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posted: 2/24/2014 5:00 AM

'Early release' is at expense of D15 kids

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In a Feb. 13 article, District 15 Superintendent Scott Thompson and teachers union President Lisa Nuss were each quoted as saying how well the first week of Friday early release had gone, and that the students and families in the district were adjusting to their new schedules.

They said that during the first Friday afternoon session, the teachers learned to use iPads in their classrooms. They made it sound like a real win-win proposition for everyone. How nice.

But the real story is that our kids are being cheated out of a full class period of instruction time every week because the teachers of CCSD 15 can't use the numerous teacher plan days and teacher institute days, not to mention their 6-8 weeks off during the summer months, to pursue enrichment activities, such as learning to use iPads in the classroom.

I am not saying that professional enrichment is not a valuable pursuit, but not when you take an already struggling population of students and reduce instruction time so dramatically. Over time, this has got to further denigrate the academic performance and college readiness of the students of District 15, which is already below average.

The proof is in the pudding when our kids go to high school and college and haven't mastered the necessary academic skills to compete on a broader scale. It leaves me wondering how long this administration will continue to undermine our kids' education for the sake of their own professional enrichment.

Sandy Wiles


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