West Side faith leaders and parents join the call for longer school year

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Parents, and faith and community leaders from the West Side will hold a press conference today at 11 a.m. at Jacob Beidler Elementary School, 3151 W. Walnut St., to call on key decision makers to support lengthening the school day and school year and increasing accountability in schools across CPS.

Leaders, along with former Beidler Local School Council President Betty Sharod and CPS parents, will call on everyone – parents, teachers, administrators, community members and elected officials – to make necessary sacrifices for Chicago’s children.

There are more than 50 failing schools on the West Side alone. Everyone needs to come together to bring positive change to the Westside and across all CPS school, press conference organizers say.

“Our children need longer schools days so they can spend more time in class focused on improving in reading, math and science,” Pastor Michael Stinson, president of Save Our Schools Coalition, said in a written statement.

“Studies show children who spend more time in class are more likely to improve scores on state exams and graduate,” Stinson said. “Today some students are released earlier than 2 p.m. and waste the rest of the day. With so many failing schools and struggling students, it just doesn’t make sense.”

Jeanette Farmer, a parent at Biedler Elementary, added: “Chicago children deserve the same opportunities as every other child in America. We need to fix a broken system so everyone is held accountable to our children. Our neighborhood has been stuck with bad teachers and failing schools for too long. It’s time CPS did something about it and lengthening the school day and school year is a good start.”

Today’s press conference follows a similar event the group held Monday on the South Side.


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