Chicago Tribune-April 4, 2014
Just hours after the state launched a new, multimillion-dollar teacher licensing system last year, an educator logging in was shocked to find a …
Illinois weighs making students pay to take ACT
(Crystal Lake Northwest Herald © 04/04/2014)
As they juggle school-reform demands with budget cuts, state education officials are considering retaining a traditional college-readiness test for high school juniors but passing the cost along to school districts and possibly the students’ families. The move would be just one cost-cutting possibility after Illinois schools have seen close to $1 billion in cuts since 2009,
Local superintendent likens school funding proposal to Robin Hood
(WJBC AM 1230 Bloomington © 04/04/2014)
District 87 Superintendent Barry Reilly says the proposed change in school funding in Illinois would essentially redistribute state money that schools already receive.
Do Away with the IHSA?
(WICS ABC 20 (Springfield) © 04/04/2014)
A state representative wants to explore if the state could take over the responsibilities and function of the Illinois High
School Association, the non-profit that oversees and organizes high school sports. State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora) is the sponsor of a resolution to have a House committee look into the operations of the IHSA and explore whether the State Board of Education …
Education students raise funds, awareness
(Bradley Scout © 04/04/2014)
Bradley students set out Wednesday to shed some light on the topic of autism. Bradley Student Education Association (BSEA) hosted the campus’ first event as part of the national “Light It Up Blue” campaign in Westlake Hall Wednesday. The event was held in honor of National Autism Awareness Month, April and World Autism Awareness Day, April 2.
Dist. 300 board grants tenure to four teachers; Jan Weinberg to retire
(Du Quoin Evening Call © 04/04/2014)
The Du Quoin Board of Education Thursday night granted tenure to four district teachers …
Neoga to cut 2 teachers
(Effingham Daily News © 04/04/2014)
While the number was nowhere near last years, Neoga school board made more staff cuts Thursday as financial problems for the district persist. The board honorably dismissed two certified teaching staff, voting unanimously to dismiss first grade teacher Toni Mellendorf and kindergarten teacher Jennie Metcalf. The reduction will reduce kindergarten and first grade to two sections. …
District 205: Annual RIF’s approved; 52 employees affected
(Galesburg Register Mail © 04/04/2014)
The District 205 Board of Education on Tuesday approved the dismissal of seven certified staff members, along with 45 support staff as part of the annual Reduction in Force. Teachers’ aides and paraprofessionals account for 36 of the 45 support staff positions. The other cuts included a part-time crossing guard position; a full-time athletic trainer; a part-time energy manager position…
WHEELER: OTHS board robbing Peter to pay Paul
(Streator Times-Press © 04/04/2014)
To the Editor: After reading the recent Times article concerning the responses of Ottawa Township High School Board of Education members to the controversy over the cutting of the building trades program from the OTHS curriculum, it is quite apparent that the vast majority of the current board have become far too comfortable in their use of the Open Meetings Act as a way to shield the community …
Oswego Principal to Switch Schools
(Oswego Patch.com © 04/04/2014)
Old Post Elementary School Principal Jodi Ancel is staying in Oswego School District 308, but she’ll get a new gig starting July 1. Ancel is slated to take over as principal of Lakewood Creek Elementary School in Montgomery. Interim principal Dr. Lisa Smith, who is the district’s Director of Elementary Education, will stay on at the campus until Ancel begins her new role, according to the district….
Time for new buildings in Dixon school district?
(Sterling Sauk Valley News © 04/04/2014)
DIXON –?The strategic planning task force will recommend that the school board develop a plan to address what it calls inadequate schools in the district and hire a consulting firm to help with the process. The recommendation will be given during the next board meeting on Wednesday, in the form of a report summarizing the task force’s 8 months of meetings, building tours and discuss…
District 158 to ban electronic cigarettes on campuses
(Arlington Heights Daily Herald © 04/03/2014)
The days of “The Marlboro Man” might be long gone, yet a new wave of advertising with electronic cigarettes is bringing back the idea that it’s cool to smoke. And teenagers are once again falling for it, say officials at Huntley School District 158 who are considering a ban on electronic cigarettes on campus. The district has seen an increase in students using and possessi…
District looks at working with others
(Champaign WCIA (CBS) 3 © 04/03/2014)
MONTICELLO — School districts across our area are feeling the pinch from the state funding. So one superintendent is reaching out to others to help fill the gap. Monticello’s superintendent, Vic Zimmerman, says he’s preparing for the future in Piatt County. He says it just makes sense to work together. Zimmerman says over the last few years, the state has challenged them to be more efficient. S…
Du Quoin Education Association to award annual $500 scholarship for the 18th time
(Du Quoin Evening Call © 04/03/2014)
The Du Quoin Education Association is awarding a $500 scholarship for the 18th time in t…
Pinckneyville High School to eliminate ag position
(Du Quoin Evening Call © 04/03/2014)
In anticipation of diminished state aid in the coming school year, the Pinckneyville Com…
CPS is gearing up for spring break (safety). Some North Lawndale parents don’t want an AUSL turnaround (which WBEZ describes as privatization). Foundations and school support groups can create $2,000 per kid inequities among schools, says a new report (focusing on CA). Seven parents opted out of the state tests in Philly, reports the City Paper there. The Kalamzoo Promise has spread to 30 cities nationwide, reports Politico.
CPS Program Provides ‘Safe Havens’ for Students During Spring Break DNA Info: Parents with Chicago Public School students will have almost 100 safe locations to send their kids during this year’s spring break, officials announced Thursday.
CPS students can spend spring break off the streets Sun Times: For any of the Chicago Public School students who need a place to spend part of the day — and meals — during the upcoming Spring Break, 100 “Safe Haven” locations will be open to keep children off the streets by themselves, the district announced Thursday.
Prosecutors: Boy, 15, had loaded gun at South Side grade school Chicago Tribune: In a statement, Chicago Public Schools spokesman Joel Hood said Tuesday officials took appropriate safety steps in responding to the incident and that the student will be appropriately disciplined. “CPS will continue to be vigilant around creating …
North Lawndale residents resist further school privatization WBEZ Chicago: Though AUSL schools are privately managed, they still have neighborhood boundaries and unionized teachers. But parent volunteer Rene Jackson said she sees a bigger effort to privatize all the schools in North Lawndale. [WBEZ concurs AUSL = privatization?]
Gresham School Principal Slams Turnaround Plan, Decries Poor Funding DNA Info: Parents trying to stop Walter Gresham Elementary School from becoming a “turnaround” school — essentially ousting most staff — have an in-house ally in their fight: school Principal Diedrus Brown.
Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago, a tale of two cities CNN: Rahm Emanuel is building a Second City. Two cities really, as the “two summers” theme shown in Episode 4 of “Chicagoland” suggests. One white, one black. One for the rich, one for the poor. One for private schools, one for closed schools.
Project to Improve Poor Children’s Intellect Led to Better Health, Data Show NYT: The findings come amid a political push by the Obama administration for government-funded preschool for 4-year-olds. But a growing number of experts, Professor Heckman among them, say they believe that more effective public programs would start far earlier — in infancy, for example, because that is when many of the skills needed to take control of one’s life and become a successful adult are acquired. Via Catalyst.
Is College Really Harder to Get Into Than It Used To Be? Atlantic Education: As it turns out, getting into college actually isn’t any harder than it was a decade ago. It’s just that the odds of admission to your particular college may have decreased.
Why Do Affluent, Well-Educated People Refuse Vaccines? Chicago Magazine: A small, surprising demographic is worried about vaccines. But don’t panic about it, because that’s actually counterproductive.
NewCivil Rights Education Data Shows the Bigger Picture The Chicago Monitor: “This data collection shines a clear, unbiased light on places that are delivering on the promise of an equal education for every child and places where the largest gaps remain,” said U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
Community Members, Including Former Chicago Bull, Unite To Save School … In These Times: … Chicago’s sweeping school reform plan, critics see its continuation as part of the larger efforts of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his appointed school board to privatize many aspects of public education and reduce the power of the Chicago Teachers Union.
Research on Children and Math: Underestimated and Unchallenged NYT: New research suggests that kindergarteners are capable of learning more advanced math concepts than are offered in most classrooms.
New teacher licensing system full of glitches Tribune: During the months ahead, the glitch-prone system that has been compared to the Obama administration’s troubled Affordable Care Act website incorrectly labeled one educator a felon. Others were mistakenly listed as delinquent on child support, which could block them from getting a license, according to records obtained by the Tribune.
Pension Reform Bill Chicago Tonight: The prospects of passing Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s pension reform bill in Springfield this week are getting dimmer. We have the latest details from Chicago Sun-Times Springfield Bureau Chief Dave McKinney. Read Paris Schutz’s story on Potential Property Tax Hike for a breakdown of how the pension proposal would impact homeowners.
CPS, charter school teachers finalists for Golden Apple award Sun Times: More than a dozen Chicago Public Schools teachers and public charter school teachers are finalists for the Golden Apple award.
Noble Network’s ‘The Robot’ Strives to Predict Students’ College Success DNA Info: While the chances of a high school kid getting into college can often feel like a game of luck, one tech whiz has sought to mathematically break down a Noble Network student’s probability of being accepted and succeeding at college with a series of formulas dubbed “The Robot.”
Chicago Public Schools says chicken nuggets in school lunch program are made with chicken nuggets WBEZ Chicago: Yes, you read it correctly: The complete ingredient list for CPS chicken nuggets is two words: “chicken nuggets.” And it took more than a month for CPS Nutrition Support Services to figure this out.
Report: Foundation funding widens the gap between California’s ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ schools KPCC LA: Some Northern California public school foundations are raising additional funds of about $2,000 per student. Researchers say that figure is a significant addition to the roughly $8,000 per student the state gives public schools each year. California’s current level of per pupil spending is the second lowest in the country.
Statewide teacher evaluations won’t be delayed after all MinnPost: By unanimous voice vote, the committee removed the delay and inserted a provision that would direct up to $10 million to pay for evaluations in districts that do not participate in the state’s chief teacher-development program, Q-Comp.
Many Pupils Say 2014 New York Reading Tests Are Easier, but Complaints Persist NYT: This year, by contrast, many students said they were better able to handle the material, in part because teachers knew the types of questions to expect, and also because the state let up a bit, shortening the number of questions on all of the tests, which are given to more than one million third to eighth graders in public and charter schools.
Philadelphia Parents at Two Schools May Choose Charters Or Stay With District Parents and the Public: Charter operators would need parents’ approval before they can takeover two failing Philadelphia public schools in the fall, according to the district’s new charter transformation rules.
D.C. mayoral primary has Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson’s future up in the air Washington Post: “No disaster has happened — not here, at least,” Henderson said in an interview Wednesday shortly after calling her staff together to reassure them that she remains committed to her job and that the election does not change anything — at least not immediately. “We’re still building a world-class education system for children in D.C., and so we’re going to keep doing that.”
Can Free College Save American Cities? Politico: Nearly a decade—and some $50 million—later, the effects of the Kalamazoo Promise experiment in using education as a redevelopment engine are now coming into view. And though stubborn challenges remain, so too is a different Kalamazoo. Eight similar scholarship plans were announced within a year of the Kalamazoo Promise, and today, the tally of plans inspired by the experiment in Southwest Michigan has topped 30 nationwide.
Cheating on standardized tests? State to keep closer watch Seattle Times: On Wednesday, the Inspector General’s office at the U.S. Department of Education joined those urging all states to do such analyses, saying neglecting them would be a “missed opportunity to detect and prevent cheating.” That recommendation was part of an audit of test security in five states: Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, South Carolina and Texas.
For Latino Parents, Bilingual Classrooms Aren’t Just About Language NPR: Parents want their kids to learn a foreign language. The thinking is that a second language will bring significant cultural and economic advantages. But for many Latino parents (and others as well) there is something more at play; namely, it can feel like the family language is at stake.
Common Core emerges as potent election issue for fed-up parents Fox News: U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who faces a primary challenge from four candidates, wasn’t even aware of the Common Core when asked about it at a Republican Party meeting last year. Yet he recently sponsored a Senate resolution that strongly criticized it and called on the Administration to back down.
In the News: CPS reveals little about meal ingredients
WBEZ’s Monica Eng asked Chicago Public Schools to tell her the ingredients that go into students’ meals and she had to filed a Freedom of Information Act to get an answer. So what does go into the chicken nuggets that the district serves? The complete ingredient list for CPS chicken nuggets is two words: “chicken nuggets.” And it took more than a month for CPS Nutrition Support Services to figure this out and get back to her, Eng reports.
GLITCHES PLAGUE TEACHER LICENSING SYSTEM: Hours after the state launched a new, multimillion-dollar teacher licensing system last year, an educator logging in was shocked to find a serious security breach. The glitch-prone system,which has been compared to the Obama administration’s troubled Affordable Care Act website, incorrectly labeled one educator a felon. Others were mistakenly listed as delinquent on child support, which could block them from getting a license, according to records obtained by the Tribune.
IN THE NATION
ANOTHER HIT TO COMMON CORE: The Oklahoma Senate passed a bill that would repeal the Common Core State Standards, moving closer to becoming the second state to officially dump the standards, following the lead of Indiana. (Tulsa World)
COST OF OPTING OUT: Students opting out of New York state tests could cost schools grants and trigger state reviews. (Syracuse.com)
JANITORS MAY GET GUNS: A bill that would allow teachers, janitors or anybody else a principal or superintendent designates to carry concealed weapons on school campuses passed a Florida House committee. (The Palm Beach Post)
EXPANDING CHARTERS IN LOUISIANA: Twenty-two organizations have applied to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to open 34 charter schools in Louisiana in 2015 and beyond. They could substantially increase the number of charters in the Louisiana, which has 117 charter schools already in operation. Fifteen new state charters will open in the fall. (Times-Picayune)
ADJUSTING TO COMMON CORE: Passing rates plummeted when New York State changed its tests to match Common Core curriculum standards, but this year students say they were better prepared to handle the material. (The New York Times)
Illinois House wants new three-year virtual charter school ban
(Chicago Daily Herald © 04/04/2014)
Political Editor SPRINGFIELD — State lawmakers are moving toward a three-year moratorium on virtual charter schools like the one that tried to set up in the Fox Valley last year. The Illinois House Thursday approved a three-year prohibition on new suburban and downstate virtual charter schools. A one-year ban that was put in place last year expired at the beginning of the month.
Vallas: Don’t ask local schools to pay for pensions
(Chicago Daily Herald © 04/04/2014)
Gov. Pat Quinn’s running mate says he doesn’t like the idea of making local school districts pay more of the cost of their teachers’ and administrators’ retirements. The hot-button idea to save the state millions of dollars has lingered in Illinois for a few years now, much to the chagrin of local school officials.
Vallas rips Rauner for wanting to lower income taxes
(Chicago Tribune © 04/03/2014)
Gov. Pat Quinn on Wednesday trotted out his running mate Paul Vallas to hammer Republican challenger Bruce Rauner’s position that the state income tax rate should rolled back, saying doing so would result in huge cuts to education and spikes in local property tax rates. Vallas, the former Chicago Public Schools CEO, contended that lowering the income tax rate would leave at least $1 billion…
Vallas makes first solo campaign speech
(Crains Chicago Business © 04/03/2014)
(AP) The question of which candidate for Illinois governor has a better approach for funding schools took center stage Wednesday as Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn’s running mate called for making permanent a temporary income tax increase to avoid what he called devastating budget cuts to education. Former Chicago Public Schools chief Paul Vallas used his first solo public appearance since winning the …
Madigan politics and the millionaire tax
(Chicago Tribune © 04/04/2014)
Asserting that he wants to raise more money for public schools, House Speaker Michael Madigan is pursuing a state constitutional amendment that would impose an extra tax on Illinois millionaires. He admits that “in a good year” he might be one of them. Madigan has proposed a tax surcharge of 3 percent on any personal income above $1 million. That’s on top of the state’s flat 5 percent rate
Some Democrats took Republican ballots
(Champaign News Gazette © 04/04/2014)
Ginger Roney is correct about “inaccuracies” in my letter about crossover voting of Democrat poll workers to subvert nominating Bruce Rauner. Did scores cross over? That is an estimate. We believe two crossed over in Vermilion County, and there are 112 election authorities. We won’t know the actual number who violated their oath statewide until after the April 7 election certification.
Lawmakers fear they’d be blamed for Chicago tax hike
(Arlington Heights Daily Herald © 04/04/2014)
SPRINGFIELD — A fast-tracked plan to overhaul two Chicago city-pension programs slowed in the Illinois House Thursday, as nervous lawmakers said they fear backlash for a massive property-tax increase even if they don’t directly approve it. House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Chicago Democrat, wanted quick House approval for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan after the mayor said he has agreement with major…
City should have turned to TIFs instead of property tax hikes: study
(Chicago Sun Times © 04/04/2014)
What the City of Chicago spent in each of the last several years on tax-increment financing funding exceeded what it owed in pension costs, so any proposal to raise property taxes to fund pensions should consider TIFs, wrote the authors of a study to be released Friday titled, “Putting Municipal Pension Costs in Context: Chicago.” For 2012 alone, the city owed $385.8 million to its pension funds …
Illinois should change how it taxes people, firms
(Chicago Tribune © 04/04/2014)
Bring on the class war. Only don’t call it that. Call it an overdue discussion about the most critical issues facing the U.S. economy and the democracy that economy supports. And let’s have the discussion here and now — here in Illinois and now at the outset of what looks to be the most divisive governor’s race in memory. This will be no local-yokel mud bath, mind you, because the issues b…
Our View: Rauner should give his own budget address
(Freeport Journal Standard © 04/04/2014)
Its easy to criticize Gov. Pat Quinns broken promises, but its much more difficult to show potential voters what can and/or should be done to right Illinois fiscal ship.Quinn will give his budget address Wednesday a month later than scheduled and there undoubtedly will be difficult and unpopular choices in his spending plan.Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner should seize the opportu…
Emanuel, Madigan pension blitzkrieg stalls
(Chicago Tribune © 04/03/2014)
SPRINGFIELD — Mayor Rahm Emanuel, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton on Wednesday tried to quickly push through a sweeping plan to raise Chicago property taxes and cut city worker retirement benefits, but hit the brakes when they ran into resistance. The rapid rollout strategy was aimed at giving legislators little time to get cold feet and blunting labor unions …
Daley, not Rahm, caused tax increases
(Chicago Sun Times © 04/03/2014)
Don’t blame Rahm for raising our property taxes. Blame Richard M. Daley and his cronies for leaving this mess to Rahm. And blame the unions for not demanding that the City of Chicago maintain the required pension reserves as soon as they dropped below specified levels. It is irresponsible to expect Chicagoans to now pay for their mistakes, unless that was the original intent. Rahm is right about o…
Chicago City Council Roundup: Emanuel Defends Pension Plan, Aldermen Call Mental Health Service Hearings
(Progress Illinois © 04/03/2014)
Just after legislation designed to overhaul two Chicago pension funds was introduced in Springfield Wednesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel defended the controversial reform plan as one in which “everybody gives something so nobody has to give everything.” The mayor’s proposed pension measure, which is currently working its way through the state legislature…
Unions Sound Off On Emanuels Proposed Pension Plan
(Progress Illinois © 04/03/2014)
Some major public sector unions are rejecting Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposed pension overhaul that would hike property taxes in the city by $250 million over a five-year period and increase the amount of money certain employees pay toward their pensions, among other reforms. Under the mayor’s proposal, city employees that are part of the Municipal and Laborers pension …
The Ricketts family is exploring the sale of minority shares of the Chicago Cubs to help finance a stadium renovation. Crain’s Danny Ecker runs down the list of potential investors, which includes some of Chicago’s business elite.
Banco Popular North America has hired a New York firm to manage the sale of its 12-branch footprint in the Chicago area, where it operates as Popular Community Bank, Crain’s reports.
On the heels of an acquisition that makes his Princeton, N.J.-based company a major player in Chicago, NRG Energy CEO David Crane criticized Exelon for its recent calls for help for its financially ailing Illinois nuclear plants. Crain’s has the story.
In a year when the company registered a poor performance by the measures that matter most to shareholders, Exelon’s board awards CEO Christopher Crane a 70 percent raise. It doesn’t add up for Crain’s Joe Cahill. Here’s his take.
Potbelly stock nearly doubled its average trading volume yesterday, when for the first time insiders were able to sell shares they held before the company’s initial public offering. Crain’s has the details.
The big winners of the annual competition sponsored by the Clean Energy Trust include a Champaign-based water purification company that eliminates the need for detergent and hot water in commercial laundries. Crain’s has more.
A group of Milwaukee residents wants to revive part of its history by buying Pabst Brewing from a California executive, in hopes of returning the brand to its birthplace — possibly as a city-owned brewery. The Associated Press explains.
Walgreen says Water Street Healthcare Partners would buy a majority interest in Take Care Employer Solutions, a Walgreen business that manages more than 360 worksite health centers. More from the Wall Street Journal.
Patients may soon get an unprecedented look at how their doctor compares to other physicians, after Medicare announced plans to publicly post billing data for more than 880,000 practitioners. Find the AP story here.
Today’s Cubs home opener launches the centennial celebration for Wrigley Field, one of only two Major League ballparks to reach its 100th birthday. “Watching baseball there, perhaps more than in any other baseball stadium, is about the place. It certainly hasn’t been about winning baseball too often,” writes the Chicago Tribune.
Authorities are desperately searching for signals from MH 370′s data recorder before the battery runs out of power, estimated to happen on Monday, but without any confirmed debris fields for clues, or established flight path, the job is virtually impossible
Secretary of State John Kerry warns the U.S. role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks is “not open-ended” after moves from both sides jolted the negotiations
Springtime sees the seasonal return of severe weather to the Midwest, with tornadoes, heavy rain and baseball-size hailstones hitting the heartland as other parts of the country prepare to warm up after months of snow
The 31-year-old Academy Award winner for 12 Years A Slave lands her first big endorsement as the face of the French luxury brand, saying she’s proud to push the idea that “beauty shouldn’t be dictated,” but rather be “an expression of a woman’s freedom to be herself”
The U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Office has begun to investigate whether the university violated Title IX laws while looking into allegations of sexual assault against Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston
The company has agreed to be more transparent about the environmental impact of its shale gas extraction practices amid shareholder pressure from New York City’s pension fund, among 13 others, which holds a billion-dollar stake in Exxon
Snohomish County once considered buying out the Washington state neighborhood that was devastated by a deadly mudslide last month
Misogynistic name-calling from Pyongyang seems to be in response to South Korea President Park Geun-hye’s recent trip to a speech she made in Dresden, which was once part of East Germany, extolling the merits of reunification on the Korean peninsula
During a taping for his Late Show program Thursday, host David Letterman announced that he will be retiring in 2015, so ending more than three decades in late night entertainment and perhaps the most influential run in talk shows and comedy
Anja Niedringhaus, the acclaimed German photographer with the Associated Press, was killed when an Afghan policeman opened fire on a car she was sitting in with another AP reporter, who was wounded, in the latest in a string of pre-election attacks on the press
A new study from the Netherlands suggests that the “love hormone” oxytocin, triggered by the party drug MDMA, might only make you love people in your in-group and can contribute to conflict with outsiders
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the unemployment rate remained steady at 6.7%, unchanged from February, and that more than 190,000 new jobs were added in March, just under economists’ predictions of 200,000
The Washington Post
The economy added 192,000 jobs in March, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent, according to the Labor Department.
Days of tit-for-tat diplomatic maneuvers by Israeli and Palestinian leaders have left negotiations in tatters.
OUTLOOK | A female Marine says women aren’t as prepared as men because they are encouraged to train at lesser standards.
“There’s a Rembrandt stuck in this body,” Bush said he told his art instructor. “It’s your job to unleash it.”
The “Late Show” host’s news that he’ll be retiring in 2015 signals the end of an era in late-night television.
RELIABLE SOURCE | Documents show lobbyists Tony and Heather Podesta’s divorce isn’t amicable.
Word of the Day Friday, April 04, 2014
\ om-fuh-loh-SKEP-sis \ , noun;
1. contemplation of one’s navel as part of a mystical exercise.