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Longer Day in Chicago?

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Chicago leaders are considering adding two hours to the school day at 100 troubled elementary schools. And that's not all: To save money, the Chicago plan envisions using "proctors" rather than certified teachers, as well as computerized classes to add those two hours.

The initiative would target 1st through 8th graders—according to one version of the plan, half would attend two hours of computerized math and reading classes before school, and the other half after school.

"Some schools on academic probation could get the program for three to five days a week as early as this September, with more schools added in January. If funding is found and the program is successful, the Extended School Day Initiative eventually could be implemented in all CPS elementary schools, sources" tell the newspaper.

Is this plan a good one? Is it realistic? I don't know, but it certainly does represent some outside-the-box thinking. I'll plan to keep an eye on Chicago to see what happens next.

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