CHICAGO (CN) – The Chicago Teachers Union criticized a decision by its teachers at three public schools to add 90 minutes to their school day this year.
Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey told The Associated Press that the decision had nothing to do with improving education.
He accused the Chicago Board of Education of using “pressure, coercion and bribing” and called the reforms supported by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the schools’ CEO Jean-Claude Brizard “political football school reform at its worst.”
Supporters claim the move would help Chicago’s struggling public school system bridge the gap between it and its counterparts. The new school day for students would begin at 8 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m.
Chicago Public Schools says 60 percent of its elementary schools offer just 5.14 hours of classroom instruction a day, one of the shortest school days in the country, according to the Chicago Tribune.