| | From the Chicago Tribune 9/29/02
- Schools in Wilmette (a well off suburb) have 20 minutes more of school a day, compared to Chicago public schools, adding up to 14 more days a school per year, or two extra weeks of school a year, and over five months by 10th grade
- Of the 32 school districts with elementary schools failing to meet the new federal Leave No Children Behind guidelines, almost all had shorter schools days (22 minutes shorter than State averages), higher percentages of students living in poverty (66%), and higher percentages of minority students (80% Black or Hispanic)
- Of the top 10 school districts in the nation, Chicago has the shortest school day:
Broward Co FL
- the Illinois average school day is 6:37 for grade schools, and so Chicago is behind the State average by 1:07. Further, some of these averages include study-hall and home-room, meaning the times given by some schools were not based only on instructional time. The shorter day began as the result of recommendations by the Consortium on Chicago School Research in 1969 due to safety concerns. The Consortium recommended in 1998 that students needed a minimum of 6:00 to 6:40 hours a day to get the minimum of 300 minutes of instructional time in the core subjects. When they recommended this, Paul Vallas was the Schools Chief. He recalls there was some discussion of longer school days; however, they lacked funding to pay for this for all children, and so they opted to pay for after-school programs only for the educationally needy.
- the high school numbers are just as bad. The Illinois State average school day is 6:55, and Chicago's city high schools average 6:14, or 41 minutes shorter.
- the top two schools on the Prairie State Achievement Exams had longer days (Evanston averaging 7:30 and Stevenson High School in Lake County averaging 7:25). The top 20 schools averaged 165 on the PSAE, and 7:08 school days. The lowest 20 schools averaged 151 on the PSAE, and 6:40 school days. Thus, Evanston schools get 2 hours more a day than inner city schools, meaning about three extra years of inner Chicago school days by high school.
Best Scoring Schools
Length of Day
Oak Park and River Forest
Oak Lawn Community
Length of Day
J. Sterling Morton (Cicero)
Chicago (high schools only)
From the Chicago Tribune 11/11/03
This article noted that in the 2001-2002 academic year, 17.6% of high school students in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) dropped out, with the numbers breaking down to 20.3% of African Americans (10,427 students), 15.3% Caucasians, and 15.3% Hispanic. These number come from the State of Illinois, and do not match the Chicago Public School reports exactly, as the State includes 27 alternative school statistics in their estimate that CPS did not. Omitting these 27 schools brings CPS reported overall dropout rate to 14.4%.
While the White and Hispanic rates looks close, you have to take into account the number of students in each group. About 1,600 White students dropped out, but about 5,000 Hispanic students dropped out. Looking further, 25.8% of all black male students drop out.
Reasons noted in the paper for this rate include expulsions or "pushouts," and students who drop out to avoid walking to school through rival gang areas.From the Chicago Tribune 2/26/04 Study: Graduate Rate is Inflated
Matters get worse, as a national study by the federal government revealed the following: