Klonsky on Lab School’s short school day/year

You don’t want to miss Mike Klonsky’s reportage on a facet of the longer school day/year debate that has so far escaped Chicago’s mainstream press: the fact that Mayor Emanuel’s children attend a school with the same hours in the school day and fewer days in the school year than Chicago’s.

So, is the Mayor giving his kids “the shaft” by choosing to send them to the elite University of Chicago Lab School???

Talk about a scandal.

Here’s what Mike learned just by picking up the phone:

What I found out was that Lab has a school day comparable to CPS. It’s school year is actually a week shorter than CPS’ and Lab kids and families enjoy longer vacations and spring and winter breaks together. Not only that, Lab dismisses kids an hour early two days a week so that teachers have time to meet, plan and collaborate. Not only that, but the Lab school day is packed with arts, music and phys ed, rather than Rahm’s favorite subject — test prep. Not only that, but Lab teachers have an hour for lunch. Wow!

Like Mike (and I always aspire to that standard) I think a longer day is a good idea as long as it’s filled with high-quality programs and the staff are compensated fairly for their work.

Here’s hoping that the Rahmfather will spend some time as a room father at Lab and find out at least some of the important things that may be missing in the schools he hopes to improve.

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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.