Brizard Sends Letter to CTU; CTU Rejects Brizard

By Soyoung Kwak in News on Oct 2, 2011 4:00PM

2011_6_ctu_logo.jpg Last week, we found out that the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools were still at each others throats when it comes to implementing longer school days for students. What's changed since last week? Not much, but CPS is trying to get the CTU cooperating for talks.

On Friday, it was reported that Jean-Claude Brizard sent a letter to the president of the CTU, Karen Lewis, "urging that both sides collaborate in choosing the next 25 schools to implement the longer day next January." Aside from some members of the CTU insisting that they never received a letter from Brizard, the CTU is avoiding any further discussions and negotiations with CPS on the subject of longer school days for now and shrugged off Brizard's invitation for collaboration:

“We’re not convinced the first 13 schools [in the Longer School Day Pioneer pilot] make any sense,’’ said CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey. “This offer is totally absurd. ... We’ve tried to raise substantive and serious questions, and instead of answering those questions, we’ve been invited to pick the next 25 schools.’’

It is likely that the finger-pointing will continue for a while as the fate of Chicago public school students, teachers, and parents is put on hold until Lewis and Brizard can come to some sort of agreement. Of course, the chances of this happening could be one in a billion, but we'll stay optimistic. Why can't everyone just get along?