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Update on Longer Days in Chicago

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is heading to Chicago today to talk to the country's third largest district about its plans to lengthen the day/school year, which he supports. Duncan, who served as the city's school chief for seven years, said he was excited about the plans to extend the calendar and wished he had been able to do so when he led the Chicago district, according to a Chicago Tribune article out today.

"We were unsuccessful (in pushing for a longer school day), and it was one of my big regrets," the Tribune reports Duncan stating. He also called Chicago's short days a "disgrace."

The new proposals would lengthen the school calendar by 90 minutes per day and two weeks to the year at all schools by 2012-13. In the past week, the district has come under fire from the local teachers' union for offering incentives to elementary schools that shifted to a longer schedule this year.

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