Raise Your Hand told a town hall meeting that its survey of parents found broad support for a longer school day.
The group, self-described as a coalition of parents, educators and citizens working towards improving public education, conducted the survey through a voluntary online form. 1,200 responses were tabulated. RYH says each was reviewed by volunteers in the organization.
The informal survey was unable to suggest a broad agreement on use for the longer day, with some participants suggesting ‘enrichment time’, other suggesting greater emphasis on art, music and other subjects, according to the survey.
The town hall style meeting at Coonley Elementary School was attended by about 100 people.
RYH noted the group’s involvement in the mayor’s committee to extend the school day and took aim at the Chicago Teachers Union for not sending representatives to the committee.
The group has taken a stand on state support for primary education and appears to be maneuvering toward support of a longer school day with the survey.
The survey was not scientific and shouldn’t be understood that way. The respondents included friends of the RYH according to comments speakers on the RYH board. In short, the survey probably represented those predisposed to support longer school day.
RYH claims to include members from 500 Chicago Public Schools. The group claims to be responsible for over 150,000 emails sent to Illinois legislators “which played a critical role in halting a $1.3 billion budget cut;” successfully advocating for the return of $200 million in surplus Tax Increment Financing money to the Chicago Public Schools; and advocating for 8,000 CPS students receiving recess.
Ravenswood is a center of RYH strength, with several of the nine-board members children attending Bell, Coonley and Waters schools.