Emanuel’s pride and joy is the new mandate that he and his schools chief, Jean-Claude Brizard, pushed through for next year to have the school day for Chicago’s 400,000 students extended by 90 minutes and the school year by about a week. The teachers’ union leadership has accepted that this will happen but wants more say on how to use the time — and more money. Parents are thrilled, but it will clearly require more talks with the union.
Of all stupid ideas, the idea that we can improve school by making kids spend more time there is one of the worst. Kids already spend too much time at school, much of it wasted. If "parents are thrilled", as Friedman claims, it can only be because it solves some of their day care problems.
I liked this comment, from "nina":
Hogwash! We have one of the worst public school systems in the country, hence, our children are woefully unprepared. Very many of our teachers here are unequipped to handle the very bright students as well as the really behind students. The really smart ones get bored; the ones who need real help get social promotions. It is just a mess. All of the teachers lack adequate supplies (so many schools don't send textbooks home it's a shame; even in classrooms, there are often not enough books for classwork) and many of their buildings are in need of repair. So many teachers are untrained in real-world pedagogy, so a longer day just gives students more time to suffer in the classroom. Many teachers don't do an adequate job with the time they already have, so the solution is NOT to give them even more time in the day.
... I spent so much time educating my own child during k-8 that I am tired (she may as well have been home-schooled)--parents should SUPPLEMENT the training kids get at school, not the other way around! The paltry few great teachers we do have still have to work miracles without proper resources.