BREAKING NEWS: Rahm backs off 7.5 hour day

Mayor Emanuel announced today that the new longer school day will be 7 hours, not 7.5. Though not the 6.5 hours that many parents have been asking for, this is clearly a major victory for the newly-formed coalition, Chicago Parents for Quality Education (of which PURE is a member) which started a petition drive against the 7.5 hour day and held a press conference just yesterday to express parents’ opposition to the Mayor’s proposal, which started as a campaign slogan last spring.

Kudos to all the organizers, especially Wendy Kattan and Jonathan Goldman, who have pulled together an impressive, diverse collection of parent and community groups who have had their fill of the arrogant, unresponsive, irresponsible school board and administration. The group did their homework by preparing a position paper that soundly refuted the Mayor’s careless misstatements and outright lies about the effectiveness of lengthening the school day and the facts about school day length around the US. They rounded out their position with a strong argument about what a better school day should look like, and made it clear that parents are ready and willing to fight for that vision.

It’s a good day for Chicago parents and families, but the real work of bringing about that better school day is truly just beginning.

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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.