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. FLCader

    No sympathy for teachers- you went to college knowing well what you'd make per year! If you wanted more money, then you should have gone to school to be an engineer or a doctor but then these people would also have something to complain about. I am an engineer and make decent money but we work hard, take home work all the time and occasionally even work on weekends WITHOUT extra pay. In the last 2 yrs, I have not taken a week's vacation without having to log in or do some work. I know of a high school teacher who complains all the time about the pay and how many hours they have to work but yeah- you also have the entire summer off!!! and during the year she'd complain that students were cheating becaus hey found the class test online.... you know what? DO SOME REAL WORK AND CREATE YOUR OWN TEST... most kids know the internet better than their teachers and kudos to those who can find the test/answers online! Most teachers today=LAZY!!!!

    July 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • jellymon

      Well said FLC

      July 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Jeff

      well said. I'm an IT manager, I make good money, and I don't take many breaks. I'm tied to a device all the time, while I hear teachers complain they only have 4 weeks of summer break left. Pity.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • your babysitter

      You are exactly the reason we need more teachers or personal babysitters, because you are ignorant and your children deserve a chance. The fact is we are doing your job for you. Your children will make more money because of us you unappreciative elitist. I guess your professors should have had real jobs as well and left you to dig holes something you are good at. The reason this country is lagging is because of delusional people like you.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • George

      Well said !!! If that teaching job is just sooooo tough, then there is a solution folks – quit !!! There are plenty of others who are just so willing to take that job and not whin about it and get 3-4 months vacation per year. Maybe they don't want to quit the job because they really know they have it made in the shade. The real world people can't even imagine that type of vacation !!!!

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

      Most text book series come with assessments that are administered because they are considered to be valid and reliable based on research done by the textbook companies. Teachers administer those tests along with their own assessments because we then have researched based data to use to guide curriculum. Those are the tests that can be found online. It has nothing to do with being lazy, it has to do with following protocols demanded by the government to use research based techniques, programs and materials to guide curriculum development. If teachers only gave their own assessments, how could anything be normed?

      July 27, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
  2. ray Franz

    Teachers are a very small problem in a very large educational beauracracy. Many uneducated folks like to complain about teachers because of a bad teacher they have experienced in their life time. What people should realize is that teachers have their hands tied when it comes to the type of curriculum used in the classroom. The curriculums made available to students and the accompanying texts are mediocre at best. The problems with education don't lie with the teachers but the administrators of the system. Who makes the major decisions in the educational system? If you want to discuss salaries do some research. How much does your average school superintendant make? People do not realize how much power they have over school systems. They just choose not to get involved. How many of you go to a school board meeting? The general public can get involved in how their schools are run. Like many registered voters though, the public at large chooses not to get involved. Before you damn teachers do some research on how the system is run.

    July 27, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  3. Sterilize

    Punish the good students, coddle the welfare flunkies, and make sure you don't lose the Teacher Union vote? Right? No thanks. I will keep my kids in private schools, and continue to withhold my income from the tax base of fools like Emmanuel.

    July 27, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • person

      My, how will your stupid child ever survive in the modern world if he doesn't learn stupid, biblical crap.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Dave

      Translation: "I've got mine. I'm better than you. F off and die slowly while I point a wagging finger and laugh."

      July 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • your babysitter

      Good your children don't deserve our help you are showing them exactly how to be compassionate in this world. How about this for responsibility, lay off the cheeseburgers that keep driving up health insurance costs and stop relying on the free teachers of this world like Jesus and figure it all out for yourself. God bless your children, they will need it.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  4. Vicci

    I lived overseas and the kids go year round over there, as a matter of fact they go 5 1/2 days a week.This is in Korea Germany and other countries. They graduate from school at what is equilvalent to our 9th grade, then they either go to a university or Trade School. Those kids are much more advanced.They get a winter break, spring break, summer break and fall break, in other words they go a few weeks and then break for a week or two depending on the time of year. There learning include field trips to historical places and it gives them a real perspective of what is going on in real life. America should go for it!

    July 27, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  5. chris

    St. Louis public school system has nearly 550 management positions to run it's system. A system which is just about as large as the archdiocese of st louis school system which runs it's system (about the same number of kids) with only 12 management positions.

    The public school system is bound to collapse. The money just isn't there to continue to support a bloated system.

    In addition, the total charitable giving by USA citizens in 2011 was 290 billion dollars of which only religion got more than education 41.67 billion dollars. Where does it go? Stop tring to make the public feel bad, say we don't care about kids and teachers and start breaking this system up. Till that happens..your loosing support one person at a time. HOMESCHOOL!

    July 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  6. 1ofTheFallen

    I am tired of hearing about how hard teachers have it. They make very good annual salaries for only working 8 1/2 months out of the year. They should try working in the private sector were most people only get 2 weeks off a year and dream of getting 3 1/2 months off every year. Teachers get summer off in addtion to Christmas and Spring breaks and lots of 3 and 4 day weekends. Making $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 and higher a year for only working 8 1/2 months a year is great. Many parents get off work and come home to work, fix dinner and help kids with home that teachers send home with students for parents to help them with.

    July 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Andy

      If teaching is such a dream job why aren't you doing it?

      July 27, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
      • Sterilize

        Because I smart enough to get an Engineering Degree from someplace OTHER than a State College Diploma Mill.

        July 27, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
      • suppackman

        Because teaching jobs are hard to come by. There are far more teachers than openings

        July 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • sam

      In what day and age are you living? Teachers have been getting the short end for a good while now. The schools funds are getting cut all the time and teachers are being laid off all the time. Growing up in a family of teachers I can tell you that good teachers' days dont end at 3pm. My mother and sister would bring work home after their day ended every day to work on. Grading, working on lesson plans, dealing with troubled children and their parents. I went into engineering. My first job out of university I made close to 50% more than my mother who had been a teacher for 25 years.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Andy

      The first day there was no school for CPS students or teachers last year was June 25th. Teachers are to return to school around August 20th. I get your point, but let us try not to share bad information as indicating 3.5 months off for the summer.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • mary

      When was the last time you taught school for a year? most teachers work sept till end of june – the days start at 7:30 and do NOT end at 3:00 – they often deal w/unruly disrespectful kids and parents who are worse. You couldn't pay me enough money to do that job. You obviously speak from ignorance.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
      • Jeff

        My day starts around 7:30 and ends at 6. I go from Jan 1 to Dec 31. What an argument.

        July 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Katie

      Okay – you really don't know what you are talking about and I am here to enlighten you. Teachers DO NOT WORK 8 1/2 months. We work10 months. Many of us attend professional development in the summer and as far as the long weekends. Students may get a day off but many times teachers are in professional development. Many of us work long hours (i never leave before 5:30) and we work lots on the weekends. My school parking lot looks like school is in session on some Sat or Sun. I take things home to work on every night – not many professions are asked to do this. I will have a student who eats from a feeding tube, has heart issues, can't see or hear this year in my class so we are faced with lots of issues. I'm sure I will be spending much of my "off time" learning ways I can better meets this child's needs. I am not complaining about my job or the pay. I can just tell you that the 2 months we have off are needed to re-fuel our passion for the job. And – on the topic of this issue, we have been going to school for 7.25 hours for a long time. Happy to teach but can't stand people who bash us. We need all the support we can get.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Justin

      1 of the Fallen, you deeply misinformed about teacher pay and time. A teacher is responsible for 120 to 200 kids per year/semester's learning. The 8 1/2, 7 1/2 or 7 hour work day only consists of instructional time, with one hour maybe, of prep for preparing lesson plans. Few teachers nowadays teach only one prep class, thus they have multiple lesson plans and materials to prepare daily, weekly and monthly. Plus, they have to grade the work and give feedback to each student. This doesn't happen in 8 1/2 hours. Beyond that, the teachers are the ones who have to coach all the sports, run all the clubs, assist with every parent meeting, after school even and are expected by parents and students to attend any games. A good, hardworking teachers typical day is 10 – 12 hours long for 8 1/2 months. And still that is not enough time.If you do the math, a typical work year for an office/business person is 49 weeks at 7.5 hours of work a day = 1.837 hours a year of work. A teacher working 11 hour days for 8.5 months = 2090 hours worked in a year. This does not include trainings over the summer or summer school or summer sports programs. To add to that, teachers are one of the few professions that require, not just one degree, but a Master's in most states. That requires our of pocket expenses, debt and time, without being compensated financially afterwards. When discussions are had about the direction of our schools, let it not be about our teachers, because they have little to impact on district policy, state referendums or federal mandates. Teachers simply put the pile of burden on their backs and keep drudging on. Extending the school day will do nothing to better students achievement, if anything it will worsen it. There are answers to these problems that are too long to address here. But take the time to educate yourself on education. It's way to important to just react against a notion of uncomfortableness. As a teacher would say, don't use your emotions, use your intellect, and the solution to the problem is out there.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • IZZ

      Does the average office worker, supervise 400 plus students with different behaviors, norms, instruction strategies & advise 800 parents per year? Does the average office worker have to wear many hats (parent, disciplinarian, counselor, teacher, social worker, etc.) for 7 hours every day? Does the average office worker have the support of the local community? You would not last an hour. These kids would take your lunch and eat you too.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Katrina Stebbins

      What world are you living in? I am a teacher and I don't work 8.5 months out of the year. I also don't get paid $50000 a year. I have 200 contracted days that I work per year plus I go to conferences, take classes and have to learn more and more spanish, how to work with children who have different conditions, and so much more. Ihave a special relationship with each of my families that doesnt stop when school does. They have my email and phone number and can contact me any time they want and they do. I help them find clothing and food for their children as well as a place to live and other such necessities. I provide support to them as well. Don't tell me I have all summer to do what I want, because you will usually find me with a book about autism or other developmental delays so I can be prepared for my next group of children. I work with 3-5 year olds in the public school system and I am proud to be an advocate for my families any time of day or night. I earn my vacation time just like anyone else with a job.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • comejoinus

      It sounds like YOU want to be a teacher 1ofTheFallen. Then YOU can have all the benies that teachers have and you don't have to be a mad private servant any longer. So what's holding you back???

      July 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • We'reNotThatBad

      Before I worked as a teacher, I worked in the private sector with only 2 weeks off per year. While I relished those breaks, I never felt like I NEEDED a vacation or I would collapse. Once I started as a teacher, however, I NEEDED breaks. I work longer hours (how lovely an 8-hr day would be), often deal with angry, defiant, sometimes violent kids who don't want to be in school and so set out to make my job nearly impossible (and taking away from the educations of other students). Then when the school day is over, I stay at my desk working for another 2 hours before going home. Once home, I make dinner, then sit at the computer and keep working until bedtime. Sure, not all teachers work seriously from the minute they wake up until they go to bed during the school year, but a great deal of them do. No one can keep that kind of momentum up year round for a lifetime. Teaching has a high turnaround rate as it is - it's clearly not a cushy job despite holidays and summers off or you wouldn't see such a turnaround rate - it's because it's one of the hardest jobs there is; getting 30+ teenagers to do their work is no simple task, especially when they complain about having to read a WHOLE PARAGRAPH. So please, let's stop attacking teachers and start getting to the real problems: students who think they are too special to actually work hard.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Mr. Rebubula

      You seem to know so much about education. If you think it is so easy then you should try it.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • simpsongrad

      1ofTheFallen... Where is it teachers only work 8 1/2 months a year? I have been a teacher for a long time now, and I haven't ever found a school like that. I get 5 1/2 weeks off each summer unless I teach summer school. During the regular school year I spend about 11 hrs each day at school. That is a 55 hr work week. If I have extra duties such as working a game or a dance, it is even longer. I think that makes up for the time off in the summer. During my "vacation" time, I take classes myself to maintain my certification and improve my skills- at my own expense. The teacher pay you mentioned... I don't know where you got that, but many teachers will retire from teaching never having reached those numbers. I am a teacher because I love it. I am not lobbying for fewer hour or more pay. However, if you are going to write a post putting people down, please know what you are talking about. You are not very educated on this subject.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • James

      I really have no patience for people who say teachers have it easy. Seriously, you're jealous? Try living off of $45k a year and still raising a family. go for it.

      You want to know the real problem in education? The schools can't attract new, qualified teachers. Understandably so. Try convincing someone with a great education to come make very mediocre pay in a very difficult field. Oh, and when times get tough, we're going to just blame it all on the teachers and cut your pay and benefits.

      No new teachers means you can't replace the olds ones. It's the dirty little secret within public education. The reason there are bad teachers (and ones who use teaching as a means of a meager, albeit steady paycheck at the cost of their students) is because there simply isn't anyone else to replace them. If you're a principal faced with terminating a teacher but having to move the 30+ kids to another classroom of 30+ kids with only one teacher, it is a genuinely difficult decision. One with no easy answer.

      So again, if you think teaching is so easy, go teach yourself. Seriously, the system needs you. If you think teaching is somehow below you, STFU and leave those who are bold enough to become teachers alone.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  7. scott bleyle

    Run the culture like Troy,remove children from home at early age and make them wards of Gov;Turn them all into student/soldiers except for the ruling elite.Any one survives to Fifty can vote,sixty can retire,seventy euthanize.

    July 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • RM

      I wonder if my son would make it as a SPARTAN

      July 27, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Zack Dryer

      I believe you mean Sparta. Troy was the once thought mythological city of the Homeric Epics discovered by Heinrich Schliemann in the 19th century. We have little data on the daily routines and political climate of ancient Troy due to the complete lack of recorded history. The only places Troy is found in ancient writings are in the Iliad, Odyssey, and Aeneid. The first two are Homer's retelling of oral stories he heard after many generations had passed since the fall of Troy and the Aeneid was written by a Roman many years later to lend credibility to the Roman Empire and link it to the once great city of Troy by claiming that its original founders of the empire were warriors who fought in the Battle of Troy, which is not likely to have been true.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  8. Cassandra

    I think we should have better teachers and then our kids wouldnt have to spend so much time at school. It isnt going to matter how long they are at school if the teachers dont make the proper effort to teach our children. Its the teachers and parents that make the difference, not the time spend at school.

    July 27, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • RM

      I dont know many people who even want to be teachers anymore. It used to be something alot of people wanted, not so much now

      July 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
      • Paul

        Agree. Look at the comments on this board. There is no clue or respect for what teachers actually do for our kids. They also make too much money 40K-50K? really? Lets attack those rich teachers who spent 6 years in college and spend many more hours than you know outside of work for our kids. I hope we all wake up soon.

        July 27, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • scott bleyle

      kids don't need parental supervision just Adult supervision.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Bill

      Oh shut up. Please.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • sam

      Cassandra, dont you think its a combination of the two?? Good teachers and time in the classroom as well as parents that actually take an interst in their children. IMO there are a few issues that will continue to make public education an issue and an American society that falls behind the world educationally. One is the school board is elected. They need zero education, and no special skill to be elected. In many cases this means people that have nothing better to do with their time and want an ego boost. Every person I've known on a school board through-out my life has had no formal education past highschool. These are the people selecting teachers, deciding how funds are being spent, etc. These are the people we in trust our future generation with. Thats why we get math teachers that dont know math but are good football coaches. The other issue is parents involvement. Thats a bad one. I grew up going to a school where many of the kids parents where in and out of jail themselves. Drug dealers, criminals, etc. Somehow a community must be formed for these kids so that they get some sort of positive enforcement in their lives after the school day ends. If not they go home and see the craziness that is their lives and everything the see in school is thrown out the window. Ok, my rant is ended and noone will probably even read it but i guess its theraputic for me. lol

      July 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  9. Duane - St. Pete FLA

    Rahm Emanuel = Obama Toady

    July 27, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  10. strivetothrive2011

    Hmmm.... Here's another idea that works for 2.1 million students in the US.... HOMESCHOOL!!! They'll learn twice as much in half the amount of time and have plenty of time to just be KIDS, be creative, develop life skills, explore career options at a younger age, and even have time to socialize with the world around them, not just people their own age!!!

    July 27, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • RM

      Not a lot of parents can afford to stay home and home school their kids.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
      • Scott

        Anybody can afford to homeschool if they set their priorities right. How much does the average family spend on non-necessities? I think you would be hard pressed to find many families that truly can't afford to homeschool, but you can find plenty of families that aren't willing to make the necessary choices regarding prioritization and sacrifices to homeschool. It's a commitment you have to make to ensure much greater control over your own child's educational success, but most of us as Americans are too selfish to sacrifice our wants to do what is truly best for our children (which is also why we let our government run up massive debts that will have to be paid off by future generations).

        July 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Jamie

      Hmmm, although a great idea, is it a reality that the majority of Americans can afford this? Let's support our teachers.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • filthburger

      yeah. homeschool. seems that most homeschooling is by the religious right. i'll pass on that one.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Hockey7318

      AHAHAHAHAHAHA because there aren't any single parents around or families that rely on two incomes to get by. Yeah, homeschooling is great for some but pretty impossible for many.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • operalizz

      Yes, homeschooling in the inter-city of Chicago is a great idea (sarcastic font). A lot of these children don't have parents at home. We need to keep them in school longer so they don't have to go out on the streets and so they can actually get a meal that day. Homeschooling might have worked for you and your children; I respect that. But for the children in our inter-cities it isn't a viable option. I would encourage you to read the report on the inter-city schools that the Indy Star did this year. The teachers hate sending their students home. For a lot of those students school is the only place they feel safe and receive love during the day.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • phk46

      I'm sure that there are many parents doing an excellent job of home schooling their kids.
      I'm also certain there are many parents doing a dreadful job of home schooling – because they don't have the content knowledge and/or they don't have the skills and talent to convey the knowledge.

      I'm personally most concerned with those parents who want to home school because the don't know, and don't believe in, science, and want to ensure that their kids end up the same way.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Dave from Charlotte

      Home schooling only works if the parents are dedicated. I spoke with a home school mom who just last week mentioned her 7 year old home schooled child hasn't learned to read. Her thought was he will start to read when he's ready. Yeah, right.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  11. RM

    I think year-round school is better than longer days. In NC they have year-round school, both the kids and teachers seem to like it. It involves a shorter summer & winter break but more short breaks through the year. Kids have time off spread out the year and teachers don't have to review a year's worth of work in the beginning of the next year beacuse of what was forgotten over the summer. I noticed my kids retained more and did much better on state tests.

    July 27, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  12. charles

    The problems with public schools has more to do with the management systems and policies, and with parental non-involvement, than with poor teachers. Parochial schools get much better results than public schools when educating average students, but I bet parochial school teachers are not substantially "better" than public school teachers. But parochial school teachers are probably better motivated because they and their principals have more control over classroom behavior and discipline, and are much more likely to have parents who care about their children's education.

    Parochial school teachers work for lower pay than public school teachers because the work environment is SO much more enjoyable than the one that most inner city public school teachers are faced with.

    The solution is vouchers and charter schools that are independently managed and not subject to the mountains of petty rules and rampant political correctness and lack of discipline in the public schools.

    July 27, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  13. Inveatment Advisor

    Remember the saying, " be careful what you wish for"? Well Chicago, are your dreams coming true with this arrogant twit? Only you guys would follow this hosebag.

    July 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  14. joey

    lol at the teachers whinin about hardships of being a teacher. just a bunch of over glorified babysitters now.

    July 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • de successful

      Looks to me like you should be pushing for compromise. Your teachers failing you became apparent when you wrote a barely legible statement to this article. Teachers have a right to "Gripe", with little to no support from administration, hilarious political engagement, and a growing sense of negative public supprt. It's all across the board throughout the country. People want to comment on these issues often with no background or understanding of everyone invovled, and how they are all affected. Remeber above all else, those teachers go through a lot, and teach our children...our future generations. That is the union we need to focus on, and how to benefit it so our children can be successful.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Paul

      Everybody whines about their job, that's life. Each job has pluses and minuses. We all make choices towards our careers. Let's start picking on some other profession.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  15. CR

    I'm not incredibly shocked by the number of people complaining about teachers (or the grammatically tragic means by which the complaints were filed... but that's besides the point – or is it?). It strikes me as kind of funny though. If teaching is so easy, so overly padded with fabulous benefits, time off, extravegant pay, etc, then why do we still have a teacher shortage in Math, Science, and Special Education? In the rural districts? In high-poverty, low-achieving schools? Because it isn't easy and not everyone is meant to do it. But what are we going to tell the kids who sign up for the math course, are living in a rural district, are in a high poverty area? Sorry, no school for you? No. You are going to hire someone to fill that spot. They may not be the best, but, someone has to do it. If we are going to talk about teachers, let's talk about teacher prep programs, many of which allow the lowest of the low to graduate and teach elementary (because it's "easier" to teach general education and profitable to churn out teachers). What are they doing to recruit the best and the brightest? What are we as a country doing to recruit them and build this profession into what it should be... a profession! Finally, if we are going to talk about efficiency and the proper use of a school day, let's talk about behavior, poverty, homelessness and how much of the school day the teacher spends trying to compensate for those things with a classroom of (in most states) over 35 pre-teens/teens. Education is ugly already because of those issues (poverty, homelessness, inequality, zip code – things our leaders are not moving quickly enough on) so why must we, as a citizenry, exacerbate the ugliness by pointing fingers and yelling about who is worse than whom? We have to work together, schools/teachers/parents/community, and raise the kids to be the leaders of the future. Personally, I don't believe that you can solve the issue of education without valuing EVERY player in the game. This is the world we live in. It's easy to bash unions, teachers, Republicans, Democrats, etc because that removes our feeling of fault. It's all OUR collective fault and WE need to take it upon ourselves to work TOGETHER to figure it out. That's what we teach the kids, right? Work together.

    July 27, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • asthearmyofhelaman

      Amen! I am a teacher and a parent, and I am really beginning to see that we will make no progress until all parties stop pointing fingers and fighting and really do what is best for the children. They are the ones who will really benefit or hurt from whatever change we make.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Clear

      A thoughful, and thought-provoking, answer.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  16. Jason

    Here is my idea:
    Get rid of the silly high school classroom notion. Start prepping the kids for college.
    E.G. Large lecture halls for 200-300+ students. Cut down lecture hours to maybe 4 a day max. People can't learn from lecture 8 hours a day. Offer small group and study aid rooms, office hours etc. Run it like a college and prep students better for freshman year of college.
    ~4th year medical student (so yes I know how to learn and teach).

    July 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • ES71

      > Here is my idea:
      Get rid of the silly high school classroom notion. Start prepping the kids for college.
      E.G. Large lecture halls for 200-300+ students. Cut down lecture hours to maybe 4 a day max. People can't learn from lecture 8 hours a day. Offer small group and study aid rooms, office hours etc. Run it like a college and prep students better for freshman year of college

      You are so right. And kids who don't plan to go to colelge don't need the last 2 years of high school either. There should be trade school options for them starting at 16 , so that by 18 they have a profession.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
      • Theresa

        I agree, they used to be called "vocational" schools. If you weren't college bound you could opt out of the local public shcool and learn a trade. In my hometown, it was contruction, electrician, plumbers, cosmetology and so forth, but then no one wanted to pay for it anymore, so now...............................................

        July 27, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • sirmixalotalotalot

      Jason....being a medical student gives you ZERO credibility on the current topic....The American University system is laughable....if done properly, a student could finish in 2 years....3 max if they are not as bright or motivated...4 years is a way for the systems to make more money...plain and simple...Most high school students are only actually in a lecture type of environment for 4.5 hours or so per day. Students have nearly 1.5 hours devoted to "homeroom", transitions between classes and breaks...lunch is another half an hour.....most kids have some PE type of class or a study hall as well. You need to know the facts before posting....I hope you will not be a doctor anywhere near where I live

      July 27, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
      • Jason

        Most of the students that were at the top of my class didn't attend lecture. I personally find lecture to be an outdated educational model. I think video lectures and other forms of technology are quite superior.
        You are right in stating that high schools are not equipped for these large classes. The future ones should be built to accomodate this; it would be be much cheaper.
        And when I was in high school it was ~7 hours a day of lecture at at my public school with 1 hour for lunch and PE every other day.
        So the idea is not strict to however many hours of lecture a day; it's based on more changing the way things are taught. The class-room model is in many many ways outdated and could be much better done. Many medical school now record all lectures for students; you can learn in class or you can learn at home. I did better listening on my own b/c I speed it up or rewind.
        So all in all it needs to be re-thought.
        And I would be happy to be a doctor around where you live 🙂
        And medical school definetly helps you learn how to teach.
        Many upper classmen act as tutors for lower classmen. On rotations the fourth year students help the third year students. I've run workshops in my program. I wrote the class notes used by a large majority of our class.
        And you group study with friends and learn how to teach topics you are stronger in and learn from them about topics you are weak on. You teach patients concepts about their disease and treatment every day breaking complex pathophysiology down into simpler terms (that is probably the hardest thing to learn how to do). And even as students we often might have to teach our attendings and residents when we're assigned topics to look up and present on. So yes; in many ways it does help you learn how to teach.

        July 27, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
      • Roger Langton

        Yes, i knnow what you mean about extending college to make more money. I graduaated with a BA in sociology in three years and did a masters in one year. I even worked 25 hours a week in the process. High school students could
        manage a longer day if they had 30 minutes or more of exercise in the middle of the day. I taught high school for 30 years and, at times, taught six periods a day instead of the usual five periods. The only hard part was corecting the essay exams.

        July 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • K.Green

      Hi Jason,
      Being a "4th year medical student", perhaps you DO know how to learn. But you are absolutely silly if you think this means you know how to teach. BTW...I've done both.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • dx2718

      Lots of problems with that. High schools don't have classrooms big enough for those large lectures. Also, students are heterogeneous. At a college, there are enough students that 300 of them could be appropriately placed in the same class at the same time; not so in a high school where the entire graduating class is 300 students, and not all are even college-bound: certainly not bound for the same colleges. Personally, I had a "normal" high school experience with small classrooms and teacher interaction with students and felt like I was very well prepared for (a top-tier) college, other than the bit about not actually having to attend lectures. (I was religious about never missing class until I had an early morning class I often slept through and realized I did better when I slept instead of going to lecture.) Homework was very different in college than in high school, in that it was less busywork and more having to think, but having gotten in the habit of doing homework regularly (because our grades depended on it) prepared me to budget my time and be able to do the college homework as well. If there was anything high school prepared me for, it was college. If there was anything high school *didn't* prepare me for, it was life. Nobody taught me how to navigate driving, how to fold clothes, how to prepare a resume and look for jobs, how to manage finances, how to discipline children, etc...

      July 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
      • Granite

        I like the thought of no one teaching life skills. I always was frustrated with economics class in high school (and in college for that matter). It did teach about the nuances of our economic system, but there was no talk about how to actually manage your own money. In my opinion, high school should de-emphasize larger ecnomic theory in favor of personal finance. Leave the theory for college level courses (or advanced placement classes). Maybe we all will manage our money a bit better this way.

        July 27, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • gracko

      Starting that "God" complex a little early, aren't we?

      July 27, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • burnz

      No. You'll lose 1/2 of them.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Errogant2

      If you know how to learn and teach (and have a medical degree) you'd also know that teenager's brains are not yet developed in a way that allows them to succeed in a lecture hall environment. The number of students that attempt to mess around and/or sleep in a high school class of 35 would probably shock you. large lecture halls don't even work very well for teaching adults.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • RealTeacher

      Well Jason,

      You don't teach children, so you're no quite acquainted with the developmental needs of young people, nor are you familiar with the needs of students with developmental of learning disabilities. Unfortunately, it's very hard to teach students how to think critically in a lecture hall environment where peer interaction, and fundamental skill development is overlooked. As a man of science, weren't you taught to follow the data, not your heart. It sounds like your post is more the result of emotion than reason. Think your next one through before making an ass of yourself.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  17. CarmenSo

    Most of the people that are against this are Republicans. They don't think children need any edumucation

    July 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Scott

      I know kids need education, that's why I don't send mine to public schools.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Col B

      Obviously you must be a DUMOCRAT(deliberate spelling) ....you can't spell and you're stupid.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
      • Reynolds

        He spelled it right. He's making fun of you. You're so clueless you don't even know when you're being made fun of. Go drink some oil.

        July 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • retroman

      You evidently have not heard the head of the Chicago teachers union speak. She is stupifying in her language and no doubt a democrat. We need to start over. Fire all teachers who go out on strike and take three or four months to hire good teachers with decent work rules. However, you would probably need a flack jacket and helmet to cross the picket lines. Rahmbo does not have the jewels to do this and make all unions angry,but he can sure take on Chick fill a.. If he did our union situations would get better overnight. Republicans have the anwser, vouchers. Our public schools are so bad they need to be shut down.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Charlie

      Of course kids need education (to suggest otherwise would be ridiculous), but there comes a point where there is too much school work and homework which renders them unable to participate in other activities and have fun with friends, etc. If a parent wants their child(ren) to spend more time in school or studying, they should send them to a private school which offers such programs. But to force all American children to take part in an overzealous system is unfair and unacceptable. Let the people make their own decisions and live their own lives which are not forced so strongly in one direction by the often unrecognized hand of government.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  18. Barack

    Rahm,

    Thanks for having my back and for creating a very convincing borth certificate for these idiots.

    Anything you need let me know

    Barack

    July 27, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • pastafaria

      Actually, Rahm Emanuel may be on to something. After all, my daughter's elementary school has seven hour school days, and even though she is only in the second grade she knows how to spell words like "birth" correctly. But then again, her parents are not birthers and intelligence is partially hereditary so maybe this is one of those nature vs. nurture issues.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  19. J. Randolph

    First of all, you teacher-bashers are just narrow. I am sure YOU are gladly willing to work extra hours in your job for no extra pay. Why do you automatically think teachers are peon help? They are professional people and deserve respect for the amount of time they have spent in study and expense to be where they are. And your higher educational credentials are...? Moving on: There is no correlation between longer student hours in school and higher test scores. I agree with those above. Kids need time from classwork to develop other skills. " Beating dead horses does make them run faster." Work smarter-not harder. Get administration, school board members, and classroom teachers together FOR ONCE and figure out how to make SCHOOL work!! Bandaid solutions and political knee-jerk rhetoric just waste tax-payer money: that includes TEACHERS WHO PAY TAXES AS WELL!

    July 27, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Anti union

      I should respect the expense it took them to get where they are? Are you willing to pay more for your healthcare because it cost the doctor a lot of money to get where they are?

      July 27, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
      • mmb

        Yes, we are willing to pay doctors more because of the expense (both in tuition and in forgone opportunities) to get where they are. It might be better to say, that is why no one would be a doctor if the risks they take with their time and money didn't pay off. While the risk for teachers is certainly lower, it hardly seems smart to pile additional work and additional accountability on them with out considering that many of the best and brightest teachers will simply find work elsewhere, finding the risk no longer worthwhile.

        July 27, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • sirmixalotalotalot

      @J. Randolph....most teachers are there because they can't cut it elsewhere....it hurts I know, buts is accurate...not always, but usually...most public school teachers are not particularly well educated....the average college educated professional is paid a salary based on 40 hours per week despite being expected to put in 25% – 40% more hours on top. We are not paid OT and most of us do not get half the benefits that teachers get. There is no such thing as a pension plan for most of us now, etc. Part of the issues with teachers is you all are so filled up with "spin" from your unions and you are surrounded by other teachers with those some "spin" filled thoughts that none of you know a thing about the world outside of being a public teacher. At a good law firm out of school an attorney is paid well....130K + to start....they are expected to work 90-100 hours a week easily....many exceed that....they can be fired on a dime....they have insane expectations on them and the work they deal with would make your head explode....when they screw up they lose their company millions of dollars....doctors have terrible schedules as well....etc. Those are tough jobs....teaching isn't

      July 27, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Anti union

      mmb – What about the doctors that are going broke?

      http://money.cnn.com/2012/01/05/smallbusiness/doctors_broke/index.htm

      July 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  20. CCD

    Wisconsin solved this strike problem. Illinois should follow suit.

    July 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  21. Anti union

    Teacher receive so many benefits that are completely taken for granted. Having a pension alone is amazing these days and the teachers should count that as a blessing. So not only are my current tax dollars going to pay your salary I will also be working long after you have retired so I can pay your pension. Why will I still be working? Because my job, like most people, does not offer a pension. Also, my job llike most other, requires that I work a minimum of an 8 hour day YEAR ROUND! I do not get a fall break, winter break, and spring break. There are no half days. I also have to pay for my own health insurance, $600 a month for my family of 3. Maybe a I should be a teacher...

    July 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Obvious

      Who stopped you from becoming a teacher?

      July 27, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Chicago Teacher

      Maybe you should and you would realize that it is no walk in the park...you can have up to 37 students in your classroom with little to no support from administration or parents. You have situations where students are literally put on fire and you have to deal with it and explain to your six years old why a student will be coming back to school with serious defects. You will check your kids hair for lice because there is no nurse. You will have to call DCFs multiple times because students will tell how their parents are abusing them and there is gun violence at home...it is emotionally draining for very little pay and this pension you speak of is disappearing and there is no guarantee it will be available by the time I retire. This has been all over the news guess you have not read about it. I also pay into my pension. I work more than 8 hours day typically I work 12 hours. i encourage my students to stay after school and have created after school programs that I don't get paid for and the materials necessary for these programs have come out of my pocket. I get no breaks during the day and many days go by that I don't even receive a bathroom break. I am these students' parent, teacher, nurse, friend, and psychologist. But after all the horrific things I see on a day to day basis I love my job and wouldn't change it, because I know I am making a difference for these children. So I also think more people should become teachers but only if they are prepared to deal with all the baggage and negative attention from the media.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
      • JacksonSq

        It's terrible the negativity teachers get, but a fair bit of it is justified but not due to teachers in general. In this country teachers aren't treated as a professional occupation either socially or economically. You're unionized so much that it's impossible for bad teachers to be weeded out. I went to college, and I have a bachelor's degree. I've landed myself a good job thanks to my education, but if I was terrible at my profession I'd be fired on the spot. Negativity towards teachers primarily comes from the way people remember being treated while students. Many of us have teachers whom we greatly admire. I can think of several, but there's always teachers to whom we despise. I had a fifth grade teacher who would just give students an arbitrary average grade regardless of their test scores. My mother fought her, and despite having proven the teacher falsified my grades the teacher wasn't fired. The teacher wasn't even suspended. The teacher still to this day teaches. I had my fair share of lazy teachers as well.

        Schools also have become prisons for kids. You're shuffled from one location to the next with ever decreasing time in-between for bathroom breaks and quick socializing, and today metal detectors and guards block exits. Lunch when I was in school used to be an hour just like it is in the real world. Today students are lucky to get 30 minutes when in many cases it takes 25 minutes or longer to even go through the lunch line. In many schools kids are devoid of privacy, not having lockers to store their things along with having to keep all of their books in a single backpack that also has to be translucent. It's a prison system, and when kids aren't comfortable they have difficulties learning. When the students grow up they remember these things. We remember all the bad things that happened to us over the course of our education. It flows over into our perception of teachers to whom we blame for our treatment because they didn't stand up for us.

        Teachers whine and gripe about how hard their jobs are yet many are ambivalent to the reasons why. Teaching used to be a noble profession, and the relationship between a teacher and student mirrored the relationship between a doctor and patient. Today there's red tape, over abundant standardized tests, and security protocols that form barriers. Instead of trying to ask for more money the teachers' unions would be better pressed trying to make things easier for the students. There's no union for students, and today if students organize against school policies like they used to be able to they're met with armed resistance through either security guards or police. When things are easier for the students to learn it instantly becomes easier for teachers to teach. That's something our school systems have forgotten after trying to turn the best school system in the world into a laughing stock through "reform".

        July 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
      • valarie

        Amen

        July 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Nic

      Anti Union...I welcome you to observe the life of a teacher for one week and I'm sure you will change your ignorant thinking. Yes, teachers have time off during the year and summers off, but during those times they are still planning instruction, attending meetings and having professional development classes that are required. On top of that, teachers do not end their day at 3:30 or have weekends off....like you may have all year long. Teachers work around the clock. Personally I worked about 12-14 hours last school year and almost every weekend just to make sure I am planning the best education for my 28 students (each of whom has different learning abilities and needs), compling with state standards, grading, answering parents emails, updating newsletters of what we've done during the week, attending meetings and more meetings, tutoring and planning for every subject every day.

      So just because teachers are not required to work the extra 15 minutes doesn't mean they aren't actually working at school or at home. Sometimes I would love to have a 9-5 job where I can go home, play with my son and spend time with my husband, but my job doesn't end at the office...it's a 24/7 career.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • JDP

      By all means.....lets see how you handle a classroom....

      July 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Mark

      You could have easily jumped in the line to be a teacher when you went to college, but you didn't. So quit bashing us that did.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
      • Col B

        That comment works both ways...you knew what you were getting into when you decided to be a teacher. I commend you for that decision...I personnally would have a hard time putting up with the crap that you have to take in the classroom. Likewise though, it was your decision knowing the hours are long, so please don't try to constantly play the victim.

        July 27, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • MICHAEL

      I agree give it a shot and get back to us on this

      July 27, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • MICHAEL

      Anti Union I agree give it a shot and get back to us on this

      July 27, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  22. Jim Carter

    I'd welcome a longer school day if–for no other reason–it keeps the little monsters off the streets a few more minutes per day. Heaven knows they could all use some additional instruction, since 90% are a thick as a brick.

    July 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  23. Chipmunk

    That is the most ridiculous dispute being pushed to longer the school hours. We all know that this is not going to help in anyway the decrease in dropouts. We know that the money comes from us tax payers which has to be invested more intelligently. We know that the schools are not teaching like before with excellent students but are not being educated to controlled level so we don't have any bright students that read a lot and other things, etc. While in the other hand we have nation in a large debt with the theives of the Federal Reserve and we you think the answer is investing 50 millions in a not even a 1 hr of school more. I hope that i'm not the only person finding this concerning

    July 27, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Phyllis01

      Chipmunk, bright children don't read because they are too busy texting & using all their gadgets. It's not the fault of teachers. Parents see the children outside of school & are the ones who should encourage them to read, take them to the library when they are young, and turn off the electronics for awhile every day.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • MICHAEL

      chipmunk how right you are and speaking of wasting money my daughter is a middle school english teacher teaching summer school to a bunch of kids that for the most part don't give a dam. If their parents had to pay for the cost of the summer school instead of splitting the cost amongst all taxpayers i bet their kids would have a different perspective.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  24. tired of ignorance

    Many of you are completely clueless about what teaching entails. I am an elementary teacher who puts in AT LEAST 65 hours a week. I spend hundreds of my own dollars paying for classroom supplies, and I DO NOT get paid for holidays and summers. Yes, I do it for the kids and a paycheck that doesn't come close to comparing with equally educated professionals. The lack of respect and support from parents and others is truly sad and definitely part of the problem.

    July 27, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Joe

      Sorry, but nobody believes that anymore. If you put those hours in the first year and develop all of your lesson plans, you'll never have to work like that again. Ever. If you are the exception to this rule, I apologize. However, I know plenty of teachers who work 6-7 hours per day (a 30-35 hour work week) and take full advantage of all the time off.

      You get a salary that most professions would deem acceptable for a year – for less than 75% of a that time period. If you want to get a temporary job, go to school to better yourself, etc., etc., you're extended a lot of opportunities that the majority of the workforce just doesn't get. I work more than most teachers in one of my three jobs... only I don't get to perform them sequentially like you do. They're performed simultaneously. Sometimes, I take vacation time just to spend more time at my second job. Do you ever have to do that?

      Don't get me wrong. Teaching is an honorable profession and I value you for doing what I myself have not personally chosen to do. If you don't take advantage of the system like most of your peers do, I value you even more. Unfortunately for your argument, America feels that the system compensates you more than adequately for the "sacrifice" you make on behalf of our nation's youth.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
      • MICHAEL

        joe you are off the mark on this one. If all those dedicated teachers that put in the extra time do as you say and only put in the required 35 hours then the system will become less productive than it is now. Teachers are under a lot of scrutiny for work performance and if their students do poorly they are held responsible even if there are other factors , and usually the other factors are beyond the teachers control.

        July 27, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • We Need Good Teachers

      Thank you. You represent the best of the best in teachers. Dedicated, generous and committed to your job. Try to ignore those that think you get a paycheck 12 months a year, that you don't pay taxes and that putting up with their spoiled brats is an easy job. To those that DON'T teach – try it for a week and I guarantee you'll be singing a different tune.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  25. steve

    get rid of teacher unions
    i have never been involved in a union and I have done alright! of course, if you need that type of shield to protect all your bennies, then I guess a union is what you need! some of us, work hard and make it on our own merit!

    July 27, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Phyllis01

      You didn't do everything entirely on your own. Unions were a driving force behind the 8-hour day, time and a half for overtime, the 5-day work week, child labor laws, minimum wage, health insurance, fringe benefits, and worker safety laws. Unions benefit non-union workers because company owners need to raise wages and benefits to compete. Non-union workers wouldn't be as successful today if unions hadn't made all workers' lives better.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
      • Scott

        "You didn't build that!"

        Sorry, but while unions may have pushed for legislation that made workers' lives easier in the past, today they are nothing but advocates of sloth and corruption. Why don't you advocate in favor of armed rebellion while you're at it? That did wonders for us in past centuries as well. Unions today serve to protect the incompetent and lazy and simultaneously hold back the hard working and capable. That's an awful lot for any one organization to undertake, no wonder they miss out on other things like improving student performance.

        July 27, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  26. Amy

    I just graduated high school a couple years ago and I think everyone here is taking the wrong idea from this article. I was in the National Honor Society, played sports all three seasons, and had a part-time job. Students do so much with their only free time because of the increasing pressure to get into a well respected college. I used to get home at around 8 pm every night and would be up until at least 1 am doing homework, and then had to wake up at 6:30 am to catch the bus. A longer school day cannot be the answer if students are getting little to no sleep and are forced to spend all of their time on activities to add to their resumes.

    Instead, the time spent at school should be more focused, and less homework should be assigned. I love learning but most of the time spent in high school to me felt like a waste.

    July 27, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • sirmixalotalotalot

      Amy....to be honest, you don't have a clue what you are talking about...high schools suffer now in this country because we have a lot of teachers that just don't care....they are protect by unions, have low standards to aim for to begin with, etc. They have convinced themselves they are the hardest working people in America and its just not the reality....we need to overhaul education....curriculum, teachers, hours, etc. Athletics are fine but they can easily be outsourced to "club" level vs. public schools. I am impressed with your work ethic if that schedule you mentioned was accurate but if your homework took you until 1AM to finish, life is going to be tougher for you than you thought.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Triniing3

      I totally understand ypur perspective. Also very proud of you for the hard work you put in and for your accomplishments.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  27. Mary

    Absolutely no more hours of students being in the classroom is necessary...let the teachers do their 'after-school work' at home!

    July 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Micbig

      So, Mary, you think teachers just leave their work at school? You live in a fantasy work, my dear.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  28. Judy Arnall

    Homeschoolers can get a well rounded elementary education done in 30 minutes per day. A longer school day just means more waiting around for kids, for things to happen. This is bad for engaging kids in learning. Bad decision.

    July 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Zachary

      Well rounded? So they can learn math, history, english, and most importantly learn how to deal with other people in 30 minutes. Doubtful.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Scott

      Homeschooling is great. Our six year old is performing way beyond grade level with far less time spent on "instruction" than the public schools use. Of course, we are encouraged by the unions to think that the public school teacher is this great heroic figure accomplishing something that the average Joe could not. This is simply untrue. We are discouraged by the unions from examining the shoddy results of their members' craftsmanship or the conditions they insist upon (short days in the office, tons of days off). I have put in 50-60-70 hour weeks in my nice cushy office job, working well past midnight and getting up to work before 6 a.m. What's the difference? My work produced results worth having.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
      • Errogant2

        Most of the days "off" that I get are used to either attend mandatory meetings or grade student work. I spend half of my vacation time preparing for the next school year. It's a rare day when I get to bed before 11 P.M. Every hour that a teacher spends in the classroom with students is matched by at least an hour of preparation and follow up time.

        July 27, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
      • mathlogic

        Thankfully you priduce results worth having. It is obvious from your post that you do not care about your 6 year old as you are never there to raise the child (out past midnight and gone before 6 am). Just because you are willing to put in all of these hours does not mean that the rest of us feel that way. We want time with our families and our children, too. By the way, who home schools your six year old since you are not here to do it?

        July 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
      • Scott

        I didn't say I am always working past midnight (and if you'll notice, I said "working", not "out"), I said that I have put in weeks like that and produced results. Of course, as a proponent of public schools I wouldn't expect your reading comprehension to be terribly strong. I frequently work out of my home, which means that I can wake up at 6, do some necessary work, help take care of getting my kids up and ready when they wake up between 7 and 8, work some more, check in with my wife on how school work is going (you see, in a traditional family you have two parents who can both care for the children, to address your other foolish question – they say there is no such thing as a stupid question, please accept my congratulations for proving them wrong), work some more, spend some more time with the kids, and work more if necessary. In this way I have on occasion put in over 70 hours of work in a week and still had time to spend with my family and help homeschool my children.

        July 28, 2012 at 9:12 am |
  29. Erica

    I live in Chicago and have been following this issue closely. The information presented in this article is written so poorly, I cannot believe it was published. This piece is inaccurate (the teachers do want a longer school day) and does not do this complex matter justice. If you really want to know about this topic, research it yourself. CNN if you really want people to consider you a reliable source of news information, then report it reliably!!! Pathetic!

    July 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  30. Diane

    For those of you saying that teachers make too much money.... I make $36,000 a year. Divided by the 180 days in the school year... Divided by the 18 students I teach... means that I make $11 a day per student BEFORE taxes are taken out. You can't even pay a teenage babysitter that little amount of money per day.

    July 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Rob

      Ha! Really? How can you teach kids when you can't even do simple math. No wonder kids keep getting dumber.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • mimi

      you get paid $200 day. You make $36000 for what is essentially seasonal work. Christmas vacation. Easter vacation. Spring break. Holidays. summers off. Boo-hoo Diane. No one is feeling sorry for you. If you want to earn more than find a 12 month a year job.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • sirmixalotalotalot

      Diane....you are young....early in your career if you are making 36K. No one makes a lot when they start out. I produced 1.1 million dollars of revenue after expenses to my company when I was 23 years old and was paid roughly 43K or so. Your 36k salary is also consistent with someone making 50K+ because of the time you get off

      July 27, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Joe

      Diana, You can you get paid $11 a day per student. But if you do the math 5.9 hours a day of instruction (according to the article) and 180 days of work a year, you are actually making $33.89 an hour. If you worked a full day, and year your salary is $70,491 a year. A much different story then you are suggesting.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Sunil

      Here's the math I'm doing: you get $36k for 180 days. Most people work 250 days a year. So adjusting for that, your salary is 50k a year. But you have MUCH better job security – a typical 50k a year worker might be a factory or construction worker who can get cut any time. You also have much better working conditions. You also have better hours (7 hour day vs. 8 hour day). Long story short, you have a pretty good job. And that's at 36k . . most teachers make more than that. This is why the average voter struggles to understand the plight of teachers.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Joe

      A babysitter may actually spend some individual time with your kids...

      July 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Allison

      Diane,
      I'm not sure why you're dividing your salary among the number of students you have. This makes no sense. I work for a small company and I deal with about 200 different clients on a daily basis. No one gets paid per person unless you're in sales and working off commission. Your medical benefits and pension alone surpass what most Americans could ever hope for. When you consider your salary, benefit packages, and all the time off... it seems like you have a pretty great deal. I make as much as you and all I have is the salary.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  31. lenny

    Why don't they just cut out some of the vacations students won't be getting in the work a day world? I haven't had Mid-Winter/Spring/ or Summer break in over 35 years! I passed them all for 13 years while going to school! I do get a "10" day Christmas break still! However that's made up of combining some onesey-twosey Holidays! My next Holiday after Jan 1 is Memorial Day! :o( Lot of room to teach and learn without lengthening the day! Attention spans are already splintered too much to lengthen the day, so adding days would be better.

    July 27, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • ES71

      > Why don't they just cut out some of the vacations students won't be getting in the work a day world?

      Breaks are OK, you can hire a nanny or paln something., kids needf breaks. But those one-off holidays that nobody elese gets like Columbus day, Presidents day, Memorial day should go. Both parents and kids should be getting the same holidays. Otherwise, they are forcing parents to take vacation for those day and parents only get 10 days of vacation per year. It gets all eaten up by those holidays, conference fridays and doctor visits. I understand the conference days, but government and school only holidays, that I don't understand.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  32. the_dude

    Adding more unionized teached will triple the cost to taxpayers and provide no results whatsoever. Basically this is taxpayer funded child care so the drug addict parents can smoke an extra pipe hit before collecting the welfare check. A lose-lose for everyone involved.

    July 27, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • chi-nick

      You are a complete waste to this comments section. Provide something material instead of making comments on race and the poor. You make yourself look like a complete jack-ass.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  33. the_dude

    Great instead of wasting 7 hours a day the ghetto trash will waste 7.5 hours a day if they even show up.

    July 27, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  34. pscsteve

    Another extra teacher hired equals another union member equals more dues paid. This has nothing to do with the students. It's a sham. Rahm is a big labor socialist promoting the 'agenda'.

    July 27, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  35. Frank

    no............... more hours won't help. Better teachers might...............

    July 27, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • ccccc

      Wow, what a marketing pitch to get "better" teachers! Work longer hours for less pay. If you want qualififed people pay them more, if not, stop complaining about the quality of teachers. Isnt that how all these ceos justify their pay, that they need to pay top dollar to get top talent.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • M Bigham

      Frank,
      Before you comment, go and try teaching and see how good you do.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  36. obamaliar

    want to know what to do????? call Gov. Walker in Wi. He'll come down and slap the unions face and kick their A $s

    July 27, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  37. Tom

    And, think about this. We are comparing test scores with the rest of the world. What nobody ever seems to mention, is most other countries remove students to other programs that are not fit for higher education. They put them in trade schools, or train them for things they can do with their level of intelligence and skills. WE however, try to teach everyone the same. So when testing comes along, of course we will not do as well as countries who "cull the herd". Dont believe me... do some reading.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • germgaz

      Tom has hit the nail on the head. In addition, European school days are shorter! not longer. Their school year is broken up more - several small vacations throughout the year and only six weeks in the summer Teachers and students stay refreshed and renewed. We need an overhaul, not extended days. And quiet blaming the teachers. The American family life has gone to hell in a handbag and everyone wants to blame the teachers.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
      • ES71

        > Tom has hit the nail on the head. In addition, European school days are shorter! not longer

        I agree with that. We4 don't need longer instruction, we need more productive and targeted instructions. But Europeans get more homework,Tthey spend several hours on home work each day, starting from elementary. This is still than sitting in class for 8 hours and listening to a teacher. Human mind needs some change of environment to be productive. Sitting in a chair for 8 hours is not an answer.

        July 27, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  38. ablumkin

    296 minutes a day – that's 5 hours of teaching (25/week) . Most working people work 8 hours/day.
    I don't want to hear a teach complain about their pay. If they earn $40/k per year that's $30/teaching hour if they worked 52 weeks/year, but most schools are only session 36 weeks/yr which equates to $44/hr.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • EJ

      8 hours a DAY! Is your place hiring? I long for the days of only 8 hours. I am 9.5 plus. Teachers need to understand they have a great life...minimal work, paid "vacation" and a pension. Those who can, do....

      July 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
      • Tom

        EJ,

        you do realize that teachers still do work after school ends right? My wife is a teacher and she arrives to work at 7am and doesnt leave til 5:30pm, then she has to do more work for 2 hours when she gets home. Teachers dont get paid vacations. They dont get paid for not working in the summer, they just stretch out their paychecks to come every month

        July 27, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
      • smthnice

        That's humorous... I'd like to see you actually teach a group of high schoolers all day, prep your lessons for the next day, grade papers, attend meetings and professional developments, stay connected with parents, attend community functions, and be ready for the ALMIGHTY TEST. Yeah, it's a dream job that all takes place in about 5 hours a day.
        Perhaps instead of being so negative towards teachers, we should help and respect those who have the courage to educate the youth of this country (they will be leading it when we are old by the way). In a day where parents turn to teachers and schools to raise children verses educate them, it's a shame that teachers are treated poorly. I'm not just talking about pay, we make it just fine.

        July 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
      • Da Maestro

        Are you really going to go there. Lets see you try and teach in the Chicago Public School system. You have no idea what obstacles we face and surmount them with the little resources given. You are very ignorant of what happens both in the classroom and at a teachers home. I can not think of a single teacher that does not put in an additional hour and a half or work at home every single day. Great lessons are not built in 20 minutes before you teach them. It take hours upon hours of work plus re-teaching and tweaking a lesson till you are finally satisfied. And if you think the weekend is a break you are sorely mistaken. Guaranteed four hours of work each day. So next time talk to a teacher before you make such a misguided statement.

        July 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
      • Honeybee

        I have to agree with Tom here.

        My mom has been a teacher all my life. At this point, she's teaching the children of her first students, soon it will be the grandchildren of her first students. Teachers may not be in the classroom all day, but the work does follow them home. My mom spent a lot of time at home grading papers and writing up lesson plans. She would also spend her own money on school supplies and little birthday gifts for the kids whose parents either couldn't afford it or refused to spend it.

        Furthermore, the work is 'minimal' only if all your students are absolutely perfect. Anything less than that and you have kids bullying one another, cheating, stealing, bringing alcohol to school, selling drugs at school, not turning their homework, being downright rude or disrespectful, ditching class, skipping school entirely... the list goes on. There are a lot of great students out there. But there's also enough bad students to make it difficult for those around them to learn. Few parents are willing to admit that their child is a 'bad kid' and so the behavior does not change. There's little teachers can do to discipline these distracting students when their own parents enable them.

        Finally, teachers don't get paid for not working in the summer. They have an option to receive either their full pay check per pay period so that they will only get paid during the school year, or a smaller pay check per pay period and the rest of the money earned will be distributed in the summer. Granted, not all schools may operate like this, but this is way things work at the public school where my mom works.

        I don't really know anything about the pension issue as my mom has only been teaching for 26 years. She has a long way to go before she can retire.

        July 27, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Tom

      Oh, the clueless are out in packs today. 5 hours of time with the kids sitting in desks. All the rest of the time they work should be free? Who does the lunchroom, who does the recess yard, who does the hall duty, who does the bus line, etc. Should I go on? Doubt it will get through. Im a die hard republican conservative, but anyone who bashes teachers (and im not one) has seriously never given two thoughts out their hind end about it.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
      • Andrew

        Spoken like someone who couldn't handle a full day in the classroom, much less a career.

        July 27, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Alissa

      The hours worked in the classroom do not include prep time at home preparing lesson plans and other plus the money spent on supplies which are not provided by the school. Teachers spend a great amount of their own resources (time included) to not only prepare for their students but also to support them. My family is made up of many teachers and administrators and I know first hand how difficult a teacher's job is and how much they sacrifice.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
      • obamaliar

        if teachers are so great, then get off the tax roll. Stand on your own 2 feet. I'm sick of picking up your tab. your profession is a pail of leeches

        July 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Really?

      ANd another 20 grading papers, making lesson plans and creating teaching materials. Do you think they come out of the air?

      July 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
      • sirmixalotalotalot

        Boo Hoo....its your job...what you do now is easy...you work less than the rest of us....sorry that you might be forced to work full work day....

        July 27, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Baja12

      If you think a good teacher only works 5 hours a day you are clueless. I would love to shadow people who say moronic things like this on their jobs and see how much work they do during their day on the job.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
      • sirmixalotalotalot

        Baja.....the average teacher does under 6 hours or work per day...closer to 5. Teaching 4, 45 minute lectures is 3 hours. If you teach 6 its 4.5 hours. Since there are usually 7 periods in a day, most teachers will never exceed 4.5 hours of teaching...you all get planning periods, lunch, etc. Teachers have quite a bit of down time as well per day.

        July 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Grape Ape

      The rest of the work day is spent grading, prepping, and cleaning. It would be nice if teachers didn't have to do these things, and could spend all of their work hours /teaching/, but most schools don't have the funds for that kind of common sense. So, a not-insignificant amount of any teacher's time is spent doing things other than teaching. All of the teachers I know work more than 40hrs/week - heck, in this economy, just about /everyone/ I know is working more than 40hrs/week.

      Think a little before you post.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • keltari

      Teachers are only paid time in the classroom. However, any work done outside of that time is unpaid. Preparation for classes, grading students work, talking with students or parents, staff meetings, etc is all done outside of those paid hours. Teachers almost always work more than 8 hours per day.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Hardworking teacher

      A teacher's work day comprises far more than just teaching hours, a point which some commenters seem to miss. For every hour I spend in front of my high school seniors, there is at least an hour spent on planning, creating assignments, running off copies, grading tests and essays, and communicating with parents regarding grades and other classroom issues. When you add in meetings and conferences, you start to see that the amount of teaching time in a teacher's day is not a statistic that gives the full picture of a workday.

      I don't know enough about the Chicago details to comment on their proposed changes, but everyone should be aware that lengthening the school day has ripple effects beyond just more minutes in front of students.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Gnabgib

      It is obvious that you don't know many teachers. The 296 minutes are of actual instruction with the children. This does not take into account the amount of time doing the planning for those 5 hours and the vast amount of paperwork that goes with the job. I am not a Chicago elementary school teacher but a high school teacher in Maryland. We are contractually obligated to be at work from 6:55am-2:40pm. I get to work at 6:00am and usually don't leave before 3:30pm. Then spend about an 1.5 each night planning and grading. I know that there are teachers who spend more time and teachers that spend less but the vast majority put in way more time than they are required to. Not to mention the money that we spend on our students. I don't teach for the money and I don't complain about my salary. I teach because I love what I teach and who I teach it to. But please don't presume to say that teachers make good money because we really don't for what we do on a daily basis.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Sarahc

      I'm willing to pay that much to keep good teachers in schools for the sake of the future. Who taught you to read and write? Thank a teacher!

      July 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • shoreline24

      @ablumkin, I don't know of any teachers that arrive at school the minute classes begin and leave the minute classes end. Furthermore, lesson plans, grading papers and tests, and department meetings all require additional time outside of the classroom. A recent independant study (i.e. not sponsored by teacher unions or school boards) found the average teacher in public school works an average of 62 hours per week.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
      • Joe

        Even if that were believable, which it isnt, that's for 9 months of the year. When you factor in the time off, you're left at about 60% of the year actually working. So, that's an average of 37 hours per week. Sounds like the pay and expectations are just about right.

        July 27, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • KD

      5 hrs per day of active instruction requires a LOT more than an extra 3 hrs per day for prep work and grading. Paperwork, lesson planning, assignment creation, test-writing, grading, contacting parents, working with students one-on-one, serving on school committees (curriculum development, planning field trips, coordinating talent shows/science fairs/art shows/performing concerts) take a lot of time. Believe me, the teachers are not having 5-hr workdays.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  39. Tom

    Can anyone here READ? It says the STUDENTS day is 7 hours. Anyone who has ever know a teacher knows that they are at works BEFORE the students and the leave AFTER them. Usually an hour on each side. Get some facts before you throw stones.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • obamaliar

      Where are they the 3 months of summer, the 9-12 days for teachers conferences, all federal holidays, 9-12 days at Thanksgiving, 2 weeks at Christmas, 9-12 days at spring break??????? Yeah, they have it tough. the real bad thing is that their skills in the classroom are nonexistent. What a laugh....teachers work so hard....lol sambo

      July 27, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
      • Andrew

        To answer your question, in fantasyland, which is the only place such a calendar exists.

        Do everyone a favor and take your Fox New talking points memo and shove it. You are another who couldn't handle one DAY in the classroom but you want free daycare from 6AM-10PM for everyone's kids.

        July 27, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  40. Jeff R

    This is what happens when you let a union take over, their demands trump any effective solutions. Some would call it extortion.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • obamaliar

      look to Wi for help.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  41. Deb

    Right no Gino!!!!!!!! Go Rahm, go!

    July 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Would You Look At That

      are you really cheering on Rahm Emanuel??? I hope you are not of age to vote yet...

      July 27, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  42. xteacher

    As an x teacher, who could longer handle the job because of the parents.. We are there to teach and supplement not
    be police officers, babysitters and cooks. Yes the before school breakfast program and school lunch program are needed. They took God out the schools and guns are there now. Teachers do not get paid for the summer unless you CHOOSE to divide your checks to spread over the summer. Teachers have to grade papers but what about all the planning that goes into making it interesting and and enjoyable learning experience.. The parents who stress learning and that follow up with homework assignments should be commended... Don't increase the hours let kids be kids and make the parents assume the responsibilty.....

    July 27, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Deb

      Don't get paid, don' t want to hear it. In the REAL WORLD you do the job you're hired to do. In your case that means, Teach, Inspire, Thought Provoke, Educate and I'm sorry to say yes, you may have to do some planning, extra work outside your pay and even do some things that aren't in your job description. After all, it's called WORK for a reason.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
      • KD

        The teachers' point exactly. They were hired to do a job. Unless you plan on paying them more, don't expect to increase their workload by 10% over what was originally negotiated.

        July 27, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Mary

      Parents take responsibility for their children? Please-I will believe it when I see it. Whiny, lazy, unengaged children are the teachers fault, didn't you know? Parents no longer raise their children, they pass it off to anyone they possibly can.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
      • angelina

        lol@mary. Americans have become too lazy to even raise their own, sad truth. I have a couple of siblings that are teachers and their biggest complaint is the lack of parent involvement. Nurturing our children is our responsibility. Not anyone else's. Since when is parenting supposed to be easy???

        July 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Diana

      I agree with your sentiment. Kids need a break and teachers spend alot of extra, unpaid time preparing which in turn helps out the kids. I don't see how hiring more teachers to fill in the gap at the expense quoted is a positive for the tax payers in that area.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  43. New Gawker

    reason #4539390290 why the teachers union needs to be dismantled.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  44. K from AZ

    And one wonders why the US has spawned a generation of idiots!

    July 27, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  45. jaredgarrett

    Here's the thinking behind this:

    Our students' scores are bad and they're having trouble with retention. Let's make them stay in their chairs longer; that'll help.

    And this thinking is akin to a painter scraping paint with a metal tool and thinking, "Wow. This scraper is gouging my surface and isn't taking the paint off well. I'll go ahead and keep doing this for a few extra hours."

    Idiotic. Use a sander or a chemical stripping agent.

    The system is failing; don't do more of the same. Change the system so teachers are paid fairly, students are engaged, and real learning happens. Decentralize education standards and put the control in invested parents' hands.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Jeff R

      How is paying teachers more going to increase their results? Either they can do it or they can't. Paying the same carpenter more isn't going to get your house built any better.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
      • obamaliar

        this is why Il is going to be bankrupt be4 Ca. Quinoccio and Rahnbo and uncle JJ just don't get it

        July 27, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  46. Frank Jimmies

    The 7 hour day wasn't already standard?

    Fascinating.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  47. Gino

    The Teachers Union is a perfect example of what's wrong with Education in this country. Teachers are self serving, self preservationists that are looking to extend their CRAZY non-sustainable benefits into perpetuity. WE CAN'T AFFORD IT and because we can't afford it and because the unions don't want to realize and admit that we can't afford it, the Kids suffer. We cut back on programs, we stop offering extra curricular activities, we narrow down sports programs, etc. ALL because our TEACHERS UNION in CHICAGO expects 25% Pay Increases, ridiculous benefits, etc. FIRE ALL of these teachers that talk about strike and CRUSH this EVIL UNION once and for all. GO Mr. MAYOR!

    July 27, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Chris

      Perhaps our society can afford uneducated generations for years to come.

      Think about it.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
      • obamaliar

        how about under educated inept tax stealing union teachers????? Can your children afford to be sitting in their classroom?

        July 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • obamaliar

      look to Wi for help

      July 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Andrew

      And with the numbers you give, you obviously have no clue what you are talking about.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • The facts

      Gino your very ignorant and probably working at burger king. Where in the article does it say teachers were asking for a 25% raise? I know the CTU and the fact is they were king for a 5% raise cost of living. Then a 20% overtime pay for working the 20% longer day. Get your facts straight!!!!!

      July 27, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  48. Sarcastro

    Ouch! 7 hours a day in the office? I couldn't imagine that.

    Oh, and on top of that they have to do homework and such when they get home. Unlike, of course, the rest of us in the business world who NEVER have a few more hours of work to do after the kids are put to sleep. No- NEVER do we work weekends, etc...

    Poor poor teachers, I feel so terrible for you all. And to have to deal with a bunch of kids all day. and administrators you don't like That's just so wildly unlike anything business professionals do when traveling across the country and meeting with boneheaded, stubborn managers making impossible demands after sitting for 5 hours in JFK because a slight breeze in Utah canceled your connection through Chicago.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Heidi

      Sarcastro–Yes, but business professionals don't have to deal with the kids of people like you.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
      • Heidi

        Sarcastro–Oh, and business professionals get paid a lot more, too for those long hours. And their expenses are reimbursed, unlike the teachers who have to buy the materials for their classrooms because people like you don't want to fund education sufficiently to pay for what's required to educate your children.

        July 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
      • Sarcastro

        Heidi- Because personal attacks work so well.

        And by "the kids of parents like me", you mean parents who spend time with their kids doing their homework, take them to summer reading programs, and otherwise play an integral part in their lives?

        Spare me the dramatics and personal attacks. Teaching is a job, a tough one, but it's nothing above and beyond what many many many other people put up with. Yes, dealing with children is hard. So are many of the jobs that fund the salaries of the teachers. Whether it's grueling construction work, an IT staffer who works 14 hour shifts and gives up her weekends to keep the back office running, a father who has to travel far too much in order to keep a job that puts bread on the table (and pays for the teachers), we ALL work hard.

        July 27, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
      • Sarcastro

        Heidi- Really? Our pay is that much greater? Paying a huge chunk of health insurance, paying for our own retirement, 16% in SS/Medicare- that's thousands a month.

        As for getting reimbursed- *lol* I remember those good old days. Now it's the new great fad to have that lovely ability to 'bring your own equipment' to work. I just lvoe having to shell out a couple grand for a laptop every now and then because the company now gives me the 'flexibility' of them supporting my own equipment.

        Sorry, teachers simply don't have it any harder than other professionals. I come from a family filled with them. My father, a teacher, always told me I was "too smart to be a teacher" and insisted I take a higher paying job as an engineer, doctor, or something in business. As I watch the rest of my family get together on weekends while I'm barely trying to catch up on sleep after a long day at the office followed by a 1AM conference call with our partners in China followed by a 3:30 AM call with the Indian consulting firm handling the work I'm regretting taking that advice of something more 'high paid' and 'easier'.

        Again, we all have it hard. Teaching isn't unique in those regards. It's why they call it 'work'.

        July 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
      • obamaliar

        We deal with CEO's, CCO's CFO's and the like. These are power players not kids. These guys can have your job in an instant. Kids???? Honey, you have it too easy

        July 27, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Mary

      This is the problem with the American educationsl system. Parents who hate teachers portray that to their children who then have no respect for teachers. Look at the countries that rank at the top in public education. Teachers are revered, they are valued, unlike here. Why anyone would want to be a teacher in America and have to deal with low pay, zero respect and thankless work is beyond me.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
      • CA elementary teacher

        exactly. it's the palpable disrespect from students, parents and society that makes me want to leave this profession. i hate feeling like a babysitter/prison warden. but i just tell myself it's battle pay and move on.

        the great pay, hours, schedule, and benefits really can't be beat.
        i dont want to be pitied by society. i would LOVE to feel respected and appreciated.

        July 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Chris

      Come be a teacher and find out just how right you are. Or, realize just how wrong you are.

      Either way, you have no idea of what teachers actually go through, based off of your limited knowledge of what you think actually goes on in a classroom, school, or educational district.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Tom

      The average adult makes 250 decisions a day, from the time they wake up to the time they go to sleep.
      The average teacher makes 2500 decisions a day, from the time they walk in the school door to the time they walk out.
      Anyone who thinks teachers have it easy has never been a teacher. You have little to no adult interaction, you don't get to go to the bathroom or eat on your own schedule. You are treated as as though you don't know the first thing about a career that requires more training and education than most others in this country and you are paid one of the lowest working wages for it. "Oh but you get summers off!" I can't think of a single teacher I know who doesn't have a summer job just to make ends meet. The mere fact that you can write a sentence means that you should be thanking a teacher instead of criticizing them. No one is saying the school system is perfect, because it is isn't, but for too long, the economic cuts have been taken out of schools, without ever thinking that the adults in the classrooms are also people who need to be compensated fairly for their work. My guess is you wouldn't last a week as a teacher!

      July 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
      • obamaliar

        @Tom... Hey Tom, here is decision 2501. if you are so great then get off the tax rolls. Stand on your own 2 feet. go brag up your decision making skills to the private sector. Don't be surprised when you get turned down cuz you can only work 25-30 hours per week and want the company to give you 20 weeks off a year and to pay all your benefits including a pension that gives you 90% of your salary at age 55. You probably will want to continue your life as a leech

        July 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Ben

      Exactly! I literally worked 36 hours straight from Sunday afternoon through Monday night to manage a hot item for my business (I'm just a peon at a large corporation). As painful as it was, I'm still here, ready to continuing working after my lunch break on Friday afternoon. I'm being compensated for it... as long as the teachers are being compensated, they should man up and do what their profession is supposed to do... teach kids, not count your (aparantly precious) free time.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  49. dory49

    Teachers are not against the longer school day. They just want be paid more for working longer hours as anyone would in a job. Teachers have devoted their lives to children. I think it is not true that Rahm is more on kids side than teachers. Fair pay for fair work. Children deserve the longer school day and people who teach should be paid for their longer day. As it is teachers grade papers at home. They don't have enough time to plan their lessons and do all the things required for their job. Most teachers even buy supplies for the classroom since budgets have been cut. To get quality teachers to give even more hours without compensation pushes experienced teachers out of the classroom.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • obamaliar

      teachers are well compensated. Give me their hours and pay and they can have mine. I believe I can do as well as any teacher teaching English or American History. The reason for this.....Look to Chicago public school system. The teachers are the problem. Teachers have few teaching skills...that is obvious.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  50. keman

    20 years ago I was in high school for 7 3/4 hours (plus 15-20 hrs/week at a p/t job). Thing is, 3 out of 7 classes I had to take were "Electives"–in other words BS classes like PE, art, music, whatever. Nearly half the school day was spent on trivial subjects. The focus needs to be on science, math, and english. The school day length is not the problem, but the content of the school day is the problem.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • judeamorris

      Wow! "Trivial classes." Many school districts no longer require Physical Education on a regular basis (witness the growing obesity of our school age children). Art and music are the foundation of a civilized society. Electives are not "fluff." They allow students an opportunity to pursue personal interests and explore the world outside the basics. Most elective classes are in the arts and performing arts, technology, trades, foreign languages, and advanced and honors levels of regular subjects. If we all just concentrated on readin', writin', and arithmetic, we'd produce a bunch of minimally functional citizens without cultural refinement or expanded understanding of ANYTHING.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
      • ES71

        > Art and music are the foundation of a civilized society.

        Frankly, most americans are ignorant when it comes to world culture, foreign languages, art , history and so on. If you are teaching them but they are not retaining, it simply means they don't want to learn. So, don't force them and save the money. Let those be electives for those who want to learn these subjects. It is not the end of the world. All, all these things can be learned at home as a hobby if an interest in them develops later on. And as for foreign languages, to start them in HS like US does is also waste of tiem and money, they should start since elementry school or never.

        July 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • ES71

      > Thing is, 3 out of 7 classes I had to take were "Electives"–in other words BS classes like PE, art, music, whatever. Nearly half the school day was spent on trivial subjects. The focus needs to be on science, math, and english. The school day length is not the problem, but the content of the school day is the problem.

      Very true. By high school kids should know what they are going to specialise in . If they are going to pursue math there is noreason for them to be in art class, unless they want to. If they going to be a foreign langue instructor or a literature professor then they should spend time on that and not chemistry and so on.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • JustJ

      Trivial?!? Music turned into a career for me and countless others! Art and PE turn into careers for countless others! These so-called BS classes improve the lives of many people- KEPT ME IN SCHOOL, I'm truly sorry that you lack that vision.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • clayton

      to a point that is ture but the extra classes do help in the long run. take pe if we did not have pe in school the child hood rate of obisity would be larger then it is... if we did not have art or music there would be no real culture in the us... so if we just had math sicence history etc where would that leave us? it would leave us with a lot of people that are all most drones... and have no soul

      July 27, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • mred

      Many of the classes you call BS are the gateways into some high paying and widening opportunities jobs in the global economy. Graphic Design, which would be that art class you fuss about, is the basis of this webpage, much of what you see across the web, everywhere you look in any store you visit, and a whole lot more. Good jobs await those who major in a wide array of graphics in schools across the US. I hate that you had a bad experience, but the subjects are not the issue, the school communities – parents, students, teachers, administrators, board members,all – own the responsibility for bad programs and bad schools. If you have a BS class, it's because too many of these elements involved accept it, enable it. As a student, parent, teacher, administrator or elected official stand up and demand better.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  51. JonfromLI

    Wow imagine that: A teacher working 40 hours a week. Yeah, I can see why they wouldn't go for that. Next thing you know they'll want to extend the school year into the Summer and force the teachers to work year-round.

    Name one other full time job where the typical employee works 40 hours a week for an entire calender year (not counting paid time off).

    July 27, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Spike5

      I don't know a single high school teacher who doesn't spend additional hours every day planning for his classes and grading papers. In addition, many spend more hours every week working as mentors for clubs and other extra-curricular activities, providing one-on-one help to students before and after school, answering phone calls and emails from students and parents.

      Why do you begrudge your child's teachers from being able to spend time doing those things? Do you want him to assign only multiple choice exams, to ignore children who need extra help, and refuse to meet with parents concerned about their children's performance?

      July 27, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Chris

      Congratulations on your ignorance. Teachers work far more than 40 hours per wook on average. Usually, they perform a 10 hour actual work day, with additional hours in the evening doing planning and grading. Plus, they also provide other functions like hall duty, study hall monitoring, etc,. So, that's probably 50-70 hours a week they usully provide to the student, administration, parent collective.

      Sorry. You were saying someting about 40 hour work week? Come again?

      July 27, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • JustJ

      Teachers work MUCH longer than "40 hours" each week. Ever see what they take home?

      July 27, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
      • obamaliar

        Yeah my brother and sister are teachers....I see what they take home....My tax money in salary and great benefits. I have been in a high level health care job for 40 years and my brother has better health care than I do and what makes me mad is me and you pay for it. He had open heart surgery 4 years ago and he said "am I glad I'm a teacher I never saw a bill". I told him I did....every year in December...54% of my property tax bill.

        July 27, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • obamaliar

      Where is Uncle JJ and Sharpe Al? They won't go for a 40 hour week. How would they be able to keep up the kill ratio in Chicago if they kept the black gang members in class and off the street????

      July 27, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Renee

      I teach composition in a high school and see approximately 175 students every day. Every week my students have a 2-3 page assignment they must complete. That means each week I am required to thoughtfully read 525 pages of text, make appropriate and relevant comments on each paper, score them, record those scores, return the papers and reteach anything that may have shown as a problem through the assignments I read, and teach a new lesson. Probably 1/2 of my students have serious struggles–and that's a conservative estimate. I have 200 minutes of "planning" per week–student free. If I try to schedule some time to work with each of those students, they would get 2.3 minutes of individual time each week. Of course then I would have to use after school time to prepare the next lesson and read the current week assignment. I not saying this for sympathy. I'm saying this because any teacher who works a 40 hour week is a pathetic teacher. Remember there are many out there who give up evenings and weekends to teach your child to the best of our ability. I have a Master's Degree and 30 additional hours of graduate education plus 16 years of teaching experience–and I make $52,000 per year. Yes, we do feel devalued and we're tired of our entire profession being judged by some who lack appropriate dedication.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
      • obamaliar

        don't cry to me about extra hours. Are you on call 3 days a week? I don't remember seeing you in the hospital @ 2:45 am last week. I'm sure you were up writing comments on my boy's composition. I was there but not at taxpayer expense. Can you say the same??????

        July 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Andrew

      And where on here has any teacher claimed they only work 40 hours? Or desire to?

      You must mean they are only PAID for 40 hours.

      July 27, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  52. Wrenn_NYC

    Of course, if you go and read an actual, what, RESEARCHED article on this you'd know that this takes Chicago's schools, from having the shortest school day to having one in line with other school districts.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  53. Nate

    Gotta love unions, democrats, and Chicago. We don't know how we are going to pay for it, it is unproven whether this will actually help, and sure we don't want the current teachers to have to work normal 8 hour days... so ...... lets just throw it to the wall and see if it sticks. Then we can cry about our budget problems to the state and raise taxes.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Shannon

      I feel its REALLY important to correct a misconception in your reply that a lot of people have. The fact that teachers did not want 7 1/2 hours of direct contact time does NOT mean teachers don't work 8 hour days. In order to deliver instruction to students, teachers spend many additional hours developing lesson plans, producing teaching materials, grading homework, classwork, and test – it takes several additional hours every day to support the hours spent in the classroom. Then there is the time spent away from students in meetings with parents, colleagues, administrators. A teacher does so much more than what they do when they are with their students in the classroom. Its frustrating to be a public employee when the public has no idea what is involved in being a teacher!

      July 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
      • Chuck

        The public has no idea what is involved in being a teacher! RIGHT ON!!!

        July 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
      • Armand

        296 minutes of instruction is less than five hours. When you remove holidays and summer, Chicago teachers make an unreal salary compared to the private sector. Admittedly, I doubt I could handle five hours in an inner city school even for eight months per year.

        July 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Dave

      I guarantee you most teachers work longer than 8 hours a day. Just because the school day for the students isn't that long, doesn't mean that the teachers don't put in additional hours. While there may be some lackluster teachers that put in the bare minimum, it has been my experience that teachers spend many hours outside the classroom working. On top of that, many of them take what meager salaries they get and put a very large percentage back into their classrooms out of their own pockets. I'm quite sure, from the teachers perspective in this case, they see their already 40+ hour work week getting even longer.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
      • Chuck

        Again I say RIGHT ON!!!

        It has been my experience that teachers spend many hours outside the classroom working. On top of that, many of them take what meager salaries they get and put a very large percentage back into their classrooms out of their own pockets.

        Name me another profession where you are expected to do this. Office workers? HA. They bring office supplies to home not from home.

        Work longer than 8 hours a day and get overtime. Not teachers. Work overtime is expected.

        Average work week in America = 40 hours.

        2 weeks vacation = 50 work weeks a year.

        50 * 40 = 2000.

        If a teacher works over 2000 hours in 10 months shouldn't they get to take some time off?

        Just asking.

        July 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Jane

      Nate–Those hours don't include time at home spent grading papers and tests and coming up with lesson plans and new exams for students to take. On average, teachers spend an extra four hours outside of the classroom working on coursework...and that doesn't include time spent as the mentor for the drama club, student newspaper, yearbook, etc. It's generally–at least–a 12 hour workday for what amounts to less than minimum wage for many beginning teachers, and many drop out after 3 years (too stressful, pays too little, etc.), so your kids are being prepared for the future by people just a few years older than themselves.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • coolie

      You are right. Gotta love Chicago. We sure do love Chicago. God bless Windy city.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  54. Anonymous

    The program below is part of the solution.

    Project Advance is a partnership linking Syracuse University with secondary schools.
    Through this partnership, high schools can offer qualified seniors the opportunity to concurrently enroll in Syracuse University courses for credit.

    Partnering with SU also provides other important services for participating high schools: in-service training and professional development for high school instructors; a continuing forum for communication between educators in high school and university settings; and extensive ongoing research and evaluation for systemic improvement of concurrent enrollment instruction.

    Syracuse University Project Advance pledges the following:
    To offer innovative and challenging SU courses to qualified high school students at their local high schools, during their regularly scheduled high school day;
    To increase students’ college readiness by providing college readiness tools, programs, and services;
    To provide continuous professional development for teachers and ongoing dialogue between Syracuse University faculty and the high school teachers;
    To conduct extensive ongoing research and evaluation in support of systemically improving instruction and smoothing the transition from high school to post-secondary education.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  55. tom

    no kid i know of is gonna wanna stay more time in school, i bet they should shorten the day!

    July 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  56. The Facts

    CPS originally wanted their teachers to work 20% longer day in exchange for a 2 % raise , which would be eaten up by CPS healthcare cost increase being pushed on their teachers to pay. So in reality they get no raise for the longer day. In addition, CPS wanted their teachers to work a longer school year for free plus requiring their teachers to stay after school for over 1 hour a week for free. Now how is that fair? Let's get something straight to all the uninformed people out there in CNN land, teachers across America work extra hours by grading papers, imputing grades online, contacting parents, working on lesson plans and projects ALL ON THEIR FREE TIME after school, before school, evenings and weekends in order to get the job done. Out of all the major professionals such as doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers are the lowest paid white collar professional job period! Despite the fact that many teachers have their masters degree or Ph D oe Ed D plus multiple certifications and endorsements which take years to get. In other words some have as much education as doctors or lawyers but are paid thousands less. Why? Because the teaching profession is dominated by women, I bet you if most teachers were men, they would be paid substantially more and treated with more respect. Lastly CPS teachers are not the highest paid, that my friend is called propaganda for the simple minded people who repeat a lie and believe. New York teachers are the highest paid. There are school districts in Illinois that out pay and out spend CPS schools and their teachers, such as New Trier, Wilmette etc. The only reason the mayor blinked is because the CPS teachers authorized a strike and the mayor is shaking since a strike hasn't occurred in Chicago in over 20 plus years. President would be embarrassed for a strike to occur by his boy Rahman in his own hometown!

    July 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Everyman

      A 5 hour and 45 minute school day... Your schools are in session much less than the average 180+ school days that other schools are in session. You have every major holiday off, 2 weeks for Christmas, 1 1/2 weeks off in the spring, at least one three day weekend a month, and the summer off. Those are the facts.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
      • Chuck

        So in your view teachers ONLY work for the 5 hours and 45 minutes you say the school day is.

        I contend a typical school day is 6 1/2 hours.

        That leaves an hour and a half for prep work and grading and meeting parents and training and cleaning and I could go on but you probably stopped reading by now. Because the facts don't fit your view.

        July 27, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • gwtars

      "Because the teaching profession is dominated by women, I bet you if most teachers were men, they would be paid substantially more and treated with more respect."

      That is SO not true. We get paid for the time we are on the job, which in our District, is 185 days. That's the equivalent of about 6 months out of the year. In other professions, figuring 52 weeks times 5 days a week, that's 260 work days. We get paid based upon the same metric used by every other job, meaning we get paid based upon the amount of time we're on the job, so when we work 75 fewer days than "other professions", we get paid accordingly. It's not about gender in the slightest, in fact, it's about equality and equity.

      As for the rest of the issue, I'd LOVE to have extra time with students, since our school year is so short in comparison with other First World nations, and many emerging nations as well. If the goal is better student achievement, 15 minutes more a day is a step in the right direction.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
      • judeamorris

        You totally misread the post. Teaching has traditionally been a woman's job, thus it, as a white collar profession, has been compensated far less overall than any comparable profession. If you compared a teacher's 180 day contract salary to comparable days worked in say, advertising or computer programming or engineering, the salary for teaching falls far short of professions with its educational equivalent. It's why most very bright college students choose fields other than teaching. Starting (and terminal) teaching salaries are not comparable to equivalent jobs in other fields.

        July 27, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Jennifer

      Very well put!

      July 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • bernardmarxx

      What nonsense. Teachers whine and get more pay. We have had 40 plus years of non-stop whining. Why are teachers so obsessed with pay? Aren't they doing it for the children (which is what they always tell us)? Which is it? It can't be both. Besides most teachers not working long days after the school building closes. Teachers, "work" 36 weeks per year or less. Half their time IN SCHOOL is something like "Read Chapter 10 and do the questions at the end of the chapter. We'll grade the questions ten minutes before the end of class."

      July 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
      • judeamorris

        Do you work "for the common good" at your job? Even those in church ministries, who presumably do work for the good of others, get paid for their jobs because people basically work for shelter and food - to LIVE. Enjoying one's job is a bonus. I went into teaching because I love teenagers and truly enjoy seeing them succeed. I got both my Masters degrees and multiple certificates and took scores of college classes to upgrade my skills in order to do my job better so kids would learn more efficienty. If the teachers at your local school spend their time having kids do questions at the end of chapters in a textbook, then you need to do something about the competency of your teachers. Ever seen a national teacher's test or the requirements for a teaching certificate in your state? I doubt it.

        July 27, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
      • Chuck

        "Why are teachers so obsessed with pay?"

        So do you work for free?

        July 27, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
      • Andrew

        Almost every discussion about teacher pay and benefits is brought up by someone outside the education field. Usually, it is someone who complains about any type of taxes for any reason.

        Teachers want the same thing everyone wants – decent pay for decent work. They went into the profession knowing it involved extra hours and do them without complaint. The only time teachers get on these discussions is to defend the uneducated, classless hypocrites that tell them they don't work full time and have three months off every year.

        I love how all the people who say teaching is so easy have never supervised children in their lives. It isn't just hours per day for teachers. It is minutes per hour.

        If you work an office job, you don't have 30 people "in your face" every minute of every day. In an office job you can get up from your desk and go to the bathroom when you want to. In teaching you are lucky if you get to go once daily. I'll put the average hour of teaching up against the average hour for air traffic control at LAX.

        Most office jobs I know of have a half hour or hour for lunch. Teachers in my district average 8 minutes (not exaggerating) without someone needing something. As for prep time, the average of 2-3 hours work for one hour of class time is pretty accurate when you consider we have to evaluate the lessons both before and after they occur as well as evaluating the students. An average work day starts with 7 AM to 5 with no lunch break other than that 8 minutes, and often we are supervising activities at nights and on weekends. That does not count grading time.

        As for all those supposed days off, we have 195 contract days in a year, but that doesn't mean we are working only 195 days in a year. Teachers are at school on average one weekend day every other week, if not more. All of those classes and certifications are expected to be completed on our own time in order to keep our license and certifications (they are different and both are required), not to mention school events in the summer where teachers are expected to help organize and supervise.

        360 days (5 federal holidays – incidentally Christmas, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving (2 days) ) in a year:

        104 weekend days in a year. Teachers are at school regularly for weekend events. Lets say that is only one day every other weekend, so 26, so add 26 to 195 making 221 days worked.

        Now count at least three weeks of classes and school activities (15 -and I am estimating conservatively) added during the summers and we are up to 236 days. (No, the school doesn't close down in the summer and who do you think runs all those events?)

        This doesn't even count all of the evening activities and extra time spent grading at home.

        Take those 360 days – 104 weekend days for a "normal" person and you get 256 days, not counting any vacation time a "normal person" gets. Lets say that is only one week a year. Some have none, some have much more. That makes 251 days for you "hard workers."

        So you're right I guess. Teachers work an average of 15 days per year less than "normal" people, even though that STILL only counts physical "in the building" time and doesn't include grading time. That sounds like a cushy job (I guess??) until you realize that we are paid for 56 days LESS than those workers. "Not counting grading time," says the parrot on my shoulder.

        But go ahead people, keep assuming we don't even have to be in the building for anything other than that 6.5 hours of instructional time for those 180 days of school. That way it is easier to hate on a group of people who just want to help their students and community.

        Anyone who seriously thinks teacher pay and pensions are what brought this financial collapse needs to go back to Econ class.

        "Remember when teachers, public employees, Planned Parenthood, NPR and PBS crashed the stock market, wiped out half of our 401Ks, took trillions in TARP money, spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico, gave themselves billions in bonuses, and paid no taxes?

        Yeah, me neither."

        July 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • bobbula

      CPS quality of education is far below those suburbs you mentioned. CPS in general is a shame for the spending per pupil. Teachers should be paid based on results. That's just something the union won't allow. To pay teachers more is fine as long as we hold them accountable.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Chris

      I love how teachers are quick to point out how much time they put in outside the classroom and always forget about the approximately 16 wks a year they get off. Figure 12 weeks for summer vacation, 3 weeks for Christmas/Semester Break, 1 week for spring break. We're not even getting into the extra paid holidays most professionals don't get off. When was the last time a Doctor got MLK Day off paid.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
      • judeamorris

        Teachers are not paid for holidays and summers. Teachers are paid BY THE SCHOOL DAY TAUGHT. Most contracts are 180-190 days. Holidays are UNPAID. This is why many teachers have second jobs during summer vacations and holidays to make ends meet. Most teachers stretch their 180 day contract salary over a 12 month pay period in order to budget their pay, NOT because they are being paid for 12 months of vacation time.

        July 27, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • UpsetGrandma

      I just did the math. 296 minutes per week figures out to 4.9 hours per day. With all of the breaks in the school year and 3 months vacation every year I think that teachers have the highest paid PART TIME JOB in the world. Most of us have to work at least 8 hrs per day and may be lucky enough to get 2 weeks vacation each year. More and more public sector jobs are only minimum wage so in my book teachers don't have a thing to cry about. Maybe if they actually put in the extra time tutoring students who have trouble in a mandatory study hall, the students might actually be able to score high enough on SAT tests to get into college. Right now we have way too many students dropping out and those that do want to go to college have to take remedial classes to come up to par.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
      • judeamorris

        Do your math again. Teachers work a school day of about 7 1/2 hours not including before and after school duty. Then they go home and do lesson plans, correct papers and tests for another hour or more a day. They are paid BY THE SCHOOL DAY WORKED. Vacations, holidays are not part of a teacher's contract and are UNPAID holidays. The reason teachers do not make minimum wage salaries is because they have a MINIMUM of a bachelor's degree (many have Masters degrees), state certifications that require college level classes every 2-3 years, national certifications that require 100s of hours of work outside normal teaching duties, and required skills updates for evaluations. Show me the educational background and continuing education of most minimum wage workers. No comparison.

        July 27, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
      • Andrew

        And I am sure you worked every single minute of every single day you put in at every job you ever had.

        Pure baloney. Some office workers I know can barely be bothered to do 5 minutes of work a day. They brag about how much time they spend on Facebook and whined about it when Facebook was blocked by their employer.

        July 27, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Educator with a Ph.D.

      The problem with your argument is that teaching is NOT a profession. Doctors and Lawyers obtain a bahcelors degree, then go on to "professional" school (3 to 4 years coursework with additional time in residency). The professional school curriculum is based on a common body of knowledge. All students must exhibit their understanding of that common body before matriculating into a specialization. After entering the profession, they do not join a union that negotiates salary, working conditions, etc. Teachers earn a bachelors degree then begin work. In that bachelors degree program, there is no genuinely common body of knowledge. Many teachers begin work with just the bachelors degree and no further degree is required. They then join a union that negotiates salary, benefits, working conditions, etc. Based upon this distinction alone, teaching is not really a profession. It's labor. I don't disagree that teachers put in a tremendous amount of non-paid time planning, grading, communicating, attending, etc. and should receive more compensation than they do. I just completely disagree with your argument that they deserve more because of the "profession."

      July 27, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • TrueBlue

      Teachers also get pension plans and a nice summer vaca, along with every living holiday and Spring and Winter break. They get full and half conference days to do their parent/teacher conferences and planning. They have unions to do their bidding and while that isn't always a good thing (according to my sister who is a teacher) they still enjoy many perks the regular workforce will never see. Now, granted, they also put up with a lot of BS from students and their parents, but I have to put up with unrealistic expectations and lazy coworkers who make my job harder. I must admit that I'm getting a little tired of hearing about how hard teachers have it. I am a professional that works 80 hours a week, make an average salary for my field and do the job of three because of economic changes. I am a homeowner and taxpayer and those taxes support a school system i have never used, and probably never will. We all have something to complain about and really, 15 minutes more each day doesn't seem like a real big deal.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Erica

      And let's not forget that Daley had budgeted for a raise in the new contract and then Rahm broke it and then proposed a much lower raise and introduced the new school day. The Federal negotiator recently declared Rahm's proposed raise way to low b/c of the new school day alone. He's made a lot of enemies and will be lucky to get a second term. He also is making it harder for Obama's campaign.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Interesting

      It appears that not enough time was dedicated to spelling, grammar, or punctuation.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  57. lobo joe

    We also need a longer school year, for everyone; we don't need our kids to plant crops on the south 40 any longer. We need them focusing on math, science and cogent verbal skills, like ya know what I mean. Also, to accommodate the longer school year, we'll need to rehire all the teachers who are unemployed as a result of budget cuts of the states.

    Virtually every country with higher literacy rates than the U.S. have longer school years.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  58. The Man In The Hat

    "...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."

    I can tell you where it'll come from. The same place all other spending comes from...NOWHERE!

    July 27, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Dean

      No it will come from the middle class taxpayers like everything the government does that costs money.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
      • q

        so you rather not pay a little more taxes to educate kids. Smh. I don't get it and you all wonder why kids in the USA are behind other countries.

        July 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Jesus Christ Superstar

      Um, have you ever heard of taxes? That's the money that comes out of our paychecks that goes to the government so they can pay public workers, and improve streets, etc. The more you know 🙂

      July 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  59. tdogg

    For those that talk about teacher's salaries...remember, teacher's are paid based on the school year. Most choose just to have the district spread out the pay throughout the entire year. If you want teacher's to work 12 months out of the year, you will need to recognize that each teacher will make another $10,000 – $20,000 a year.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • unknown11

      Or, you can say they get paid for the year and get an obscene number of days off. Goes both ways.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
      • Jesus Christ Superstar

        AN obscene number of days off? So you want teachers to work more than just the school year? Do you also want NFL players to play 30 games in a season just so you don't feel bad about yourself?

        July 27, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
      • judeamorris

        Sorry, but you can't say that because teachers have a CONTRACT each year which designates that they are being paid for teaching a number of DAYS (not months) - usually between 180 and 190. Vacations are not paid. Teachers are paid by the number of school days worked. If a teacher chooses to teach summer school, he/she is paid by the number of teaching days for the summer. Teachers get no compensation for after hours work, and teaching is not a profession on which the door closes at the end of the working school day. The preparation period provided during the school day cannot accommodate all the class preparation, grading, conference meetings, xeroxing, etc. necessary to teach a single class of students. Teachers also perform before and after school duty, lunch duty, bus duty, hall duty, etc. besides the actual hours of teaching classes. They are required to update their professional skills on a regular basis (college classes, workshops, certifications) outside paid contract hours. They must sponsor clubs and student activities outside their contract hours for which they are compensated by far less than minimum wage. And they must endure the ignorance of the public (as in your post) over what they do and how they are compensated.

        July 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
      • Shannon

        It's time for the public to get a clue about the teaching profession, since the public ultimately controls public education. Teachers work many more days than students go to school! There are planning days and training days. There are days for test creation, and meetings with colleagues, parents, and administrators. Several of those days that your kids have off are days that teachers are still in their classrooms. Pay attention when you drive past the schools in your area this summer – those cars in the parking lot didn't drive there themselves!!! Yes, teachers don't work as many days over the course of the year as many professions – but teachers also work more 12-14 hour days during the school year than other professions. Don't try to make education policy until you know more about what it takes to run a school.

        July 27, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
      • Andrew

        Or no, you can't because that is patently false. They are paid due to a set number of contract days.

        Summer vacation is for students. Teachers receive a summer furlough.

        July 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Randy

      Did you happen to note that the teachers are instructing 296 minutes per day. That is 5 hours.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  60. m. w. f.

    I think high school should be re-made into a combination of high school and college. My son goes to high school on a college campus. He spends half of his time in "regular" high school classes and the other half in college classes. When he graduates, he will have a high school diploma and an associates degree. This is the reform that is needed. When I went to college way back when, my first two years were basically a repeat of high school. Many will say we need professors to teach the courses, but teaching the basic college classes does not require a PHD. Many current high school teachers could be trained to teach college classes. I think extending the day might help if the extra time were spent doing homework. With college costing anywhere form 20 to 40k per year, this would save parents money and allow students to go on to college and finish in two years instead of 4.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Machelle

      Keep talking, I like it. what county and state?

      July 27, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • father of 2

      My wife and I have a daoughter that is also going to college and high school at the same time. It is a great program for those that want to apply themselves. And also a great opportunity for my daughter. And it saves me tuition down the road.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • College

      College and High School being combined? That sounds like the worst thing ever. I would never want High School kids in the same classes that I am in, even if they are "basic classes."

      July 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • judeamorris

      Our system currently does have a combination of high school and colleges classes. The college level classes are called AP (Advanced Placement). At the end of the course, the student takes an exam scored from 0-5. If the student scores a 5, he/she automatically receives 3 credits at most colleges for that course. Better high schools in this country offer many AP courses, and students can easily earn as much as a year of college credits before they even enter college. There is a vast difference between the Associates Degrees earned at most 2 year colleges in this country and two years spent at top ranked universities. Junior and community college professors only need a Masters degree in their field. Professors at top universities need a Ph.D. The better educated a teacher is in his field, the more material he has to draw from in teaching students. All education (as much as many Americans would like to believe it) is not created equal.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  61. Backatya

    @sirmixalotalotalot
    Maybe you should go back to school and get a better job. Nobody forced you into the job you have did they? Quit gripping about all the hours you put in, and grow some balls and stand up to your a..hole boss or find a job you like and shut up.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • sirmixalotalotalot

      @backatya....I never once complained....I love my job...honestly I enjoy going to work....I was just using my job, my company, and many others in the business world as the POR. I always see teachers unions trying to downplay the american work statistics of everyone else other than teachers in an attempt to over inflate their hours. Stats don't like. Teachers are "onsite" an average of 7-2, or 8-3. Average worker with bachelors degree is onsite roughly 9-6. That is two fewer hours per day....10 fewer hours in a business week....40 fewer hours in business month, etc.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
      • Andrew

        Boy for someone who knows so much about education as a profession, you certainly have your numbers wrong. You must mean teachers are PAID for those hours you mention, because they certainly work longer than that.

        Keep sticking your fingers in your ears – if you don;t listen to the dozens of us here in the profession telling you that you are wrong, you can keep spouting your ignorance.

        July 27, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  62. Kay

    If the school day is to be extended in any school, I suggest the extra time be spent on allowing students to do their homework. As a former high school teacher for 20 years, I know that students seldom do homework even though it's one of those necessary requirements for success. If they have supervised time in a type of study hall at school, they just might see that tackling it isn't so bad after all. As for hiring other teachers to fill in the gaps, no way! That breaks the continuity considerably. Since most teachers in my school district were "advised" to refrain from assigning homework on football and basketball game nights, we would have welcomed such school-anchored homework time with open arms. Also, for all of you who really don't know teachers, while our students were at those games, we were home grading stacks of essays, term papers, tests and other projects long into the night; we also sponsored academic groups after school and on weekends, attended summer workshops and were in graduate school for advanced degrees related to our teaching; some of us even had to take part-time jobs to make ends meet. But again, if the school day is prolonged, let's all be sure it's for a reason that will click with kids - and they would probably jump at the opportunity to get homework done BEFORE they go home; their after-school jobs and socializing could wait an hour if need be. In addition to their work being supervised by their own teachers, students could also create a rapport with a teacher unlike anything else in a regular classroom environment. That alone just might tone down a big chunk of the hostility toward education and teachers.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Trey

      Kay thank you so much for this comment. I was a high achieving student in high school. Usually taking 4-5 AP classes per year. In addition, I was a committed scholar athlete often practicing and/or competing until after 8pm. With the homework I had to complete I would not be able to get to bed until 12 or 1 am. A longer school day would not only have destroyed my ability to complete homework, but would destroy what little social and athletic life I had.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  63. sadie557

    First, on the matter of whether or not teachers work enough. I have both a graduate and a professional degree. I have worked both as an educator (K-12) and in the professional corporate world. As a high school student, I was expected to be at school from 7:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. As an educator, I am now expected to be at school from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. As a corporate professional, I was expected to be at work from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. As a teacher, I frequently still have work to take home, not to "get ahead" but just to stay on top of things. Additionally, I am expected to participate in professional development on my own time. Yes, I get the same federal holidays you do – more or less – with time off for Christmas, New Year's Day and the like. I also get a summer break of approximately five weeks. In exchanged for this shortened work year, I now (because of my experience and advanced degrees) make approximately $13k less than a lower entry level position using my degrees in a corporate environment. Teachers do not teach for the monetary rewards but because they gain a sense of fulfillment from the work, despite the complaining parents, reluctant learners, and frequently absurd government attempts to hold everyone accountable. (I'm all for accountability, but I think we still need to work on the system.) The issue in this article is that teachers under contract were being asked to work more, apparently without increased remuneration). They refused and the district found another way to make their "solution" work. I don't know many individuals who do not balk – vocally or silently – at being asked to do more work for the same pay.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • LMB

      Well stated.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Dean

      A high school student expected to be at school from 7:15 toam until 5:30pm.....Where was this?
      Most teachers today couldn't get a job in their chosen field so they went back to school to become teachers.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
      • justsayinnnn

        I'd love to see your research data on that last comment. On what are you basing this assumption?

        July 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
      • Andrew

        Evidence please. Also please state why you think you speak for most teachers.

        July 27, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • christa

      Sadie,
      I too teach for the very reason you have so eloquently put! I am not sure that extending the school day without reforming instructional practices is the best idea, but in the case of Chicago perhaps having students in school longer will reduce some of the violence the city is experiencing.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Confused

      Sadie557, both my wife and I work in the education sector, and I've never heard of a school that required you to work 10 1/2 hour days every day. Either your school is a very unusual exception to the rule or you are simply lying. Both my wife & I are expected to be at our schools for 8 hours a day, no more or less. If we choose to lead additional after school programs like student clubs or choir (we're music teachers), we get paid extra for it, and we are not required to do it if we don't want to, it's optional. Further, there are several periods of planning time per day so that papers can be graded at work and not at home. My wife never brings home papers to grade, she does it during her planning time rather than chatting with other teachers in the lounge for two hours a day. Perhaps better time management rather than longer work hours is the answer...

      July 27, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
      • mathlogic

        I have worked in a number of schools and have NEVER seen what you are talking about. Your are obviously lying about what you do in order to make a point. Teachers work long hours. You denegrate teachers for some reason that is impossible to fathom. You feel a need to lie for reasons that are impossible to fathom. Hopefully, you are not teaching your children to lie as well.

        July 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  64. wow

    @sirmixalotalotalot

    With your very arduous job in mind, I would stop posting on CNN and get back to work. Then maybe you can get all your work done before 9:30 PM tonight and watch the Opening Ceremonies at the Olympics.

    And teachers to not get paid for their summer. Teacher's are on contract to work a certain number of days per year in most places. That may be 185-190 days....after they work their 190th day...they don't get paid. Now since most teachers have the option of taking their contracted pay and dividing it by 26 pays instead of 20...thus allowing them to get "paid" year round....when all honesty all they have done is lessen the paid amount in their 26 pays versus 20.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • sirmixalotalotalot

      @WoW....a teachers salary reflects working 2/3 or slightly more per year....average teacher in my state makes about 50K. That means over a year they would be paid 70-75K. No one is arguing that point. However, teachers chose the job knowing this and they took it for a reason....stats don't lie....teachers work less during the school year and they get a lot of time away during the summer....being a teacher can be a handful...kids can be brats, politics, etc. I get it....aside from the brats part, the rest of us have to deal with that stuff too, but we don't get time away. I have yet to meet a teacher including the many family members I have that are teachers, neighbors, etc. that haven't admitted to me that the main reason they continue to teach and not find a job that pays more is the time off and better hours worked during the day.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
      • Andrew

        So, you know some bad teachers. So, what? Using individual examples proves nothing. I have posted numbers from an entire district, straight out of the contract and you conveniently ignore the facts so you can tell all of the teachers how under worked they are.

        Put up or shut up. Volunteer for a week at your school. Prove your point. Until then, you are just a bag of hot air with no evidence to your claims.

        July 27, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Dean

      elementary school teachers will maintain a maximum of 296 minutes of instructional time per day......................................................Darn, that's almost 5 hours a day.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
      • Chris

        Dean-

        while I disagree with this policy, it might be worth considering the definition of "instructional time" in this case. "instructional time" may not include other time they have to spend at school- maybe overseeing lunch or other activities. This doesn't necessarily mean they only work 5 hours a day.

        maybe someone with more experience can clarify

        July 27, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
      • Vpappa

        Guess you didn't do so well in math....

        July 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
      • Chris

        Vpappa

        5 hours per day of INSTRUCTIONAL TIME

        my point was, there *might* be more to a teacher's day than instructional time. It is *possible* teachers have to spend time doing other things like overseeing activities, maybe grading stuff, meeting with other teachers etc.

        Maybe you, like several on this forum, "didn't do so well" in reading comprehension.

        July 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
      • Andrew

        I'd like to see Dean in front of 25 elementary school children for 15 minutes.

        July 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • this is unbelievable

      haha exactly, i was thinking the same thing 🙂

      July 27, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  65. Devil's Advocate

    So, basically, parents, school board members, and politicians think extended baby-sitting services, which will be covered by teachers on a rotational basis, is needed to help students get a better education. Or, is it to keep kids safe from the gang violence? Or, both? Politicians love to think they know what's best for educating our children. They ensure that the next crop of voters will be voting for them, or their party. If there was ever a reason for term limits....

    July 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
  66. Mass Dad

    Personally, I like Maureen's note (see link) that basically says "OK. If people don't think that Teachers work much and are just glorified babysitters, then let's pay them like that".

    http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2011/02/23/if-teachers-are-mere-babysitters-pay-them-accordingly/

    I think you would rather pay them what they are getting now. In some countries, teachers are the highest paid professions. Why? Because they are training the next generation of inventors, leaders, businesspeople. Should there be a way to weed out the bad teachers? yes. Just like we need to weed out bad doctors, politicians, etc. But you also need to let the teachers teach. When I was growing up, if we got in trouble in school, our parents punished us when we got home. Now, the parents go in to complain that their Johnny is a sweet boy and wouldn't do anything wrong.

    Just my $0.0.2.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  67. Mom of 2

    Current school curriculum is the problem...not length of school day. When I see how much time is wasted in school on fundraisers, etc., it's extremely frustrating. Students and parents aren't held accountable for their part in learning. There are so many assessments and tests that little time is left for math, english, and science. In addition, we teach to the lowest common demoninator instead of finding ways to challenge kids and teaching them about self-directed learning and how much fun learning can be. You want better results, look at the source of the problem instead of blindlyg trying new, expensive tactics.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Richard

      You need money to buy new curriculum, including the materials used to print out the syllabi/homework assignments and you may need money to buy new pieces of technology like televisions and dvd players to properly use that new curriculum. Heck, teachers pay out of pocket just so their kids have textbooks and pencils.

      Fundraisers are not a waste.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Jake

      I can't stand moms like you. You are the reason kids are do drugs and get people pregnant. If you would just relax and stop complaining about how we don't do well in school, that would be great. School is extremely boring and 80% of the curriculum is useless. You can't make kids want to learn. If kids want to sleep during class, let them sleep. It's their problem. If they want to learn, good for them! But stop being one of those mamas taxi obsessive moms that likes to stick their nose where it doesn't belong. Most kids are more successful today than any other generations. Kids are kids and will do stupid stuff. That doesn't make them a bad person. My girlfriends dad was a drug dealer in high school and had her at 15. He barely passed and now he has a double masters degree and is a nurse/businessman so shut it!

      July 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  68. Chris

    newsflash-

    a little more time in a failing system = more time spent failing.

    The problem, Mr. Mayor, is not how long kids spend in schools. The problem is public schools and parents.

    by the way, as a new resident of chicago as of May, thank you for charging me $350.00 because I didn't know I had to have a sticker on my car when in chicago. I would have gladly paid the $80 sticker fee everyone else had to pay, but since i didn't know, i suppose you can charge me quadruple.

    I'm convinced anything the Chicago government does is downright AGAINST the best interest of it's public.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • AlyssaJ

      "I didn't know" is not a valid reason for not paying the fee. I'm sure there are websites which advise residents of it. It's your obligation to make yourself aware of the local requirements.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
      • Chris

        AlyssaJ-

        re-read what I said

        I didn't say I had a valid reason for not paying the fee. I said I would gladly pay the fee. It's that the penalty is 3x the fee AND I HAVE TO PAY THE FEE. all because I've been in Chicago for 2 months and didn't know you had to have a special sticker (all proceeds of which go to funding stupid programs such as "let's keep kids in failing schools longer")

        July 27, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • buck passers

      Chris, way to generalize and meander off-topic. I went to public schools the whole way and they were centers for excellence. How and why? Parents in the community valued education and actually attended PTA meetings and voted in competent principals. Above all, parents held their own precious kiddy-poos responsible and accountable for their actions and performance in and out of school. Parents in my community largely checked every evening to make sure their kid's homework was done and they knew how to do the problems. Dinner included actual family conversation every night, not scarfing food while watching TV. The problem? Parents don't value education today and instead of getting involved, everyone today passes the buck to make education someone else's responsibility. Your child's education is YOUR responsibility. Take charge of it.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
      • Chris

        "buck passers"

        way to read my comment......maybe your public school should have spent more time focusing on reading comprehension.

        Did I not say the problem is partly parenting? Did you attend a Chicago Public School? I can tell you from what I've seen public schools in chicago are NOT doing well. When I looked at test scores by school to make a decision for my son, CPS schools were, across the board, worse than alternatives (i.e. charter schools).

        by the way, I attended a great public school in Wisconsin. I didn't have alternatives. I graduated HS with a 4.0, graduated UW Madison with a 3.7, but in my elementary (public) school I was labelled "slow" and crammed into "less aggressive" classes all because I tested lower in math than average. One teacher told me in 6th grade I "probably wouldn't go to college." YEAH RIGHT. public schools are awesome.

        July 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  69. Beezbo

    "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"

    And there, my friends, is the problem with government in a nutshell.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • West

      They'll just tax the wealthiest people in the City and extra $40-50M. Problem solved!

      July 27, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  70. Cyndie King

    The average full-time worker GETS PAID FOR 40 hours per week 52 weeks per year (2040 hours per year) and WORKS 40 hours per week for 50 (or 51) weeks per year (allowing for paid-time-off). The average teacher GETS PAID FOR 40 hours per week 52 weeks per year (2040 hours per year) and WORKS 35 hours per week for 40 weeks per year (1400 hours per year). There is no way that the average teacher works 640 extra hours, on their own time. They would have to work an extra 16 hours per week (3.2 hours per day) to make up that kind of time and there's a very, VERY good chance that only a few are willing to put in that kind of time EVERY DAY. A few extra hours per week, maybe but not in the neighborhood of 16 hours per week.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • ialsoagree

      You clearly don't know what you're talking about.

      Teachers are NOT paid for 52 weeks of the year. Teachers are NOT paid for the summer months which they do not work. They have the option to have their pay split across the entire year so they receive a paycheck during the summer, but if they choose to do that, they pay in each paycheck is decreased accordingly.

      A teacher's "summer vacation" is UNPAID time.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:53 am |
      • Conrad Shull

        Pure sophistry!

        July 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
      • Dave

        Agreed. Cyndie King clearly never had any close personal relatives in the teaching profession.

        July 27, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
      • sirmixalotalotalot

        @ialsoagree....that's right....you all are paid less because you work 2/3 of a year....teachers making 60K and complaining are insane to me....that is the same as someone else making 90K roughly. I get that unions have trained teachers in how to respond and "spin" things in their favor but the reality is they deep down know they work less than most other American's with college degrees. The fewer hours stats are spot on. 700-800 hours a year less than the rest of us with a bachelor's or more. You can't use the "we work after hours" excuse because everyone works after hours. I work 3 hours usually outside of hours I am in the office. I am in the office about 4 hours longer than most teachers are at the school. I might be a little high but that number is typically about 2-2.5 for most other workers.

        July 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
      • Everyman

        Teachers are important and so is the work they do. However, teachers work about 180 days out of 365. Teachers have every major holiday off. Teachers have two weeks off for Christmas, one to one and a half weeks off in the spring, and about one three day weekend a month off from work. The average elementary school teacher is paid $51,000 dollars while the top %10 percent of all elementary school teachers make more than $80,000 dollars per year. That's a pretty good deal.. Maybe you should put your unrighteousness indignation in check.

        July 27, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Brian

      Teachers don't get paid for the summer, so you can't include those hours. Most of us have our 10 month pay distributed over 12 months to make budgeting easier. All teachers work outside of the classroom. You can prep and grade materials while you are teaching a class. Most teachers work 8-4, and then a few hours more at home to get everything done.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Devil's Advocate

      TRhen go become a teacher and report back on your findings.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • mistercarlson1

      you have no idea what you are talking about. there are a couple of teachers at my school that work the schedule you are talking about, but not many. most at my school put in days from 7am to 4pm and take work home. we work on weekends and during the summer break. i've done the math for myself and the schedule i keep and i average over 40 hrs. a week after taking into account the summer break.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Peter Carpenter

      I'm sorry, but you're opinion on teacher's hours are misguided. Sure, they only TEACH for 7 hours of the day, but what about all the grading, planning, copying, tutoring, parent conferencing, etc they do? Teachers easily work that extra 16 hours per week, if not more.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • mistercarlson1

      you have no idea what you are talking about. there are a couple of teachers at my school that work the schedule you are talking about, but not many. most at my school put in days from 7am to 4pm and take work home. we work on weekends and during the summer break. i've done the math for myself and the schedule i keep and i average over 40 hrs. a week after taking into account the summer break.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:56 am |
      • sirmixalotalotalot

        So does everyone else....I work at least 5 hours during the weekends...usually closer to 8-10....I take home roughly 3 hours of work a day both before going in and after....Outside of the 50+ hours in the office a week, I work another 20-25 out of the office...I don't know a single other person in business, F&A, sales, law, etc. that works less than 60 hours with work in office and at home....you need to cry to someone else about if you are complaining about hours

        July 27, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Really?

      Cyndie, during the school year, most teachers work 50 hours per week. Most take work home with them in the evenings and on weekends after the official school day has ended. Teachers get paid for 9 months of work, not 12. Paychecks may be distributed over 12 months, but it is not 12 months of pay. If anyone thinks a teacher works from 7:30 to 3:00 and is done for the day, then he must not know any teachers. If you think it's such an easy gig, then why don't you become one?

      July 27, 2012 at 11:56 am |
      • sirmixalotalotalot

        @really? Teachers are onsite roughly 35 hours and I doubt take home 15 hours. If so, your work week is what most other people spend in the office before what they take home...Stats say its roughly 2 hours a day less you all work than the rest of us...that is very generous but fine....do the math from there

        July 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Gary

      Great job breaking down the hours spent doing both types of work. I doubt you will find a teacher (elementary especially) who only works 35 hours per week. Who do you think grades papers, plans for the next days classes, etc? Our bell rings at 8:55am and the day ends at 3:55. That's a 7 hour day just with the kids there. I can't show up at 8:30 and magically be ready for class and I can't leave at 4:15 and not have papers graded, copies made, etc. So an hour before and after the bell makes it roughly a 9 hour day. 45 hours per week is a little more like it.

      Granted our vacation time is plentiful. Speaking for teachers here in AZ however, I do not feel like we get paid as if we were working a 51 week job. In my 8th year of teaching with a Masters degree my salary isn't even $40k. That means I need to find part-time work when my summer break comes around.

      Sometimes it's not as black and white as the numbers show.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Jackson

      Um, 52 x 40 = 2080, not 2040.

      Perhaps *you* could have benefitted from a longer school day.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Peter

      Nice statistics from someone who seems to know it all! Let's see, I work a standard 40 hour a week job. I am here for 40 hours a week but I do not "work" during all those hours. In fact, I can say that a teacher works way more than I do. A teacher works from 7 am to 3 pm. A teacher spends a tremendous amount of time grading papers, doing lesson plans, and having meetings with parents/staff all outside that time frame. I would know because I have people very close to me that teach. A chuck of the summer is spent planning for the new year and curriculum. Not to mention teachers are compensated for the school year- not the summer break. Sounds like you know nothing at all really. And I guess we can ignore the fact that they are the ones responsible for educating, molding and mentoring our children, because ya know, that's of so little importance compared to say – a stock broker.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Ms. Johnson, former teacher

      The AVERAGE teacher works far more (and harder) than you do each day, guaranteed. I quit the teaching profession, because I was being worked to death. I returned to my former occupation to be an environmental scientist, where I work on a grueling billable hours format. BUT, I will NEVER work as hard again as I did when I was a teacher. Those extra hours come in the form of grading papers, lesson planning, and coordinating with other teachers. If you're OK with your kid learning in a school without those aforementioned duties taking place, then you can talk. But I bet you're not.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Matt Moody

      Teachers absoltely cover that extra 16 hours a week. Have you ever graded a 4 page paper? How about 20 of them? Teachers should earn more than CEO's. And no, I am not a teacher myself. I couldn't afford to work at that pay level.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
      • Spanish teacher

        Right on! Every time I assign a research paper I know I am doing the best thing for my students, but I always regret it for a few minutes when they turn them in. 100 students x 3-page papers = 300 pages to read, digest, critique, grade, etc. And all outside of school. Last year I graded some while "watching" my son play baseball...

        July 27, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Dark Crows

      teachers work 48 to 60 hours a week and pay for classroom supplies items that no one in a office field would ever be expected to pay

      July 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • chloe

      Cyndie, teachers only get paid for 26 weeks, not 52. When first hired, they can decide if they want to extend their paychecks throughout the summer, meaning that they will get less in each paycheck then teachers who decide not to extend, but will get more checks. In the end, it all evens out.

      And when you say that teachers only work 35 hours a week as opposed to 40, you are neglecting to mention that teachers do not get a lunch hour like most other workers (which means, other workers only work 30 hours a week).

      July 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Mike in MN

      Teachers get to school on average 30-60 minutes before students in the morning and stay another 30-60 minutes after kids leave. Add in grading homework while at home, workshops, and curriculum development during the summer and you get your hours. On top of that you can add the fact that you have to deal with other peoples children and most of the time you get no support from the children's parents or your administrators plus the fact that the public hates you, and I don't know why anyone would want to be a teacher.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Jaysen Gordon

      Sorry, Cindie, but I think that is the main misconception about teacher pay. We do not get paid for a 52 weeks a year. Here in Florida we get paid for 7.5 hours a day for 190 days (about 38 weeks). We do not get paid during summer break. There is no overtime pay since we are salaried employees. Also, that pay covers student contact time plus about 1.5 hours of planning. As any good teacher will tell you, that 1.5 hours of paid planning time just cannot cover all that a teacher needs to accomplish to be an effective educator. Honestly, it's like trying to produce a different 50 minute show that is interesting and educational anew every day, something very hard to do given that amount of planning time.

      Yes, poor teachers exist and do not use that time effectively, but isn't that true in any profession?

      July 27, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Yesly

      II'm sure each district has different rules, but usually teachers don't get paid for 12 months. They get paid for 10 months and distribute that pay for the year.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Teacher's Kid

      CLEARLY you don't know any teachers personally or you wouldn't even think to write such nonsense.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • False

      Many teachers are not paid for 52 weeks of work. In many school districts, teachers' pay is prorated to match the number of months that they actually spend in the classroom. So teachers who work 10 months get paid less than teachers who work 11 months, etc...

      ...It's best when people actually inform themselves... Teacher payscale information is readily available on almost all school district websites...

      July 27, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • msbhavin

      Teachers are contracted employees. That means they get paid for their contracted time, for example if their contract states 185 days, 7.5hours per day that is what they are paid for. Teachers can spread out payments over an entire year, but they are only getting paid for time worked. For example, if someone works for you for two weeks and charges the amount of $120.00. You can pay them 110.00 per week for two weeks or 30.00 per week for 4 weeks (even though they only worked two weeks); you are paying them for the two weeks of contracted work no matter which payment plan you choose. They are not paid for 52 weeks, they are paid for 36 weeks, all of which they worked.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Richard

      "The average teacher GETS PAID FOR 40 hours per week 52 weeks per year (2040 hours per year) and WORKS 35 hours per week for 40 weeks per year (1400 hours per year). There is no way that the average teacher works 640 extra hours, on their own time. They would have to work an extra 16 hours per week (3.2 hours per day) to make up that kind of time "

      I don't know why you think the average teacher works 35 hours a week.

      Let's step through it.

      The article states the instruction time is 296 minutes. So that's 5 hours.

      Let's say you have 2 classes of 25 students. On a given day, each student turns in just one assignment and it takes the teacher 5 minutes to grade that assignment. 2*25*5=250 minutes=4 hours. 5 hours + 4 hours = 9 hours. That's assuming there is only one assignment (whether it's homework or a test or an essay or a book report). Add another 4 hours if each student has a math homework assignment due and a spelling test.

      That's also why teachers are often grading assignments _during_ class, during lunch, during office hours, after school, on weekends and at nights because grading is very time consuming.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • drk

      You are entirely ignorant of what a teacher's work consists of. Teachers get less than an hour during the school day to plan instruction, order supplies, contact parents, meet with other teachers, and grade student work. A high school teacher might easily have 240 students in a single day. That's a whole lot of grading.

      If you think teaching is such a sweet deal, why not do it yourself?

      July 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Jeff Thornton

      Mmmm, Cyndie are you a teacher? My guess is not otherwise your assumption about how many hours a teacher works per day would not be so off mark.

      Before getting my masters in mechanical engineering, I was a junior high math teacher. I taught at two different junior highs in different states but my experience was the same. The USUAL teacher worked more than 9 hours a day during the school year coming in before contract hours and staying after contract hours to help students, many evenings attending parent/teacher functions, many Sundays preparing for the coming week, attend many meetings before the school year began and working a few days at the end of the school year cleaning up. Then there was the time making sure you had your continued education credits which comes out of your pocket (unlike my present job where my employer pays). Then you have the general disrespect of teachers by students, parents, and members of the community does not help with morale. Finally, the pay isn't all that great for the time you spent getting a teaching degree. Try teaching if you think it is that great of a job before you lamblast it.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • buck passers

      Cyndie, teachers don't get paid over the summer. What do they typically do? They get summer jobs, just like their teenaged students. Additionally, math, schience and literature teachers DO work several hours more outside of each school day making lesson plans, devising labs, making exams, grading exams and defending their grading policies against the helicopter parents who demand their kiddy-poo should get a higher grade on the test rather than working with the teacher to diagnose and then improve the kid's learning deficiencies (ie distracted by girls/boys, lazy, bad eyesight, not paying attention, not motivated, etc.).

      July 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Mat

      My wife is a teacher and I can tell you that she works a LOT more hours than you could imagine. First of all, teachers are required to be at school for more than the school day (they do not have 35 hour work weeks as you suggest). My wife's contract requires her to be at school at 7:15am and stay until at least 3:30pm (this is fairly typical). In reality she usually stays at school until 4:30 or 5 every day (grading assignments, preparing for the next day, giving kids extra help etc.). I can't remember a time when she left school before 4pm. She also has about 10-15 minutes to eat lunch if she's lucky. I'll be generous and say she works an average of 7:15-4:15pm each day (it's almost always more). That's a 45 hour work week right there, plus on average she works at least 2 hours at home every night (usually more) preparing for the next day. Now we are up to a 55 hour work week....If you multiply that by the 40 week schedule you suggested it comes to 2,200 hours per year. Far more than most other jobs and we haven't even calculated in the fact that during her time off (the summer and school vacation weeks) she does spend several hours preparing lessons, worksheets, examples, tests and reading other books from which to teach. I won't bother trying to add up what amount of time that is, it is of course at a more leisurely pace since it's "vacation" but it would add a sizable chunk to the total hours worked.

      I can't tell you that every teacher or even the average teacher works this much, because I can't prove that, but all good teachers spend around this amount of time on their profession. Lastly, I don't know too many other professions where the workers aren't given enough supplies and materials to work with and end up spending their own money on these things. My wife spends several hundred dollars per year to make sure all the students she teaches have the best possible learning environment.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  71. Frankenfish

    As an up and coming HS senior I can tell you just how much I hate school. It isn't because of the teachers or the people, but the curriculum. Ever since I was in 7th grade I can remember never being sure why we had to go over the same topic day after day, year after year. In fast paced AP courses, the same topic is rarely taught more than twice (once for content, and a review shortly before the AP test), and yet students always remark on how much they're learning. In traditional courses, I quite often found my self swimming in a collective stew of boredom as the whole class takes on the classic teenage 'air'. I can tell you as a member of this flawed system, it is the curriculum that needs to change (and the standardized tests that teachers ram down our throats while the admin breath down their necks), not the contact hours. Or, if you feel the unmitigated urge to make our lives harder, at least wait until I graduate.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Techsupport

      It's just because your peers are dumb. They need all that repeating, and it still won't fix them in the end. Those ap classes are worth pushing through that crap for. I went about it a little weird, my English teacher was having us do 3rd grade grammar, because my peers were stupid. Not ignorant, just plain dumb. I was offended, and would not do it, and told her such. I handed in a chapter of a novel I was writing every week, did none ofthe assignments, got a B and moved to AP the next year. Where we read books and discussed everything in the world. Loved that class.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  72. donnatk

    This is insane! The suburban schools have been going for 7.25 hours everyday all week long! I know young teacher don't make as much as tenured teachers but com on CPS teacher are among the highest paid in the nation

    July 27, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  73. Will

    Another NWO muppet

    July 27, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  74. Mike

    I think the 7.5hr school day would be a huge benefit for the kids! Chicago has a failing school system and they need to do something for the kids to increase their chances of success when they grow up. My daughter is in pre-school for a 6hr day. So why can't a high school kid do 1.5hrs extra a day compared to her?! Keeping them somewhere they can learn, study, or exercise is better then being on the streets doing who knows what. Seems like the Teachers Union is more worried about the adults working the extra time then what their main purpose is in helping the kids. I like the Mayors proposal if the Union doesn't want to increase the teachers work day, hire outside. Get people who are willing to put in the time and looking for a job. Who should pay for the difference, parents who want their kids to have a better life!

    July 27, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • ialsoagree

      I think it's silly to claim the union isn't doing what it's suppose to. Of course it is, the union is there to look out for the rights of the workers, not those they work for, or the students. Sorry, but that's the truth. The students already have bodies in place to support them, such as the PTA.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:51 am |
      • buck passers

        The Teacher's Union looks out for itself. It, as an organization, has absolutely no interest in serving the interests of the students or even its own paying members. After all, when your pay is based exclusively on time served without any merit-based evaluation or incentives, how can high-achieving members of any tenure expect to be served?? All employees in all occupations should be evaluated based on merit with incentives for productivity and achievement. Anything else is counterproductive and an embarrassment to our society.

        July 27, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Lew

      Mike, The school issues you talk about have nothing to do with time in a school day. You have bad curriculum, horrible leaders and some teachers just really dont care. Not to mention students who dont care either, school is just a social gathering for them. So Rahm Emmanuel blaming it on the time of school day is just another blatant liberal minded failure. Time to step into the real world and start addressing the real problems.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  75. Here's your man

    Hey CIA and FBI if you want to know where the White House "Leaks" are coming from then I will tell you, President Obama is telling them to Rahm Emanuel and he is passing them to others to get out in the media. Check it out you might just find that I am right.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  76. PMiller

    As a teacher, I have experienced an extension of the school day for students of 15 minutes per day. What did this do? It cut out time for teacher prep, morning meetings, etc. My own children come home from school tired and on hot days, exhausted. Schools need to use time more effectively. This does not mean cutting out specials or recess or shortening lunches. I vote leave the school day as it is. Let the public choose.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Dorothy

      Too many people who look at the in-class time as the only time teachers work are woefully ignorant. Also, there are few other occupations where a person must be mentally and physically engaged all day to teach and keep students engaged. Teachers can't just wander out for a cup of coffee or take a bathroom break whenever he or she chooses. Lunch times are often cut short to get back to the room to get materials ready for the rest of the day. Rather than extending the day beyond 3:00 or 3:30, after which fatigue sets in for all, I think much more research should go into a year-round program. Teachers must have the after-school hours for grading (which requires more than making check marks),revising lesson plans for the next day, meetings, and contacting parents.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  77. Cliff again

    I forgot to mention something I consider important. Some people think teachers have it easy with a shorter work day, more time off than usual, etc. The fact is that most people's jobs don't require them to monitor the behavior of around 30 other people who spent hours together in a room. Even with a good class, this takes a lot out of a person. I remember that on non-student days, such as conference or report card writing days, I had a lot more energy when I got home than on a normal student contact day. The time off that teachers have is necessary to recover from the emotional strains of teaching and to prevent burn-out.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • George

      Cliff – OH Pleeeease ! If those teaching jobs were sooooo bad, then why does everybody and their sister go into that job area. There is no other job area in the world which has more people wanting to get a degree in than that ELEMENTARY EDUCATION area. And why not with 3-4 months off each year and 6-7 hour days. And no, I don't want to hear that BS about working at home grading papers – that is just NOT true. My wife sat in front of the TV on some nights and graded those second garde papers in about 20 minutes about 2 times per week. Lesson plans? Bull, those are already done by the school system and teachers are REQUIRED to use those plans. There is NO drafting lesson plans – if that were true every teacher would be teaching different matters in different ways

      July 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
      • buck passers

        George, if you have no respect for what your wife does (and by extension, your wife), why did you marry her? Do you talk with your wife about your disdain for how she does her work? Have you suggested improvements? I wonder what she thinks about your job and how you perform it. Are you a stuffed shirt who pushes paper all day without really contributing anything? Are you contributing now to CNN while at work just as your wife graded some papers in front of the TV?

        July 27, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
      • George

        Reply to buck passer – Who said anything about disrepecting my wife. She does her job well and will admit that is is an easy job compared to the regular jobs out there. She is quite tried of all the whinny teachers trying to say their job is so tough.

        July 27, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • BAS

      must be tough being overpaid and never held accountable

      July 27, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  78. Roxey

    education begins in the home!!!!! Everyone dances around that fact, but when your parents don't even care whether their child is educated or not and the parents are not even providing BASIC NEEDS for thier children, it doesnt matter if the kids go to school all day every day for the rest of their lives they still have to return home to people who are not providing for them...P.S. we had summer vacation and still went on th get Masters , associate, and bachelor degrees,,

    July 27, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  79. Dave

    I would just like to see kids have more homework..... the kids where I live (Los Angeles Unified) come home from school and from what I can see, couldn't possibly have any homework... they play from the time they get home till they have to go in at about 9pm.... whatever happened to the mandatory homework to pass a grade?...are teachers getting too lazy to check homework?.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  80. bb

    Another Oblunder suck it turns out to be a bigot and idiot**** and we are surpised ???

    July 27, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Seraphim0

      Seriously, BB? Where, at all, did this article have anything to do with Obama? You probably don't even live in chicago and have no place commenting on something that effects our city.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Lew

      Really? 40 to 50 million per year for extra teachers just so you can extend the day by 15 minutes????????? OK Rahm........and by the way this garbage about how they are gonna pay that 40 to 50 million...yeah...tax payers ofcourse. who else? Liberals are whats wrong with our country. They are killing our culture.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:44 am |
      • jomartin

        Hi Lew,
        I just want to point out that the students will have almost an extra hour of instruction each day. The funds will be used to hire new teachers. The extra 15 minutes is what high school teachers will have to teach, but again, the school day for the students will be longer than that.

        John

        July 27, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  81. realteacher

    I have been a high school teacher for over 15 years and I'm not going to get into how many hours I work. I teach in a rural part of the country and I'll give you two reasons why extending the school day for high school students would not work here – athletics and jobs. Most of my students are involved in athletics for hours after school – sometimes traveling 3 hours to get to games and many of my students have jobs they need to help support their families or themselves. And both athletics and real-world jobs are invaluable parts of an American teenager's education. There's more to learning than seat-time.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • ES71

      I don't think they are talking about high schoolers only, here though. As for athletics, iI think the extended time should be optional – either you go to yoru training or whatever extra classes you take, your orchestra etc. or your stay in homework room and work on your homework. This is what the private school does where my kids went. It was a very good set up.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • sirmixalotalotalot

      @realteacher....you are the first teacher that seems to bring up the real reasons...you know as well as most other teachers that you all do not put in horrible hours....athletics are also not a requirement....I would prefer my kid to be intelligent and well educated before he is a good athlete any day. I was a D1 athlete and so was my wife so that opinion isn't coming from a person that hates sports....If my kids schools lasted until 5 or 530PM, my schedule would be considerably easier however....I wouldn't have to make arrangements for them from 3-530 when my wife is home.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:57 am |
      • Andrew

        Thank you for providing evidence that all you want is free daycare after school. Boo hoo. Take some money from that wonderful job you have and hire someone. It is not the school's job to babysit your kids.

        July 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  82. Cliff

         The article doesn't sound as though the solution is the most cost effective for the district, nor does it address the emotional and nurturing issues of parenting and teaching.     As a parent and retired teacher who spent a lot of time helping my children with their school work and taking the responsibility of monitoring their progress in school instead of just waiting for the school to call me, I think a lot of what is wrong with schools is lack of proper parenting plus not wanting one's children held responsible at school for their behavior. A parent is still a parent even when the child is at school. I always appreciated the parents who maintained interest in their child's school life and were willing to help at home with school work, instead of pointing the finger at the teacher and the school when the child had academic difficulty or behavioral issues. Our society gives a lot of lip service to children being our future, but doesn't seem to want to put in the time and effort it takes to really parent and or mentor. I know it can be hard to help one's child academically at home after a long day at work. Sometimes it was not what I wanted to do at the moment because I had taught all day, but I did it. Spending time with one child in particular in our family was the main quality time I had with that son, especially when he was in his teens, so it paid off in more ways than with school work.
        There are a lot of good parents and families out there who try to do the right thing. They were a joy to work with. The fact if that by the end of the first day of school each year, I had a very accurate picture of the parents I would meet at the fall conferences. There are people who want to do the right thing by their kids who don't know what to do because of their own parents' poor parenting. Those folks need help offered in a non-judgemental way.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Monica

      Amen!

      July 27, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  83. Sarah in TN

    One thing I've often heard in the state of TN, is how the lunch period for students is too short. The result is either hungry kids which distracts from learning, or that kids quickly cram their food down which leads to eating too much, thereby contributing to obesity. If Chicago schools do this, then there shoudl be a trade-off. Keep the kids in school longer, but not in the classroom. Extend their lunch period, instead.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Kelsey

      @Sarah in TN:

      Congratulations on winning the "Most Idiotic Comment of the Year" award.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  84. ObamaJoe

    What ??????????????

    Not enough brainwash 😦 ?????????

    July 27, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • ObamaJoe

      All students need to go out and see the world,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

      You should prepare your students to be the leader of the world ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

      Sad,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

      Bad education system 😦

      July 27, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • ObamaJoe

      We are teaching our student how to be a slavery worker for 1%,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

      July 27, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  85. Alan

    Just a quote I saw the other day. If a kid goes to the dentist, do the parents blame the dentist if the kid didn't brush and has cavities? So why do teachers get blamed when kids don't do home work and get failing grades?

    July 27, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • sirmixalotalotalot

      You give teachers far to much credit

      July 27, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • John

      Exactly.Parents expect everyone else to do their job. But they will scream the loudest if their kid can't read but never once sat down with them and supervised homework to see how the kids have progressed.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Dr Watson

      Leave Chicago like I did and have a future! Crime, corruption, murders, mob, unions will never change

      July 27, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Pete

      Because you have it backwards. In the schools the teachers are like the family... working hard to educate the children and teaching them the necessary skills to be a contributing member of society, The family in your analogy is like the Dentist... supplementing the work of the teachers and correcting major issues but still the teacher is responsible for the every day maintenance of the childs' education ( or in your analogy teeth).

      July 27, 2012 at 11:56 am |
      • Andrew

        What!?!?

        Since when is your education anything but a personal responsibility?

        July 27, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  86. sirmixalotalotalot

    I am 100% in favor of it....I have 2 boys now and a 3rd on the way. Once they get to junior / high school ages I will have a 12, 14, 16 year old in school. Having the day extended would allow for less time after school where things could go wrong or they could get into trouble. It will also allow for exponentially more depth in certain areas of the education. It would also better prepare them for life after school ends because they would be used to the hours.

    Most people could finish college in 2-3 years if they wanted. 4 years is now costing families and students 20-50k+ more a year than it needs to.

    I don't want to sound inconsiderate but the biggest issue is the teachers. 7 hour days???? I arrive to my office by 8AM and leave around 6 or 630PM most days. I also don't get 3+ months of vacation / time off per year. The average American teacher will work about 400 fewer hours during the months they teach than other American workers with a college degree. Most American's don't get 1 month of vacation so i will be generous and use that as my standard. That comes out to nearly 800 hours less work per year that a teacher works compared to a standard, college educated worker. Basically we are looking at 35-41 % fewer hours worked per year. I lack sympathy on wages, etc. when you work 35-40% less than me and have substantially less accountability

    July 27, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Alan

      Sirmixalot,

      One thing you forget in your calculations is how much time teachers put in outside normal school hours. My wife who teaches 1st grade puts in more hours over the year than my 40-45 hour/week job. How long do you think it takes to grade 4-5 stacks of homework a night?

      July 27, 2012 at 11:26 am |
      • Kelsey

        @Alan: your wife also doesn't work as a teach in June/July/August, has a week off at Christmas, a week off in March and several PD days. So the fact that she has some weeks where she works more than 40 hours not only puts her on par with the rest of us, but more than makes up for all of the time off she gets.

        July 27, 2012 at 11:34 am |
      • GREGORY

        I have to say no teacher can whine about how much time they spend working in the classroom and at night. Remember they chose that career and if they didn't know that going into their choice then they didn't do their "homework". Too many kids think teaching is "glamorous" because that is the environment they grew up in for 12 years. Little do they know the real facts of being a teacher.

        July 27, 2012 at 11:34 am |
      • L. Asian

        Alan,

        and you forgetting your wife 3 months of summer vacation!

        July 27, 2012 at 11:35 am |
      • sirmixalotalotalot

        @Alan....I put in more time than your wife every night....I wake up and usually do 45 minutes of work before I get to the office and end up doing at least 2 hours of work a night after I leave. Most American's do the same if you are in business. Teachers always reference things that the rest of us just do naturally because we want to succeed or get ahead. In my office, I can't think of a single person I work with that puts in less than 12 hours a day

        July 27, 2012 at 11:37 am |
      • George

        Alan. Grading 1st garde papers takes sooooo long. Bull !! Anyway, do that during recess, etc. Teachers have hijacked this country about their salaries and their annual work schedule.

        July 27, 2012 at 11:37 am |
      • Ann

        Are you sure she's actually putting in MORE hours? With at least one holiday each month and several weeks off during Christmas and one week off for Spring Break, at 7 hours a day (including lunch break...so teachers actually work less than 7 hours each day). Sure, some teachers spend time after school grading papers and whatnot, but I hardly think that extra time adds up to more hours per year than a person who works in an office. If I add up all the hours my sister, who is a teacher, works...it is far, far less than the hours I work. I cant take a two month summer vacation and not have it docked outof my pay...

        July 27, 2012 at 11:39 am |
      • bb

        Alan im with you how about all the prep work they do??? How about the nights they take on school activities. If people cant afford or raise thier children they shouldnt have them

        July 27, 2012 at 11:40 am |
      • Alan

        Kelsey & others

        Even working 9 months out of the year, she puts in more hours than I do in a full year. And just because they have 3 months off doesn't mean that everything is shut down and starts right back up the day school starts. Just yesterday she is in her class room moving furniture, putting up new bulletin boards, setting up items for when she gets her class list and so on. Remember, all this is during her "vacation" time. I guarantee she'll put in at least 80 hours of work over the month during her vacation.

        For those of you in business, how much prep time do you put into an hour long meeting? Just think of all the prep time that goes into a 7 hour long meeting that changes each and every day.

        July 27, 2012 at 11:50 am |
      • mistercarlson1

        amen, bro. i'm a teacher, too.

        July 27, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • bb

      why keep having kids if you cant raise yours school is to learn not baby sit u deffinatley part of the problem

      July 27, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • George

      AMEN !!!

      July 27, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • lc524

      Teachers work a lot more than 7 hours a day. This is part of the problem with how teachers are viewed in the US. People assume that only classroom time counts as time worked. It does not. The 7 hours refers to classroom time. In addition to that, they also spend ~4 hours a day (sometimes more) and time on weekends (another 10-15 hours) preparing lessons, activities, and grading homework, papers, etc. On average, it takes 2-3 of preparation for every hour spent in the classroom. So teachers do not work less than most workers – they actually work a lot more. The average worker who works 40 hours a week, works a total of 2000 hours a year (if he/she has two weeks of vacation). The average teacher works between 2500-3000 hours a year for significantly lower pay. And they have a very difficult job – it takes a special kind of person to keep 35 11 year olds focused and learning for 5-7 hours a day. Teachers need our support and respect – without your teachers you would not have been able to write your post. I don't teach k-12, but I have a lot of friends who do, and they work more and harder than anyone I know who is not the educational field.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:34 am |
      • sirmixalotalotalot

        @lc524.....so does every other American with a college degree. So your 3+ hours less in the office than us means you work 3+ hours less if count your after hours work. FYI....when school ends at 3PM, your after hours work can be done by 6PM at the latest. My 3 hours of work after the office doesn't start until I leave the office at 630PM.

        July 27, 2012 at 11:39 am |
      • Dave

        Good teachers are hard to find. I'm thankful that my family moved my last year of high school and I had one good year of teachers to help prepare me for college. I never realized how important good teachers are, especially in math, english, and sciences.

        July 27, 2012 at 11:57 am |
      • Andrew

        I love how all the people who say teaching is so easy have never supervised children in their lives. It isn't just hours per day for teachers. It is minutes per hour.

        If you work an office job, you don't have 30 people "in your face" every minute of every day. In an office job you can get up from your desk and go to the bathroom when you want to. In teaching you are lucky if you get to go once daily. I'll put the average hour of teaching up against the average hour for air traffic control at LAX.

        Most office jobs I know of have a half hour or hour for lunch. Teachers in my district average 8 minutes (not exaggerating) without someone needing something. As for prep time, the average of 2-3 hours work for one hour of class time is pretty accurate when you consider we have to evaluate the lessons both before and after they occur as well as evaluating the students. An average work day starts with 7 AM to 5 with no lunch break other than that 8 minutes, and often we are supervising activities at nights and on weekends. That does not count grading time.

        As for all those supposed days off, we have 195 contract days in a year, but that doesn't mean we are working only 195 days in a year. Teachers are at school on average one weekend day every other week, if not more. All of those classes and certifications are expected to be completed on our own time in order to keep our license and certifications (they are different and both are required), not to mention school events in the summer where teachers are expected to help organize and supervise.

        360 days (5 federal holidays – incidentally Christmas, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving (2 days) ) in a year:

        104 weekend days in a year. Teachers are at school regularly for weekend events. Lets say that is only one day every other weekend, so 26, so add 26 to 195 making 221 days worked.

        Now count at least three weeks of classes and school activities (15 -and I am estimating conservatively) added during the summers and we are up to 236 days. (No, the school doesn't close down in the summer and who do you think runs all those events?)

        This doesn't even count all of the evening activities and extra time spent grading at home.

        Take those 360 days – 104 weekend days for a "normal" person and you get 256 days, not counting any vacation time a "normal person" gets. Lets say that is only one week a year. Some have none, some have much more. That makes 251 days for you "hard workers."

        So you're right I guess. Teachers work an average of 15 days per year less than "normal" people, even though that STILL only counts physical "in the building" time and doesn't include grading time. That sounds like a cushy job (I guess??) until you realize that we are paid for 56 days LESS than those workers. "Not counting grading time," says the parrot on my shoulder.

        But go ahead people, keep assuming we don't even have to be in the building for anything other than that 6.5 hours of instructional time for those 180 days of school. That way it is easier to hate on a group of people who just want to help their students and community.

        Anyone who seriously thinks teacher pay and pensions are what brought this financial collapse needs to go back to Econ class.

        "Remember when teachers, public employees, Planned Parenthood, NPR and PBS crashed the stock market, wiped out half of our 401Ks, took trillions in TARP money, spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico, gave themselves billions in bonuses, and paid no taxes?

        Yeah, me neither."

        July 27, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Stephanie

      Hello! Just a friendly note about teachers' hours. My mother-in-law had a career in education for 25 years. A teacher's work doesn't begin and end in the classroom. A teacher also has to prepare lesson plans, design tests, review homework, read and grade papers and tests. Teachers have to do this after school's out. And those teachers who are coaching after-school sports or in charge of all the extracurricular clubs can't start all of this until after dinner. My mother-in-law worked late hours everyday, much longer than my 9 to 5 job. She easily worked 12 to 14 hour days, plus all the housework, grocery shopping, cooking, and still managed to raise a great son!

      July 27, 2012 at 11:35 am |
      • sirmixalotalotalot

        @Stephanie....raising kids, shopping, etc. is not "work" like we are discussing...If you have a family its part of the package....I have 2 toddlers and a 3rd on the way....daily routine includes bath time, cooking dinner, cleaning up after dinner, story time, rough housing since they are boys, spot trips to the store for milk, etc., laundry, etc. etc. That isn't my job. My mother was a teacher...My sister and brother are teachers....2 aunt's of mine were teachers...my mother in law was a teacher.....my father in law was a part time professor at a university....I know what teachers do and the hours they work better than most.

        July 27, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Teach

      Sirmix: please become a teacher. You will see that none of us work only 7 hours a day. For most, it's 10 hours at a minimum.

      Longer school days? Perhaps. What we need is a longer school year. American students cannot compete with other students around the world going to school less than 180 days a year.

      If those who are criticizing teachers think the job is so easy...become a teacher! A nice 37 K a year job awaits you! 33 kids per class! Budget cuts abound! Join us!

      July 27, 2012 at 11:36 am |
      • George

        Did someone FORCE you to become a teacher. poor baby??? You haven't a clue as to the real world of work. I cannot even imagine 3-4 months off each year in my job.

        July 27, 2012 at 11:44 am |
      • sirmixalotalotalot

        @Teach....I am in the office longer than your time in the classroom / on site at the school and your after hours time. Plus your after hours time ends or can end before I leave my office. The usual office time for most American's with a college degree is roughly 9-6 required hours. That is required and the minimum for most because most do not work 9-5 anymore. I am in the office 8-630 and that is typical of all my coworkers. I also usually add at least 2 and usually 3 hours or so of outside the office work. Like I mentioned before...the average teacher will put in at least 2 fewer hours a day than most American workers. Add in the summer vacations, etc. and the hours are about 35-40% fewer per year. Don't get me wrong....teachers deal with a lot of crap....i hate teenagers....I fear when my boys are teenagers....but the unmistakable fact is teachers don't work that many hours compared to the rest of American's where a college degree is required...

        July 27, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Teacher

      To the people who say "Oh seven hours a day and three months off, you lazy teachers." If anyone thinks any teacher works just the hours they're at the school then they know as little about teaching as I do about the Mathematics of Quantum Neutrino Fields.
      I also liked the line about " If a kid goes to the dentist, do the parents blame the dentist if the kid didn't brush and has cavities? So why do teachers get blamed when kids don't do home work and get failing grades?"

      July 27, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Dave

      7 Hour days, in the office. This doesn't include time checking homework at home, preparing teaching plans at home, dealing with communications at home, ect....
      Having the summer "off" is a great benefit of being a teacher, but during the school year it's tough work, don't judge based on only instructional hours.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • really?

      Sir M., do you know any teachers personally? From what you have written, it doesn't seem like it.
      I have several relatives who are teachers and one thing I know is that they already put in WAY more time working in the classroom and at home preparing for lessons, grading papers, tutoring kids, etc. than they get paid for. And yes, they are college educated, but my relatives also have to earn more college level credits every 5 years to keep their certificates valid–credits that they pay for themselves. It is also true that they get summers off from teaching everyday, but one of my relatives works a second job during the summer to make ends meet and the others ALWAYS have classes to take or lessons to plan for the next year. It isn't like it is time completely off for many teachers. Also, something that you may not know is that teachers aren't paid for the summers off. Teachers are contracted for generally 180 days of teaching and that's what they get paid for. Most teachers have that pay spread out across the 12 months of the year, so they get money during the summer, but it is money earned during those 180 days, not a paid vacation. Really none of the vacations that teachers get are paid ones. This is one of the reasons that teachers are paid less than many other professions which require college degrees.
      If Chicago was expecting that teachers would voluntarily add more time to their day without compensation, I can totally understand why those teachers would be resistant. Would you calmly accept an hour or even half an hour more of uncompensated work every day, especially if it resulted in even more work you needed to do outside of the paid workday to prepare and evaluate? I doubt it. And even if it was compensated, the stress of adding additional work is not always worth the probably small amount of extra pay.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Jordan

      1. The majority of teachers are still working a few hours after students have left schools. With the cut in budgets leading to schools cramming more teaching/activities into a shorter day and causing teachers to take on more roles outside of their classroom, teachers have less prep time and have to do this after school or in the evening after work.
      2. Teachers may get a long break, but their pay reflects this.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • lpjart

      Sirmixalot: I grew up with two teachers for parents, and I can tell you your assessment of their workload is vastly incorrect. During the school year, my dad worked non-stop. He wasn't just working when students were physically in his classroom–he had to come up with lesson plans before hand, grade papers afterwards, plan worksheets, activities, and tests... For nine to ten months out of the year, my dad was ALWAYS working, and if he wasn't working on material for his class, he was working a second or third job to help pay the bills. The difference between your job and what a teacher does is your job begins when you clock in and ends when you clock out. A teacher's work goes home with them, follows them on errands, and occupies every moment of their time. To make matters worse, my parents have been out of college for nearly 15 years and they are still buried under student loan debt... What a teacher is paid does not pay for what it costs to become a teacher. The only reason to be a teacher at all is a sense of intense purpose and devotion to the education of our society, but that, quite frankly, wasn't reason enough for me. After a lifetime of watching what my parents went through, I came to a very solid decision that I would never be a teacher myself.

      It is a difficult, arduous, and apparently thankless job, so before you complain about how winy teachers are and how easy their jobs are, maybe you should try actually looking at the REALITY of the situation, rather than the numbers.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Briyana

      So basically you want to increase hours so your kids don't get into trouble? Isn't that your job as a parent to raise them right? Honestly gain some knowledge. You think that you are the only one that works hard and that teacher have it easy. Try having to deal with 40 kids in a classroom and actually giving them a good education. Kids are not how they were in your day, they are a lot worse. And teachers have so many out of the class room hours too. You think they just show up at 7 with out anything planned and leave at the same time as the students? No it doesn't work that way. Teachers have hours of prep they have to do each day, and they also have stacks of homework to grade. Stop being ignorant, because teacher are educating Americas future and that is no easy task.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • your babysitter

      Well you sure do work a lot, we appreciate you letting us raise your children for you.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  87. diana

    Seriously? This is a waste of time and money. I have an answer – move out of Chicago. Do research on the best school districts in your state, and move to one of them.

    The fact that the education system is in the condition it is in is because you are often times paying teachers $50,000-$75,000/year to work for eight months... oh, and at 6-7 hours a day. You have administrators and athletic directors making six figures, and principals of small elementary schools close on their heels.

    At the same time, you have parents who are lazy and those that are not, but many of them are living well above their means so they are looking for any way possible to make their lives easier. Families are fractured, and single parents (male or female) are far too prevalent. I was a young widow, and I can tell you, the well being of my children took a major step backward without the support of both parents - whether they are married or not. It only makes sense that whatever pressures the family is experiencing, so are the schools.

    Common senses needs to make a comeback.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Andy

      Chicago Public Schools have one of the shortest school days in the country already

      July 27, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  88. B. Berry

    As a teacher my work day doesn't end when I leave school. There are a lot of things that I do at home that are school related. I think that adding time to the school day is a good idea as long as it is time that is being used in a productive manner. The teachers need to stay with their students. It is ridiculous to hire other teachers to fill in the time gaps. I worked in a year round school system and feel that would be a good option. Students don't lose as much during the breaks.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:16 am |
  89. Kim

    The school day should be extended 1 hour for all public schools to include teachers. However, they should also do away with homework and use that extra time for preparing for the next day instead of homework. This would save the teachers a lot of time correcting or going over homework too.
    Most kids disregard homework or in a lot of cases the parents have to take additional time after their work days to teach their children what the teachers won't.
    Homework is a thing of the past. It serves no purpose anymore besides making it easier for teachers. Teach in school, that's what they are paid for.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • ES71

      Homework is needed to teach kids how to work and think independently. All private schools have home work, they know what they are doing. As a parent, it is your jobe (yes, after work) to check how your kid is learning. I think one of the reasons today's kid lack critical thinking skills is because they don't get challenging homework.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Joel

      Homework? You do not take any home with you for your job. Give me a break. Homework is fundamental for children to perform at home. It is about personal repsonsibility and developing a stronger work ehtic. Not to mention it is not about making a teacher's job easier, there will never be such a thing as easier for teachers. Education has never been in need of greater efforts by all in this country.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Engineer

      I am going to assume that you either a) Didn't go to college b) Got a liberal arts degree or c) Are 12 years old. Doing away with homework is a terrible idea. Do you really think that it serves no purpose? Just a heads up if you want your child to get a degree that's worth more than the paper that it's printed on then they're going to have to get used to doing homework. If the first time a kid has homework is college then they are going to be gone in a semester or two. This is the problem with kids these days is that if there is anything difficult in their lives it is just done away with by overbearing parents. Do your kids a favor people and make them solve their own problems occasionally.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  90. Erica

    @Smalltown – you work 8 hours. Teachers are INSTRUCTING 7 hours a day, then they spend another couple of hours a day grading papers, preparing lesson plans for the next day, making copies, calling / meeting with parents, etc. I was a certified teacher a few years back, and I promise you, I LOVE my 8 hour job, 12 months a year – it's a cakewalk compared to what teachers do every day, even considering a three month break.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • diana

      I've heard this argument before - and NO WAY does your "home" work make up for having off 3 months in the summer, a week in the spring, on average two weeks at the holidays, pretty outstanding benefits and accruing personal/sick days.

      Do you really think that most of us that have an 8 hour job get off on time? I'm on salary, which means that when I work over (usually 3-4 days a week), I don't get paid. I have a great job, but even with it, I get two weeks off... A YEAR. Do you have any idea how many people spend countless hours working on projects after hours, traveling and spending countless hours in airports... the list goes on. Teachers get out of school at 2:30 and work until 5.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:26 am |
      • bb

        if you cant raise them dont have any, if cant handle the heat get out of the kitchen . Why should i pay for your kids? the school is to learn, not baby sit kids you shouldnt have

        July 27, 2012 at 11:36 am |
      • Really?

        Most corporate people get OVERTIME for their extras, bonuses for excellent work and the opportunity to get rich. Wont EVER happen in teaching. Thank god most do go into it for the money.

        July 27, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
      • Andrew

        Wow Diana – you get to speak for all teachers, too. Funny how many of you there are on these boards.

        I'll speak for you, then. Everything you said is untrue, even the stuff about your own job. Sound fair?

        July 27, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  91. Heather

    I have attended private, parochial, and public schools, both in the US and abroad. My mother is a teacher and I have grown up with teachers and administrators in my life both in the classroom and as family friends. I support a longer school day and even year-round schooling. The current school year was set up at a time when farming was a major way of life for most families and children were needed during the summer months. This half-day of school – 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – is pathetic and barely gives time for any real learning to be accomplished.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Booo

      You want the year around school year. People complain about taxes now. Education is constantly getting cut from state budgets. Are we prepared to pay for full round school? I am since I live near some of the best public schools in the country and the thought of having to eventually pay hundreds of dollars A WEEK for summer camps - plus extra fo evenings since neither my husband nor me are finished work at 3pm - one day (I have a toddler) makes me feel sick to my stomach.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  92. Dr. Adam

    As a teacher educator/researcher who has read the extant literature, I can tell you that extended school days are very effective IF the students are challenged, mentored, and supported. If it's nothing more than study hall, I would expect marginal to no increase in student academic success. Additionally, it appears this does nothing regarding the large amount of time students have off during the summer months. Two to three months off in the summer is what is really hurting knowledge retention (especially among lower socio. status students).

    July 27, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  93. ES71

    I think school day is already too long. WHat is needed is extended after school care for kids whose parents work, it doesn't need to be free either for those of us who can pay. But it would be nice for the kids to be able to stay there and get help with finishing their homework instead of being shuttled to a regular day care where they are being watched over but don't do anything. I'd rather pay 500 a month to school than to an unqualified daycare.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  94. David Budd

    I know its the in thing to rag on teachers, but just because they arent spending more time in the class, doesnt mean they arent working. I was raised by a teacher and my mother spends way more than 8 hours a day working. She preps for class and grades papers and works on her lessons. They have plenty to do, they need down time between...ridiculous to expect them to be on their feet for 8 hour days (not that others dont do that in their field, but teachers are also actively engaged in teaching itself, i cant think of another profession that requires you to be physically active by moving around, while intellectually engaged and dealing with children...who are frequently misbehaving)

    July 27, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • awes

      they work 5 days a week, no holidays, 3 months off, poor teachers

      July 27, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  95. Janet

    If the longer school results in time on task this will be a good thing. Students will have more time to learn and practice what they are learning. Also this time could be used for application of what is being learned. The key is the time must be spent with children engaged in reading, writing, math, etc.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  96. BA

    So, lets get this straight. Instead of making the teachers that are already on the payroll work another half hour, the answer to the problem was to hire more teachers into a school system that can't already pay for the ones they had. Add to that the fact that all these new teachers will get pensions that can't be paid for and benefits that can't be paid for and will soon need raises that can't be paid for. Nice. I;m sure there's another nice tax hike coming soon to Chicago property holders. This kind of spend first, figure it out later spending is pathetic.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  97. USAteacher

    This is the silliest thing I've heard yet. Why not flex teacher times so that the extended day coverage needs could be met mostly with existing teachers. It's great for the teachers being hired, but not the most financially responsible option.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:03 am |
  98. Smalltown

    I work at least 8 hours on a normal day and sometimes even longer if I'm on a project. I also work all twelve months of the year. I wish my employer could hire someone to "fill in the gaps" for me. The article doesn't mention how much time the teachers get each day for lunch / breaks / class prep.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • funkylovemonkey

      Class prep is work. In fact most teachers I know work two to three hours out of class grading papers and preparing for the next day in addition to any prep time they get. I don't know why only the time with students would count as "work" since one of the major differences between a good teacher and a bad teacher is how prepared they are for the class before it even starts. That isn't something that magically occurs, it happens because of preparation and hard work the day before. You may think that a teacher just gets up and wings it all day, but most do not, even the ones who have been teaching the same thing for years and years.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • no

      Sorry but CPS teachers don't get breaks, and the "gaps" are the prep time. All lesson planning and grading are done at home. The 7 hours are bell to bell, do you really think that teachers walk in the door and leave ate the bells. Teachers work 10 months and the they get 10 months pay.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Ms. A.

      Speaking as a teacher, it really disturbs me when the public makes statements it has no clue about. What breaks do you speak of? Sometimes we are asked to give up our lunch breaks for the 'greater good' of the school (i.e. they won't hire subs when teachers are out) Preps are often canceled. All this on a $25K salary and that is for a 9 hour day! Some people are are so judgmental when they are in complete ignorance of what the situation actually may be for most teachers. There are so many beginning teachers out there looking for work after having spent so much money to go to university and are being told they are starting you at 24K is outrageous. It's not ok for us to complain, but I can bet some of the same people who sit around posting about this are making twice what we are and would flip out if they were in the same situation.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:20 am |
      • teacher supporter

        In my school district (Michigan) the teachers kids qualify for free lunches and their parents qualify for food stamps – while they are trying to pay back student loans.

        July 27, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • tdogg

      @smalltown: It also doesn't mention how much time is spent preparing for the day. Don't forget about grading papers and preparing for upcoming days. Don't forget about staying after school to make phone calls to parents, send emails to parents, and have meetings with parents.

      I'm sure you get no time for lunch. You probably never stop working to have a conversation with a co-worker. How about the time you spend on the internet and Facebook? You probably never call someone to remind them of something that needs done or scheduled? How about when you have to go and get two or three cups of coffee?

      July 27, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • roegb

      So maybe you have to work all 12 months a year, But you probably get paid significantly more than a a teacher (who earns between 35,000 and 55,000 a year depending on experience and what degree they have) , and if not i would guess you are not college educated, and therefor earn less. Teachers are very educated and earn very little considering their education. A doctor goes to school for 8 years (more if specialized) years often have a starting salary of $200,000 (up to 800,000 if specialized), while as a teacher goes to school for 6 years (bachelors and masters degree) and earn a starting salary of $35,000. Doesn't seem fair to me, and although doctors have an important job to do, I don't believe the education of our children is to be taken lightly, and those who take on the task should be compensated significantly better.(100,000-150,000 in my opinion) I would be willing to take the tax hike, you should also know I am not a teacher defending myself, Just a citizen concerned about American children's education.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:29 am |
      • Dave

        If teachers provide 5 hours of instruction a day as this article states, at $35,000 a year (9 month year), tax payers would be paying $38.89 an hour per each instructional hour. Not a bad salary. But $35,000 is on the low end and probably in the mid-south. The 8 years that you refer to for medical doctors is basic medical school. You have to add 1 year for internship and 3-4 years for residency. Ask your doctor how much malpractice insurance costs per day. But I concur with you. Make education a free market enterprise by making privatizing education with a fee for service like medical costs are. Then teachers will make whatever the parents of the students are willing to pay them for their education. People without kids won't have to pay for someone else's kids education. And no, your kids are not my future.

        July 27, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Fedupteacher

      Smalltown, you seem to be in need of a reality lesson. Teachers work their contracted hours during school. We eat lunch when our students do which means that we have approximately 25 to 30 minutes to use the facilities and scarf down a bite while attending to various other activities such as having a quick conversation with administrators or deans, contacting parents, grading papers, or lesson planning; in other words, we can't leave campus for a 2 hour business lunch with colleagues. We do not have breaks in the day unless you count hall duty between class period in secondary. Depending on the school, estimate 4 to 6 minutes of monitoring students as they travel to their respective classes each time, and forgot bathroom breaks since that is what lunch for (and a planning period if you have one). We typically log anywhere from 8 hours or more at school. Planning periods are used for grading, contacting parents, lesson planning, and meetings (much like your entire day). Then we schlep our work home so that after dinner, you know...that time that you may spend with family and friends, we are contacting parents, grading papers, and adjusting lesson plans. That can be anywhere from an additional two to six hours depending on what needs to be done. We have to deal with abusive behaviors from parents and guardians, their children who can do no wrong, and people like you. We do it with a smile because we get the bigger picture. We do not get paid for 12 months of work. We are paid for our work during the school year (approximately 196 days or 9 1/2 months). Most districts offer teachers the choice to receive their salary in 24 paychecks or 20. I assure you the end result is the same since all of the appropriate taxes are removed. Many teachers take second jobs to make ends meet and to supplement the classroom materials they need to get the job done since the general public seems to expect services without a willingness to pay for them at present. Instead of disrespecting the people that devoted their lives to making sure you were capable of working as an adult to earn an income, take the time to thank them for their efforts...their lost time with their families, spending money on you instead of their own family, evaluating your work to help you improve, and being there when you needed them instead of an office where they had a potential to earn more, have more respect, and spend more time with their families.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:33 am |
      • lpjart

        @Fedupteacher - Thank you for all you do. I for one appreciate teachers like you.

        July 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • CA-Teacher

      Smalltown-

      I think the greatest misconception about teachers is that we do not work full-time. We work full-time; we just don't get paid to work full-time. The only official break I get in a school day is a 30 minute lunch break (plus 1 50-minute prep once a week), which includes the time that I am to walk my students down to the cafeteria for lunch. While I would love to take the remaining 20 minutes to sit down with colleagues and eat my lunch, this time is usually spent running around my classroom (lunch in hand) prepping for the second half of the school day. (Although I’ve spent the previous afternoon/evening making the copies and getting everything in order for the lessons, I need to get it accessible so we can get back to work immediately.) My school day with the students ends at 2:45, as does my pay time. However, I still need to prepare for the following day.

      I always say that my job has two shifts. When I’m with my students, I’m WITH my students and responsible for the management and discipline in the classroom, as well as the actual academic learning. I am “performing” for 6 hours. There is no time during that 6 hours of academic time to create my lessons plans, make copies, prep or research any sort of science or art activity that I’d love to fit in so my students still have some fun in their day. After school is the time for this – the 2nd shift.

      Then, there are the weekends. What do I do if I did not get to teach everything that I planned on the week prior? What do I do if my students didn’t understand the math concept I already spent 2 days teaching? I need to spend time recreating my lesson plans to include all that we did not get to do and what we still need to do because we are on a strict timeline. The pressures of testing are real.

      I worked in corporate America for years before going back and getting my teaching credential in my early 30s. Corporate America was fantastic! I made $20k more a year (plus bonuses), still got 3 weeks of vacation/sick time. (That I didn’t have to prepare for. Yes, if you are feeling sick on Tuesday afternoon and are calling a sub for Wednesday, you need to prepare a day’s worth of lesson plans for that sub.) At my office job, if I did not have any work to do, I would just look busy in front of my computer and surf the internet. There is no faking work in a modern day classroom. Not only are my students dependent on me, I have administrators and parents coming in at all times making sure I am working hard for their kids.

      I always liken teaching to a marathon. From the end of August to mid-June, I do not stop. My brain does not shut off and I am always thinking about what I need to do next. Teachers work just as hard as the average American, it’s just consolidated into 10 months. I can’t apologize for July and August, a time that I don’t get paid. I deserve (and desperately need) a break. However, guess what? I am still working! I just met with colleagues yesterday to talk about the next school year. I am going to a training all next week so I can better my practice at teaching reading. Why I do all this? I do this because I have one of the best jobs in the world! I am not going to settle at being a good teacher; I want to be a great teacher. I know that every day I show up, every hug I give and math test I correct matters. It is by far the most challenging, exhausting, frustrating, and rewarding jobs a person can have and I love every minute of it. (Okay, maybe no EVERY minute. I'm human.)

      Smalltown, if you truly believe that teachers “have it easy,” I ask that you do some volunteer work in your local school. Not just for a day, but for a lengthy time so you can truly see all how hard your town’s teacher work. (Who knows, maybe it is different and I should teach in your school district so I can relax a bit.) Better yet, come to my classroom! Due to budget cuts, less resources (including less adults on campus) and class size going up, I desperately need another adult in my classroom to work with those kids who are reading below grade-level or who have various social-emotional needs that I can’t meet because I’m not a license therapist. We would love to have you!

      July 27, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
      • Andrew

        We need to stop referring to June and July as "summer vacation" because that implies teachers are being paid. It SHOULD be called "summer furlough."

        July 27, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • this is unbelievable

      while it does seem as though these teachers from chicago are being unreasonable, i am really sick of reading about people complaining about thier jobs on this message board. guess what sirmix: YOU'RE THE ONE WHINING LIKE A BABY ABOUT YOUR JOB. YOU'RE LUCKY TO HAVE A JOB, AND GOING TO COLLEGE DOESN'T MAKE YOU BETTER THAN ANYONE. IF YOU THINK TEACHING IS SO EASY, GO AND DO IT. Yeah, there are a lot of bad teachers out there, but there are way more awful parents who don't care and want to make excuses and blame people when their kids fail, or turn out to be little brats. It's gotten to the point where people expect teachers to raise their kids for them (toilet training and all), and spend NO TIME with them. Are you really trying to make out like it's bad teachers that are the problem here?

      July 27, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  99. tdogg

    This is not a good idea. As an elementary teacher in Pennsylvania, I would be very much against this. Schools are already being asked to do too much to raise children. I agree that schools are responsible for helping children develop lifelong skills for the future, but the primary responsibility should still remain with the parent. In my area, the schools are required to serve breakfast and lunch. Even if students do not pay their account, they must be able to eat the school breakfast and lunch. Some parents enjoy and support these longer days because that is more time they don't have to be responsible for their child. Remember, I said some, not all. If school districts are serious about extending the amount of educational time in school, then they need to rethink the current schedules. Eliminating breakfast would allow teachers to begin instruction as soon as the students arrive. In my district we have a 35 min. window where approximately 50% of our students are a breakfast. The rest of them are in their classes being "entertained." Districts can add more minutes of instruction to a school day by eliminating wasted time, instead of just increasing the day. Students are already burnt out by the time the bell rings for dismissal. When you're at work, do you really feel productive the last half hour of your shift? Imagine adding another 30 mins. of top of that?

    July 27, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • SillyMan

      @tdogg:

      1. Ensuring the children get a breakfast increases their ability to learn. Good.
      2. Hire some low wage baby-sitters to watch the children at meals. Save the teachers for teaching.
      3. Yes, as a chemist I get a lot done at the end of my shift (I'm usually in overdrive at that point trying to get everything done) and I work 10 hour days (50 h/ week). I used to work 70 h and I was still productive. Try not to lower the bar. It's already on the ground.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:11 am |
      • tdogg

        1. Remember you're an adult, not a child.
        2. Maybe it's a good thing if we let kids be kids.
        3. I wasn't saying breakfast wasn't important. However, when do we place responsibility back on the parents?

        July 27, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Janet

      Sometimes that breakfast you are so concerned about is one of only two meals a child eats during the entire day. For poor children it is a godsend and ALLOWS them to learn. My mother was a teacher and I cannot tell you how many lunches we packed at our home for her to quietly slip to kids she had noticed never ate lunch....LITTLE KIDS.
      Schools have cut programs to the bare bones, there is sometimes no music, no art, no PE. Minds learn when the body and the sences are also stimulated. A longer school day can provide those classes, give kids a decent lunch hour to eat, play and stretch so they CAN concentrate and as someone previously said, give time for application of the basic core classes. Most parents work 8 to 5, It stands to reason the shool day should match that schedule. The world has changed. I don't find the summer vacation schedule to be a problem for my kids but everyone is different. We use the time to visit museams, travel, read LOT's of books, raft and hike and let our kids hang out and play in trees. It's good for them but we PARENT. I am not sure the longer school days would actually use the time for real enrichment and teaching. Kids are not mini adults, done right a real joy of learning could be achieved. Done wrong and you will have a lot of kids really hating school, turning off and dropping out.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:26 am |
      • roegb

        I dont think it should be schools responsibility to feed children, There are welfare programs that make it easy for kids to have food, Including food stamps, and here in Wisconsin W.I.C. all that is needed is for the parents to apply for it if they cant afford food, But are society is so pathetic, many parents not only cant feed their children(not always the parents fault bad things happen and finding a job is tough) but are even to lazy to apply for welfare (always the parents fault there is no excuse for children to go hungry in American)

        July 27, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Anonymous010

      I agree. It's a half-baked plan that won't provide any significant boost to education for the students and will add millions in cost to the state budget. It's a lose-lose.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Everyman

      Toggle, I am guessing your school day is longer than the 5 hour 45 minute school day in Chicago. So maybe asking for the teachers in Chicago to work a little longer isn't asking as much as you might think.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Mike

      At some point, we have to realise that not every parent takes their responsibilities seriously, and the consequences fall upon society to deal with. Parents who are concerned for the well-being of their children will take the time to suppliment whatever education the children receive at school, but we must ensure that the children receive at least some minimum level of life skills education from school to make up for those parents who are *not* concerned for the well-being of their children. I'm not saying the school should take away the right of parents to raise their children, but I think it's important that something be done for the children whose parents are not interested in properly raising them. The consequences of not doing so include increased risk of cyclical poverty, which causes the child, and that child's eventual children, to be a financial burden on the rest of society.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  100. M.Jet

    Hmm, I go to school for 8 1/2 hours and I'm in high school as well.. I have no sympathy but i'm sure that sucks for them not being used to it.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:00 am |
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