The Chicago Teachers Union on Tuesday accused Mayor Daley’s handpicked school team of hiring “baby sitters” to provide “education on the cheap” — online, after-school classes in reading and math that will extend one of the nation’s shortest school days for 5,500 students.
“When the kids are tired and they want to go home and they don’t want to do this any more, what happens? I’m a little concerned about how this plays out over an entire year,” said union president Karen Lewis.
At a news conference at Walsh Elementary School, 2015 S. Peoria, Daley acknowledged that “some parents and teachers will not support” his efforts to use computerized learning to extend the school day.
But he argued that an extra 90 minutes a day would add up to 255 more hours a year. That’s a 25 percent increase in a school day that pales by comparison to other major cities, he said.
“This is all about children and not about adults. . . . Education doesn’t end at 2:45” p.m., the mayor said.
Schools CEO Ron Huberman added, “All of our efforts to expand the school day with the traditional work force were, unfortunately, rejected. This has been the mayor’s push to say, ‘Despite constraints, we must find a way to do this.’ “
Virtual learning is an important and desirable part of the K-12 world.