For the first time since 1987, the Chicago Public School system has virtually come to a halt. And there’s not a snowflake in sight. With over 350,000 students out of school and 30,000 teachers on the picket line, the third largest public school system in the U.S. is in an educational crisis. As a former CPS teacher and guidance counselor, I can truly empathize with the difficult situation that schools, teachers, parents and especially students are facing in this historic strike.
It is somewhat ironic that the extended school day partially contributed to the current situation of NO school days. Although Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) came up with an agreement on the extended school day back in July, precious time was spent on that sticking point. For every day that schools are not in operation, the students are losing over 7 hours of education. In just three days, that has negated over 20 hours or about four weeks of the extended time. If the strike continues for 16 more days (the length of the last strike), that would be over 130 hours of class time lost and half of the year’s extended time gone.
Although CPS has 147 Children First sites set up around the city to provide students with a place to go, only 18,000 students are attending the non-instructional program. Where are the other 330,000 students, and what are they doing? While I’m sure there are students who are trying to make the most of this time by working on college applications and essays, applying for scholarships or getting a jumpstart on their AP reading, I would guess there are many others who are quickly losing motivation to do anything productive. And what about the elementary and middle school students? Unfortunately, when children are bored they often turn to the computer and television for entertainment. Tutoring companies can offer a more productive alternative.
For parents who are concerned about their children falling behind, tutoring companies such as Chicago Academic can help keep your children intellectually stimulated and productive during this challenging time. Whether you have a senior in high school who needs help with college essays, a junior who would like to get a jumpstart on ACT preparation or even a first grader who is struggling with reading, we have tutors who are eager to help families make the best of a difficult and uncertain situation.