begins in grade 1 (the children are 7 years old when they start) and ends in grade 9 (age 16). The school year is 180 days, 6 hours a day. High school is voluntary and, if the student chooses it, lasts 3 years.

      -High school teacher

      July 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
      • chanda

        both foreign exchange students -Italian and Norwegian- I represented went to grade 13.

        July 27, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
      • Deidre

        Here's the piece that gets overlooked by out of town media; the mayor of Chicago wanted a elementary school day that is 7.5 hours long - another hour and 45 min. He settled for 7 hours. But he has NO funding for programs to support the kids. Noting for enrichment or remediation. The budget deficit is $700 mln now, before he pays for the 477 teachers who will be re-hired under an interim deal. That will cost about $50 mln. We are told that current cuts to many schools' budgets mean newer teachers with fewer than 4 years on the job will be fired in order to re-hire the 477 laid off teachers! Since all teachers don't have the same credentials and don't teach the same grades or subjects, this deal causes some chaos for schools who are planning their curriculum just ahead of the fall start.

        July 28, 2012 at 7:22 am |
    • Got out of teaching

      Ummm how about not having kids until you are emotionally/socially/FINANCIALLY prepared to care for them 365/25/7?

      July 29, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  64. your babysitter

    HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE BEEN EDUCATING YOUR CHILDREN THIS SUMMER TO HELP THEM TO MAINTAIN THEIR SKILLS?..........OR ARE YOU WAITING FOR US TO DO IT FOR YOU? PUT IN THE EFFORT PEOPLE AND IF YOU DON"T THEN STOP MAKING US PAY FOR YOUR CHILDREN TO BE INCARCERATED IN THE FUTURE......IT WORKS BOTH WAYS........And just like you as a parent, we will continue to love them as well.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Army Gal

      I do teach them in the summer. But then again we homeschool- so it's year round.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
      • your babysitter

        Well good job then that's all we ask is that the parents put in time.

        July 27, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • George

      Well, I guess I am wondering WHAT WE ARE PAYING YOU FOR ??

      July 27, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
      • Teacher and Mom

        Parenting is a team sport.
        Education is a team sport.
        You are paying for an educated populace who have the hope of a better future so they aren't behaving like criminals. Countries with little or no education tend to be very violent places. Countries where education is valued tend to be much safer.

        July 27, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
  65. Brad

    School days and school years are getting longer. Grades are still dropping. Maybe we should focus elsewhere.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  66. coloradom

    Wish my job was limited to 296 minutes per day!

    July 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Omida

      I am not a teacher but in High school I used to assist teachers during my senior year. This is direct contact (instruction) time. It doesn't account for many hours of grading and preparations. Most teachers have to continure working later at home or during the weekend!

      July 27, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
      • robert

        Yes, most people have to work more than 40 hours a week now. Most people also do not get 3 months off in the summer, 2 weeks off for christmas, spring break, etc. In most professions, you have to work at least 8 hours a day, 5 days per week, for the entire year to get a full time salary.

        July 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Rob

      Yes! Then you'd have plenty of free time to deal with the additional 300 minutes per day of prep work, grading, and dealing with perpetually angry teachers who have never cracked a book but wonder why their little angels aren't getting straight As!

      July 27, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Jolyn

      That 296 minutes is the time spent in front of the students. It doesn't count the hours teachers spend preparing for lessons for each subject they teach and grading.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • your babysitter

      APPLY ONLINE, you obviously have the internet at your job.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • CAteacher

      @coloradom, a teacher's job is not over when the bell rings. Once the students leave, most teachers spend several hours in their classroom or at home grading papers, planning lessons, setting up labs or other hands on activities. Many teachers also spend time on the weekends grading, planning, organizing the classroom, setting up better ways to engage and support students. Teachers are in their classroom before and after school with students who need to make up tests, labs, or need extra tutoring. I'm so tired of ignorant people criticizing teachers because they think their job begins and ends with the bell.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • yardbird1

      Yeah, well your pay will be based on that too. They are only paid the hours they work.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
      • Teacher and Mom

        No, although in CPS you have to sign in AND punch in and out, you can be "docked wages" for being late, but you get no extra pay if you work longer hours than contracted. As a matter of fact, a teacher I know came in three minutes late four days, but stayed after school three hours every day tutoring students. This teacher was told that his pay would be docked for a half a day because of the tardies... even though this teacher wasn't scheduled to have students during the first period of the day.

        July 27, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Dominique

      Note that 296 minutes of instruction. That is much shorter than their actual work. They have to plan their classes, create curriculum, grade work and often work with the students on a 1 on 1 basis. Not to mention the additional work that is done to support these students such as particpating on a voluntary basis to chaperone and sponsor events taking them away from home for days at a time. I'm not saying they work so much harder than anyone else who has a job (though some do), but they certainly aren't slacking while teaching students who generally would rather not be there thanks to a negative culture we've developed regarding school. My mother was a teacher for 40 years. It's difficult and stressful work, but you do it because you love it.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
      • Terry

        Do public school teachers VOLUNTEER for the extra stuff? or do they actually get paid extra for it? Whatever happened to parent teacher conferences in the evenings ? Oh thats because the public school teachers don't want to be there in the evenings .............

        July 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
      • Teacher and Mom

        In CPS you SOMETIMES get paid for extra work. It is the exception, not the norm.

        July 27, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Crannie

      Reply to: coloradom

      Wish my job was limited to 296 minutes per day!

      I am a teacher and I don't wish that was what my job was limited to 296 minutes per day. I would not be able to: grade papers, write lesson plans, design,make then evaluate student assessments, provide academic interventions, write emails, make phone calls, meet with parents, attend grade level, school, and district wide meetings, help guide students when they have problems outside of school, or clean my room after the students have left. I am far from 296 minutes a day but that was known before I took the job. I love my job and I love my students. It is an amazing feeling when students from years and years ago still want to talk to you. I positively impact several lives every day and not many people can say that. :o)

      July 27, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Whatever122

      CLASSROOM minutes moron. Who do you think grades the tests, writes the tests and creates the lesson plans???

      July 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Lori Ceangailte

      "Wish my work day were limited to 296 minutes a day". You clearly misread. It said a limit of 296 minutes of classroom instruction, not 296 minute work day. A teacher must spend time planning, creating and copying materials, grading, doing administrative work, attending meetings and seminars, and in many cases doing things that, 20 years ago, would have been done by secretaries and other office workers that have been removed in order to save money. You don't want your children taught by a person who has not made lesson plans and is shooting from the hip.

      I am a teacher in another country, but I know that American teachers usually have a similar work contract to ours: the contract requires us to work 45 hours a week during the weeks that school is in session, plus several extra weeks during the summer and school breaks. This works out to the same or more hours in a year than a typical worker in the private sector.

      So remember that classroom teaching time is NOT the only time teachers serve.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  67. Rob

    "The school board president says the increased hiring could cost the district between $40 and $50 million per year, but neither the board nor the mayor’s office has yet to determine where the additional funds will come from."

    Think they'll ask Chic-Fil-A?

    July 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  68. peter

    How does this solve both problems? Sounds like they make them worse...

    July 27, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  69. Carl

    Public unions are a conflict of interest. Corruption abounds. They are NOT like the UAW. That teacher iin California who bound and blindfolded kids and put sperm to their mouths will receive a $4000 per month pension EVEN while in prison. OUTRAGEOUS.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Lies

      I've been part of a union of 10 years. I have seen no corruption. I have seen none of the issues of which you speak. I have been a representative at both the local and regional level. You, sir, are wrong; furthermore, citing one or two cases out of thousands and claiming "truth" is just pathetic. Unions are not the problem. A society that has given up is willingness to demand balance and respect is the problem. Instead of saying, "Those Union people have things like health care, job protection and vacation days and that's unfair b/c I don't" the PEOPLE should be demanding that they have those things too! The very wealthy (not small business) are the issue. Imbalance in our economy is the issue. Unions are not the problem.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
      • Tim Chakos

        The problem we have idiots with "educational degrees" teaching and running our schools. They are neither qualified nor creative enough to teach our kids. Please dont get me started on this. Most teachers are not worth all the fringe benefits and a 3 month vacation each year. You are Pathetic.

        July 27, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
      • FreeReally

        When those so-called teaching minutes include having the students grade their own homework and tests, this is ridiculous. The teaching day is so much shorter now than it used to be, schools have to pay extra employees to cover lunch and recess duties instead of it being part of a teachers duties. Actual classroom learning time is less than 30 minutes per subject regardless of the 50 minute class time. You bet I've been teaching my kids, I have no choice when they come home not understanding the work assigned because they spent the whole class grading yesterdays homework and very few minutes getting tonights assignment. I most assuredly blame the teachers union. I don't begrudge them adequate pay or benefits, what I begrudge them is making me teach my children after I've worked all day because they do not do their job during their 296 minute day! Also refusing to accept hand written homework, literally refusing it for no credit and not caring that my computer is broken and I cannot afford to fix it and not providing anyway at school to type the work. It's nice that the teachers want the kids to experience the newer technologies but not all parents can afford to keep pace with everything ON TOP OF TEACHING THEIR OWN CHILDREN AS WELL!

        July 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
      • Twoolley

        Pull your head out and you will see the problem with unions.

        July 27, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • yardbird1

      So with that argument, all the Chicago teachers are like that one in California- PEDERASTS??? Wow, so all factory workers, postal workers, and office workers shoot the people they work with/

      July 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  70. susan

    I notice blame for failing education gets tossed like a hot potato from teachers, to politicians to parents, And maybe they are all to be held accountable for education. But what about communities? Most lacking is the one thing that would make the biggest difference in our children's education and welfare COMMUNITY, You know you can help in some small way, so you should, all of you. I am retired and spend my time year round working with kids all ages, special ed or mainstream. It is important not just for our kids, but for US our future our COUNTRY. When we work in some small way with kids in our community we are gifted with the energy and connections to the future that they offer, so gladly. Please let us all quit judging and do our best to serve. By the way I was never a teacher but I did volunteer at the local school a bit.So just help a little bit, go eat lunch with them, volunteer for recess do something.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  71. chicago7

    Teachers no doubt do put in eight hour days when you factor in grading, planning and preparing for classes, one-on-one student assistance and administrative meetings. As for the students, they absolutely do need more time in school. They have way too many days out, and one way to solve that is to do away with the antiquated months-long summer vacation. Kids are no longer required to help Ma and Pa put in the crops and help with the harvest. No other country has kids out of classes as long as we do in the States, and they are all kicking our academic a$$e$. I realize that many teachers won't like that either. But the bright side is that they won't have to find temp work to tide them over during the summers.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Kathy

      If you think staying longer in school is going to make kids smarter you are kidding yourself. Intelligence comes with the opportunity to engage in higher level thinking skills. this is not what is taught in schools. Children today have no time for imagination and exploration. There is a reason so many of our genius's are homeschooled or drop outs.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Year-round

      I'm a teacher and I don't mind the idea of more days in school... but it needs to be balanced. We need year-round school with better distributed breaks. Summer is ridiculous. One month off would be fine, especially if we were still able to take grad school classes during that time (yeah, that's what MOST teachers do with summer). Summer, as it is, hurts our system. I waste 9 weeks every year because of summer. Which weeks? The 4 before summer (when nobody wants to learn and all the kids do is think of summer) and the 5 coming back (where I have to go over EVERYTHING they should have learned in the Spring and fill in the blanks on things they need to know for my class). Better dispersed breaks would VASTLY improve education (more so, in my opinion, than adding days just to make the year longer).

      July 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
      • chanda

        three weeks off during different times of the year would work great. how can we make this long overdue change happen??? Anyone??? We needed this two decades ago.

        July 27, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
      • Teacher and Mom

        IF schools were air conditioned year round school would make educational sense. As a MOM, I am grateful for the chance to take my kids to the pool, the museum, the National Parks, the Zoo, etcetera. Unlilke private sector workers, teachers can only take off work when they have a doctor's note or school is not in session. As the parent of a handicapped child. I routinely spend two hours a night teaching my handicapped child how to read and interpret literature; how to calculate using money... some kids need much more instruction than their teacher can provide. I know a lot of parents resent having to help their children learn... as the parent of a handicapped child, you have to know that every parent SHOULD be working with their children to get the skills they need to thrive.

        July 27, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • teacherfriendly

      @chicao7. You are right! Teachers work eight hours a day and even more. Planning for instruction takes a lot of time and thought. Grading often takes hours! I believe kids should have learning experience as long and as often as possible. The only problem is that the students start to "shut down" after so many months of learning. No matter what you do, they are no longer interested. I believe they get burnt out. Then most learning activities fall on deaf ears. That's when the behavioral issues start to escalate. At that point, it becomes a circus. I am not sure if it is because they know the end is near or because they are really burnt out. Everyone needs a break from whatever hat they wear in life. Children are no different. I really feel that only those who walk in teacher's shoes can really see the big picture. There are good and bad teachers. The good will forever get punished for the bad. It's a shame, but it is what it is.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • chanda

      Right on about summers off. This should have been changed twenty years ago already. Teachers have their salaries set up so that they still get their paychecks. End the summer slide – end wasteful summer time off – end the working parent's nightmare.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Katie

      Teachers put in more than eight hours. I don't know one single teacher who works an eight hour day. When I was a teacher I started my day at 7:30 at school. Classes started at 8:05, ended at 3:30. Then I had a half- hour to myself before either a committee meeting or an after school club meeting, depending on the day of the week. I was usually home by 5:00, but only because someone else picked up my kids from their school and took them home for me and because I lived so close to the school where I worked. After dinner we ALL sat down in my house to do homework – the kids worked on their assignments, I worked on mine or on grading papers. That was a normal school day – ten to twelve hours of work every weekday. That doesn't count other school-related meetings or meetings with parents, or other school functions we were encouraged (read: expected) to attend, such as PTA, school board meetings, plays, recitals, sports games, and school dances.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Connor

      Hello, coming from a High school student in his senior I believe that longer school days would not solve current academic problems. After some many years of school I have observed enough that I believe that the problem is with neither the teacher, parent, or politician, BUT the student itself. I am student who has not once fallen off the honor roll and what I have come to the realization is that most of the classes I take are advanced/honor courses (or whatever your school district might call them) true might be difficult, but I don't excel because of teacher or curriculum, but because I am surrounded by other students who like me have a strong desire to learn. The normal or CP classes that I take are much different in the fact that not to offend you or anyone is that I am surrounded by complete IDIOTS!! Now thats not to say that I am making fun of their intellegence, but what I have noticed is that these are the sterotypical teenagers who are completely oblivious to the world and dont care about anyone but theirselves and do not care about education but simply other simple things like pop culture or other stupid problems we face in teenage life. Its with this that I firmly believe that people need to stop dancing around the real problem and point a giant finger in my generation's face and say YOUR NOT TRYING HARD ENOUGH. I honestly think that if we have more students who share the potential for higher learning that our national academic scores can go up, but unfortunately the majority of them really don't care and they even heavily express that distracting others thus ruining the learning process.

      From
      The Only Child That Cares About Learning

      July 27, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
      • chanda

        EXCELLENT point you make! Something has and is happening to kids and culture. People are more uncaring, mean and lack respect. I blame the internet, unending violence for desensitizing especially your generation.

        July 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  72. Lola

    I'm so glad I don't live in Illinois anymore. It's held hostage by corrupt Chicago. The state is bankupt and none of this improve education. It makes jobs for more union teachers.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Tax the Rich more fairly

      Schools get their money from property taxes. The worth of your house is a main determiner in school funding. The real estate market is garbage due to massive unchecked businesses like Fanny and Freddie and irresponsible people buying homes they couldn't afford. Stop blaming everyone but yourself, and demand better tax reforms and controls on big business.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  73. ProperVillain

    This is why our schools are going broke. God forbid the teachers work an extra 30 minutes (that they will get paid for). I can't count the amount of lunches I've worked through in the last 6 months just to keep up with my work flow. It's lazy and a bit criminal that the teachers refuse to work any extra. Half an hour? Fifteen minutes? How lazy are these people? oh yeah, they are union employees. Well that answers that question...

    July 27, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • your babysitter

      You are worthless and your children are going to be as well at this rate.... oh that's where their ungrateful streak comes from.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Scott

      Lazy? Are you kidding me? As the husband of a teacher, I know first hand that many teachers (my wife included) work additional hours at home after school and on weekends. They also work over the summer to prepare for the upcoming year. You might want to talk to some actual teachers before you make such generalizations.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • LIz

      You have obviously never knew, or worked with a teacher sir. My husband just became a teacher and I was shocked on how much work after the school day ended he had to do. Between lesson plans and grading, it is more like a 50 or 60 hour work week. What I found sad about the attack on teachers, is we are teaching kids that teachers are lazy and do not need to be listened too. This leads to problems in the classroom, and a lack of respect in general.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
      • New Gawker

        Good thing they get 2 months off for the summer from all that hard work. I mean you never see anyone else working 50-60 hours a week.

        July 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • deeceeemee

      Teachers are exempt employees. The do not get paid extra if they spend longer teaching, unless it is negotiated into their contracts. Most teachers that I know work at least 10 hours per day during the school year, including grading, lesson planning, paper work, and parent conferences.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • I'm a teacher

      and I often work through lunch as well. Not to mention hours spent at home (unpaid) on grading, planning and preparations. You're idea that teachers are lazy is incorrect. If Chicago is pushing back against the major, it's probably because they know that this is just step one for him. That once he get's the day longer, he'll move on to making more demands. Rahm isn't trustworthy at all.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • teacherfriendly

      God forbid that you would be asked to spend and extra 30 minutes away from your family for free. When a teacher leaves the building, the work does not stop. They go home to finish the job. You know like grading, planning, reading, preparing examples, researching, etc. 30 minutes is sometimes all you have for your family. Teacher's have children who also need love and educational help.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • moleculargal51

      You are so wrong. I am a good Science teacher who has not sat down for our 30 minute lunch in over 12 years. I simply toss some fruit and water with a rare sandwich as I spend lunch setting up for the next 33+ eighth graders coming in. If not doing that then I am calling home or checking the restrooms/hallways as our campus monitors have been cut to 2 instead of 4.
      So, how many rocks do you throw to break all those glass houses? Wait, a teacher never taught you to count or how to understand a metaphor......

      July 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • yardbird1

      What??/ They want them to work without paying them their hourly wage. Lazy? Lazy is not understanding the whole problem.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Lori Ceangailte

      "God forbid they work an extra 30 minutes." My contract as a teacher requires me to work a 45-hour work week during school session as well as several weeks during the summer and school breaks. In other words, you believe that a person who already works the same number or more hours in a year than the average private sector worker and for less pay than people with a shorter education should willingly work 250 more hours a year (more than a month's work of working hours) without pay.

      No. Start prioritizing your children's education. That means prioritizing teachers.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  74. Jerry

    Rahm Emanuel to teacher's unions, "Thanks for the political contributions. Here's your payback".

    July 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • pgh

      Rahm Emmanuel and Barack Obama are best buds. It's no coincidence Obama's from the highly corrupt city of Chicago. Unfortunately he carried the corruption along with him (Solyndra, etc.) A little off topic but an exemplar of what goes wrong with cronyism and corruption, and who ends up suffering.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • I'm a teacher

      If by "payback" you mean longer days.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Teacher and Mom

      Rahm is no friend to teachers. He is Obama's worst enemy, politically.

      July 27, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
  75. mrsjdmcd

    The article says that the teachers are will not work more than their required 296 minutes of teaching time each day. By my calculation, that's about five hours per day. So, for the others three hours, are they glued to their chairs grading papers? I've got three kids in public school, and their homework is seldom graded. They get a check mark if it's completed or another child is responsible for grading it because the teachers "don't have time" to grade "all those papers". My husband is an engineer. He's salaried. If his boss gives him a job, it's his job to do until it's completed, regardless of how long it takes. The rules at his work change all the time. If he doesn't like it, he's welcome to find another job.

    July 27, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • pgh

      Agreed.... as I tried to post above, just TRY to get unionized teachers to work anything approaching the standard 9 to 5. Kids are falling asleep in class b/c they're forced to report at 7 a.m. so that teachers can get off at 2 or 3. Tons of medical and psychological research shows that kids' biological clocks are set to wake up later and stay up later, and would get better grades if allowed to do so. But GOD FORBID the teachers would have to work till 5pm.....

      July 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
      • LIz

        The reason schools do not run from 9 to 5 is sports! Athletes need daylight to practice, so schools get our early. Also it gave students a chance to have after school jobs, or do chores. It has nothing to do with teachers.

        July 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
      • pgh

        Reply to Liz: From 5 to 9pm (actually even 10 pm or later is quite tolerable, according to most teens' biological clocks) is plenty of time to do sports, work PT, or do homework. Most athletic fields have lights nowadays, so sports can be played outdoors for at least 3 seasons with no problem. And I bet if you ask the kids themselves, the great majority would prefer to sleep in till 8 am and go to school 9-5.

        July 27, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
      • Katie

        Oh you people and your cries about Unions!! You should "just try" working one normal week in a teacher's position. I DARE you to swap jobs with one of your kids' teachers for ONE WEEK. 9 to 5? Try 7:30 am to 4:30 pm five days in a row. That's assuming there are no assignments to grade, no assignments to prepare, no books to read ahead of time, no evening committees or other functions to attend. I DARE YOU.

        July 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • your babysitter

      mrsjdmcd-- Its nice to see someone has a job in your family.....how about teaching your own damn kids since you have the time and are so damn smart.....just a suggestion.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
      • mrsjdmcd

        I actually do home school two of my kids. Your point?

        July 27, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Kathy

      No, that is instruction time. If you knew anything about the teaching profession you'd realize that is only part of the job.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • I'm a teacher

      Yes we are, or we're in countless Special Ed meetings now that 50% of students (ready or not) have been mainstreamed to do state policy, or we're planning lessons, or we're working one-on-one with students who come in for extra help. Sometimes we eat lunch (I work through most of mine). The reason not everything is graded is because it shouldn't be. Too much of education is already obsessed with testing and grades. If it's practice work, the teacher is usually just looking to see if the student is on the right track. Grading the heck out of a kid every step of the way is counter-productiive.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • yardbird1

      Are they allowed to eat? Is that okay? And, yes, a lot of it for grading. What about meetings? When can parents meet with them? Use your brain about that time. Are they allowed to go to the bathroom? Break?

      July 27, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  76. Anti union

    http://php.app.com/PAteachers/results.php?County=Bucks&LEAName=%25&LastName=&FirstName=&CertificatedAssignment1Desc=Elementary%2C+Primary+Grades+1-3+1%2F&EducationLevelDescription=Bachelors+Degree&Submit=Search

    You can see the salaries of teacher in PA online...check out these teachers in Bucks county PA

    July 27, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  77. sg

    Starting salary for a city of Chicago Teacher is $47000....

    July 27, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • I'm a teacher

      And?

      I have two master's degrees and help children to grow, gain knowledge and plan their futures. Your disdain for teachers is as ignorant as it is irresponsible.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  78. Physics Teacher

    Usually I don't waste time replying to things like this, but I just couldn't stand it.

    First of all, for all of you who think you can do what I do, please go ahead and give it a shot. Spend a school year teaching other people's 16 year old kids and see what it's like. How could you pass on such an easy and wonderful job?? Many states are begging for high school math and science teachers. I'm sure you're smart enough to teach physics or calculus, right?

    Second, those of you who still believe that teachers only teach because they can't do anything else are sadly mistaken. I graduated with a degree in astrophysics from a top 20 university. I could easily get a higher paying job in the private sector, but I've been teaching for seven years because I love my students. Of the nine teachers in my school's science department, 5 of them have a PhD. We are intelligent and hardworking people who choose to educate the next generation of adults. If parents chose to take a more active role in their children's education, then we could do an even better job of preparing them. Unfortunately, a lot of parents just spend all their time blaming teachers for their kids' behavior instead of taking responsibility. We are not responsible for raising your kids, you are.

    July 27, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • OMG

      Highest degree does not mean you know to teach, If you don't have it in you, it's worthless.....

      July 27, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      i hate to say it but if you compare our American children grades to other countries you would see you're not doing a good job

      July 27, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
      • Chicago Parent

        WRONG!!! Parents are not doing a good job. Americans want to outsource everything – parents are no different – they want to outsource the raising of thier children to the public school system. Blame the system when their undisciplined, mouthy, stupid children don;t do well in school. Look in the mirror for the blame of our global place in academic standards.

        July 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
      • Mr. Rebubula

        Compared to which countries? China? The communist country that doesn't educate all of it's children. Finland? The country that uses the U.S. system of the 60's and 70's. The country that has one culture? The country that hold their teachers in high regard and as one of the highest paid careers in that country? I love it when teacher bashers compare the U.S. to these other countries. If we only educated our elite students then we would compete with any country in the world, but we don't do that do we?

        July 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
      • your babysitter

        NOT MY CHAIR-- that's because they learn their work ethics from you. Shouldn't you be working right now? Can't you work through a lunch break sometimes like a teacher does to inform you that your kid is in need of some additional tutoring.

        July 27, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
      • pgh

        Agreed.... it's just like the US healthcare system.... You'd think with the gross insanely high amount of money we're pi55ing away to both healthcare and the educational system, we'd be getting better results by now, both in terms of health and intellect.

        July 27, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
      • Teacher and Mom

        You are comparing apples to oranges. We educate EVERY CHILD through HIGH SCHOOL. Other countries kick out the non-performers before they become teenagers. The non-performers go to trade school and do not take tests similar to the tests our non-performers take.

        July 27, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • OMG

      Add or create the class call responsible/behavior. I had that class when I was in my home country, Infact every kids had that class

      July 27, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Jerry

      What's your take on why American students are so far behind in the sciences and mathematics when compared to some other countries. What can we do to improve?

      July 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • SandraMaria

      Couldn't agree more. I am not a teacher, I am a mother. A working mother very much involved in my children's life. It takes time and dedication but it must be done.
      Parents can't expect for teachers to do our job. They teach, we raise.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Derp Derp

      Yeah, its tough all over, so stop crying like you are the only people who work hard. Stop acting like you are some persecuted martyrs all the time and do your job. If you don't like it, find a new career where you can put your PHD to use. Othwerwise, shut up and do your job.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
      • your babysitter

        I THOUGHT CONSERVATIVES HATE PEOPLE WHO EXPECT STUFF FOR FREE

        July 27, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
      • Teacher and Mom

        @Derp Derp you are right. Whatever you do, they pay you way too much. They should fire you because you are lazy and selfish.

        (Sarcasm)

        July 27, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • mrsjdmcd

      I have no problem paying the teachers who are good at what they do. Unfortunately, there are many teachers that don't understand the material they're teaching and have no business being in a classroom. The system needs to be fixed, and no one seems to be able to find a way to do it. Good teachers should be rewarded and the bad ones need to go. My daughter had a teacher last year that sent home packets that she was supposed to fill out and my husband (MSEE) couldn't make sense of what the teacher was trying to teach. My daughter is so frustrated with science now that she wants nothing more to do with it. We've all had teachers that have ruined a subject for us – math, science – because they didn't understand what they were supposed to be teaching us. How do we fix it?

      July 27, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
      • Canaan

        The answer? Better pay. If you pay a good quality teacher well, chances are he or she will stay in the classroom. If you do not, then they will look elsewhere to generate more income for his or her growing family. My wife was an excellent teacher. And loved her job. Even misses it. But now she is a school psychologist making 35% more than what she was making. She feels her new job is good, and enjoys it, but she loved the kids and the classroom more. Pay is the key. Like any profession, you have to give more to those that are more productive. But it does not work that way in the teaching field.

        July 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • timothyhowe

      Anyone could say that they "graduated with a degree in astrophysics from a top 20 university." Doesn't mean its true. I really doubt your story. Why not put your name on it if it is true? What school was it?

      July 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
      • yardbird1

        I hate to break it to you but many teachers of math and science are qualified to teach somewhere else. A friend of mine teaches math and has a degree in engineering. He was in the corporate world for many years before deciding to teach, but he really likes teenagers.

        July 27, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • JoAnn

      Amen! Most of the teachers at my school have master's degrees, and some of us are working on our PhD's as well. We are not teaching because there is nothing else we can do, but because we love our students.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Another teacher

      Thank you for teaching our children!

      July 27, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Parent of a prepared kid

      First off thank you for your teaching and your concern about kids. However, I think you are in the minority, but it is the system and not the teachers that are the problem. Here is why:

      I make sure my kid gets fed, does his homework, respects his teachers, encourages him to explore issues deeper, and I volunteer for the school for 15 hours a week on top of my 50 hour a week job.

      What do I get back for that? A school administration that is nothing but a huge barrier to assistance I can provide, an mostly apathetic teaching staff that could care less that my kid is bored to death because they teach to the test and/or are dealing with kids that are 3-4 grade level behind, the only response I ever get is "he is a smart kid and will take care of himself, we don't need to BOTHER with him".

      I am sorry, every kid has the right to learn something new every day....every kid...every day.

      The few teachers like yourself that seem to give a darn, are thwarted to do anything extra by your union. We had a teacher who was forced to shut down all his after-school clubs because the union told him since he wasn't being paid retirement benefits on HIS OWN TIME??? ? ? he wasn't allowed to run the clubs.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • yardbird1

      very well said

      July 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  79. Paul

    We got rid of this guy so Chicago has him now. Sorry for you. Many of these reformers are like the old time swindlers: they come in with a big show, do some hocus pocus and then leave the place in shambles.They also collect their 270K paycheck and then blame the teachers.

    July 27, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  80. Lynn

    Yes our schools need to do a better job for we are failing behind other Countries in education. But, my concern is how will the day be scheduled for the students. It is known that people and especially children have only so long of an attention span and that after lunch there is a lag in concentraction even if you eat a light, healthy meal.
    So, unless Chicago is taking this into account, a longer school day will just be a waste except to maybe turn children off from learning if they get bored, etc. They better take all this into consideration and make adjustments to what classes are taught when if they have any hope of success.

    July 27, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • OMG

      YOu are whinning for every F ing thing

      July 27, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  81. JG

    Lets see. We could use the (conservative) estimate of fifty hour weeks for 9 months a year with time and a half for overtime and figure out what these lazy teachers are making per hour. So we've got (40*x+1.5*10*x)*39=s where s is the yearly salary and x is the hourly pay. Starting salary at 25k a year goes in for s... solve for x... puts teacher's hourly rate at... hold up, $11.65?!
    With a Bachelor's degree I was making $20 an hour, $25 when I got my first Masters. Had I been a teacher making those hourly rates with overtime I would have been making $1100 and $1375 a week respectively (based off the 50 hours per week estimate which is fairly conservative), which at 39 weeks a year would make my starting yearly salary $42,900 and $53,625 a year respectively.
    Taxpayers are getting an excellent bargain, especially considering the stresses and demands put on teachers. Don't you just hate it when facts get in the way of a good gripe session though? Lets rage about that for a while...

    July 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Bunsen Honeydew

      Check out the link posted by another person above to PA teacher salaries. Elementary school teachers making $75k-100k/year.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
      • Teacher

        Most teachers do not make the amount of the PA teachers. I have a BA Degree and teaching in Florida I start at 36K/Year and having a Masters would only start you at 38K/Year. The grocery store manager at Sweetbay makes almost as much as I do and he has no degree at all.

        July 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
      • ToldUso

        That's outrageous. It's not like they're doing anything impactful, like driving a bus or sitting in Congress. Bust them back down to minimum wage.

        July 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Daniel

      JG, How dare you bring math and actual facts/figures into the conversation around education?! Do you really think there is ANY sense to this 'teacher's unions are the thing holding back good education' argument? Political cannon fodder quite honestly. A MANDATORY parent participation in the school system and the children's education would have far more positive impact than adding 'more hours' to a school day.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
      • Parent of a prepared kid

        Never happen... as soon as a parent gets involved with the school and find out how screwed up it is, you end up with very angry parents and packed school board meetings demanding they start to do something about. They want to live a world where no one bothers them....the whole "schools want parental involvement" argument is a rouse.

        July 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  82. scottclark52

    And the number one way that Democrats raise money for issues that don't solve anything is? Hint: there is only one answer for this question because Democrats only think in singularities.

    July 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      we could legalize marijuana and release all the people being held in prison for that. that should cover all these costs, but the GOP will never go for that cause their friends in the prison system and drug companies tell them to say no

      July 27, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  83. Halle

    The majority of those criticizing the teachers wouldn't last two days as a teacher.

    July 27, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • OMG

      You are just a bad teacher. I was a kid and went to school, there are bad teachers out there lots of them, I am 42 now

      July 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
      • Mr. Rebubula

        You went to school and had bad teachers. I did as well. I also bagged groceries and have had a bad bagger. I have roofed houses and have had bad roofers, there are bad teachers, bad soldiers, bad doctors, bad .......... The fact that you were a student with poor teachers does not make you a specialist in teaching, no more than the fact that I have shot an assault rifle at the shooting range make me a specialist in soldiering or police work.

        July 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
      • C

        The difference is Mr Rubella that bad baggers can be fired. Bad teachers can't be. In fact, there was a proposal put before a teachers union to raise teachers salaries to 6 figures. The only condition? The school board would have the authority to fire bad teachers. The union wouldn't even allow the proposal to come up for a vote. There are bad teachers. They cannot be fired. That means that bad teachers are ruining the chances of millions of students every year... Go unions. I'm sorry good teachers get no respect because they are in unions that help bad teachers continue ruining our children's future. However, good teachers could do something about it... but won't.

        July 27, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • OMG

      Let me teach you how to teach

      July 27, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Chris

      Hm... my roomate teaches at a New York city public school, and from the sounds of it, the majority of his coworkers don't really do much at all, and don't really care about much besides keeping their jobs (which apparently isn't that big of a challenge in the American public school system). Huge double standard to require more of kids – who have no say in policies or which officials are elected – than teachers who, in general, are already failing their students.

      All in all, I think this is a terribly counterproductive idea, and I certainly wouldn't consider raising a family in chicago while this policy is in place. I have had a lot of admiration for Rahm Emmanuel over the past few years, and it shocks me that he's so deadset on this lunacy,

      July 27, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
      • Mr. Rebubula

        Here's a thought. All of those that can't stand teaching and teachers, why don't you teach. My mother always told me that if you don't like something be a part of the solution. So., how about it. Why don't you sign up and help bring positive change to the problem. Put up or shut up.

        July 27, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
      • C

        Mr Rebubula,

        Plenty of people have tried to get the unions to allow bad teachers to be fired. The unions job is to keep it's members in jobs at all costs. IF that means bad teachers continue teaching, then so be it. They pay union dues, and it's the union's job to keep them there. My kids are well above grade level, but then again we home school. I refuse to let union supported horrible teachers (not to slander the good ones that do a good job) ruin my kids' futures.

        July 27, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  84. james

    And this is the best solution Chicago can come up with...I say the kids that try go longer in school...I don't care if you spend a trillion dollars on each student...If he or she doesn't want to learn they won't...Longer hours for kids who do not want to learn is not good...Longer hours for kids who want to learn but are having problems is a must...and maybe an extra day or 1/2 day of private tutoring...But if parents don't get involved its just that much harder for the kids...I would say, this being Chicago, that this is just a scheme to funnel large amounts of money that don't end up in the schools...

    July 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
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