Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard met with Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) today at Skinner North Classical Elementary School to discuss with parents and teachers their implementation of a 90-minute longer school day, as part of the Longer School Day Pioneer Program. They also discussed the value of longer school days in boosting student achievement.
Sen. Bennet, a national leader in education reform and a former superintendent of the Denver Public Schools (DPS), recently co-sponsored the Improving Student Achievement and Engagement through Expanded Learning Act, S.1311. This bill would allow districts like CPS to use their federal 21st Century Learning Center funding for extended learning time rather than solely for after-school activities.
CPS recently launched the Longer School Day Pioneer Program, which supports schools implementing 90 additional minutes of instruction each day. The CPS longer school day focuses on adding core instruction such as math, science and literacy as well as enrichment learning and an adequate recess and lunch break. This year,13 CPS schools have begun or will launch a longer school day. The district plans to implement the additional learning at all of its schools in the 2012-13 school year.
Sens. Kirk and Bennet met with Brizard, teachers and parents to discuss how additional learning time can be used to increase student achievement. Bennet’s reform efforts in Denver have resulted in a 42 percent decline in the DPS dropout rate over five years and a 29 percent increase in college enrollment between 2006-2010.
Currently, CPS is preparing the district for system wide implementation of a longer school day and year in school year 2012-2013.