In the News ~ April 23

Report: Growing number of homeless kids in DuPage
(Chicago Daily Herald © 04/23/2014)

A growing number of the homeless people in DuPage County are children, according to a new report. The DuPage Homeless Continuum of Care, a group working to develop strategies to end homelessness in the county, has released the report that indicates 1,424 people used emergency shelter services in DuPage between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013.

 

Advocates push for early childhood education funding
(WGEM Quincy (NBC) 10 © 04/23/2014)

Statewide advocates are pushing Illinois lawmakers to invest more money into early childhood education. Education funding continues to be a big discussion as Illinois works out budget issues, but advocates say lawmakers need to focus on future development.

 

Multi-million dollar addition at East High School approved
(WREX (NBC) 13 Rockford © 04/23/2014)

ROCKFORD (WREX) – The Rockford School Board gives the OK to build a multi-million dollar addition at East High School. The addition is for a field house. It includes a 160-meter track, three basketball courts, and a weight room.  Other parts of the school will be upgraded as well. The $13.6 million project is expected to break ground in May.

 

Gifford OKs new contract for schools chief
(Champaign News Gazette © 04/23/2014)

The Gifford school board approved a new five-year contract with Superintendent Rod Grimsley that will run through May 14, 2019. Grimsley, who was hired by the district three years ago, said there are no major changes in the contract. He will receive pay increases at the same rate as those awarded by the board to teachers —

 

Transformational change grant will pay $1,100 stipend to RI High School’s certified staff
(Quad Cities Dispatch Argus Leader © 04/23/2014)

A new program will pay Rock Island High School staff members who spend additional time in the classroom and in professional development as part of the school’s $6 million grant for transformational change. Starting in July, all certified staff will receive a flat stipend of $1,100. Those involved in leadership initiatives will receive $500 more.

 

Five area high schools among nation’s most challenging
(Crystal Lake Northwest Herald © 04/23/2014)

Five area high schools have made the Washington Post’s Most Challenging High Schools in America list for their commitment to preparing students for college. Huntley, Cary-Grove, Prairie Ridge, Crystal Lake Central and Woodstock high schools made the list of the 2,092 high schools nationwide that met the criteria to be ranked.

 

Dist. 203 approves new support model
(Trib-local Wheaton © 04/23/2014)

Changes are coming to the way Naperville Unit District 203 supports struggling and advanced students in kindergarten through second grade. The school board on Monday unanimously approved putting instructional assistants in the classrooms to work with those students next fall …

 

Drunk Driving Made Real for Local High Schools
(Peoria Legal Record © 04/23/2014)

Car accidents can be devastating. They can be made up of mangled metal, calls to the police and hospital, injuries, blood and maybe even death. A common cause of accidents is drunk drivers. For some Central Illinois high schoolers, they are getting more than just words, photos, and lectures from their teacher about drinking and driving …

 

IHSA lifts suspension of girls basketball coach
(Trib-local Huntley © 04/23/2014)

State officials have lifted their suspension of Homewood-Flossmoor High School girls basketball coach Anthony Smith and closed out an investigation into practice schedule violations and allegations of improper recruiting, sanctions that forced the top-ranked Vikings team out …

 

Does your GPA really matter? Here’s the truth for college grads
(Chicago Tribune © 04/23/2014)

Brazen Careerist You have permission to put down the books, stop cramming for that test and go out with your friends. …

 

 

Political News

 

Taxpayer group criticizes Illinois pension reform
(WHOI (ABC) 19 Peoria © 04/23/2014)

The head of one taxpayers group says Illinois residents won’t see any lasting impact from the state’s pension reform. …

 

Illinois infrastructure has improved — but it’s nothing to celebrate
(Crains Chicago Business © 04/23/2014)

Four years ago, Illinois’ infrastructure was ailing. In 2010, our roads were clogged, our pipes were old and Illinois’ families were paying the price. Sound familiar? For many, it is difficult to see much improvement in Illinois’ infrastructure over the past few years.

 

Editorial: Billions of reasons Illinois is region’s odd man out
(Quad Cities Dispatch Argus Leader © 04/23/2014)

When lame duck lawmakers helped squeak through a whopping 67 percent Illinois income tax hike in 2011, critics warned that the only winners would be moving companies. Editorial pages including this one also cautioned against believing the promise that part of the increase would be allowed to expire. Lawmakers couldn’t resist such cash in 1989 when they made a far smaller increase permanent.

 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Mad at Rauner Campaign
(WJOL-1340 Joliet © 04/23/2014)

Mayor Emanuel is taking exception to a round of robo-calls made by the gubernatorial campaign of Republican nominee Bruce Rauner. The phone calls are being made to homeowners in Chicago, informing them that Governor Quinn should veto legislation that addresses city pensions. Rauner believes the bill would open the door to a property tax increase, which was the mayors idea.

 

Robo-calls raise Rauner-Rahm rift
(Chicago Sun Times © 04/23/2014)

Clearly perturbed by a round of Bruce Rauner robo-calls made to Chicago residents on Tuesday, Rahm Emanuel took out the political filet knife and stuck it right into the mayor’s old fishing buddy — using Rauner’s own words against him. Emanuel’s camp said Rauner’s move to call tens of thousands of Chicago property owners and tell them Gov. Pat Quinn should veto a bill

 

Quinn might be looking better to Rahm right about now: Brown
(Chicago Sun Times © 04/23/2014)

Maybe this will finally convince Mayor Rahm Emanuel that he’s better off with fellow Democrat Pat Quinn as governor. Emanuel’s loyalties in the governor’s race have been the subject of much speculation given his contentious relationship with Quinn and personal friendship with Republican Bruce Rauner, who helped the mayor get rich during his brief stint in private business.

 

Kadner: Quinn, Emanuel staying mum on gambling bill
(Chicago Daily Southtown © 04/22/2014)

It has been more than a month since state Rep. Robert Rita unveiled the latest legislation for a casino in Chicago, but neither Gov. Pat Quinn nor Mayor Rahm Emanuel have publicly commented on it. “It makes it very difficult to pass something,” Rita, D-Blue Island, said. “We could have the Legislature vote on it, as we have done in the past, but when we’ve done that the governor has vetoed

 

Offshore tax havens cost average Illinois taxpayer $1,396 a year, Illinois small business $4,588
(Rockford Rock River Times © 04/23/2014)

As hardworking Americans file their taxes, it’s a good time to be reminded of how ordinary taxpayers pick up the tab for the loopholes in our tax laws. Illinois PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) released a new study April 15 titled “Picking up the Tab: Average Citizens and Small Businesses Pay the Price for Offshore Tax Havens,” which revealed the average Illinois taxpayer in 2013…

 

Oberweis, Rauner refuse to back pending immigration reform measure
(Chicago Tribune © 04/22/2014)

The two candidates at the top of the Illinois Republican ticket this fall spoke at an event Tuesday designed to pressure the state’s GOP congressional delegation to pass sweeping immigration changes, but both refused to give their outright support for the legislation that’s already passed the U.S. Senate.

 

 

National News

 

1.

First Midwest to buy Banco Popular’s Chicago business

First   Midwest Bank announced this morning that it will acquire the Chicago   operations of Banco Popular North America in a deal that will give the   Itasca-based bank an entrée into the Hispanic market. Banco Popular is   exiting the market and shutting down its longtime Rosemont HQ. Crain’s has the breaking news story.

2.

Choose Chicago chooses FCB, Starcom for ad business

Though   the $1 million contract for FCB may not be large compared to other major   brand assignments, the chance to create advertising for its hometown tourism   agency is still a coup for a Chicago firm that has struggled in recent years.   Crain’s explains.

3.

Obama library team: We didn’t ask for $100 million,   but…

The   foundation searching for a home for Barack Obama’s presidential library says   it’s not involved in asking for a $100 million grant from the state of   Illinois — but implies it might accept the cash nonetheless. Crain’s Greg Hinz reports.

4.

How CEO is turning Illinois Tool Works into a growth   company

Taking   the helm just as Illinois Tool Works launched an aggressive plan to   streamline the company, CEO Scott Santi is showing he can do more than just   cut costs, writes Crain’s Joe Cahill.

5.

Ebony editor-in-chief leaving magazine

Amy   DuBois Barnett’s departure from the Johnson Publishing magazine comes at a   time when the African-American publisher and cosmetics company has been   fighting to steady its finances. Crain’s has more.

6.

Magnificent Mile store a slam dunk for Under Armour?

Chicago Real Estate Daily has more on   sportswear maker Under Armour’s aim to open a flagship store over two floors   at 600 N. Michigan Ave.

— Meanwhile, Banana Republic, Lululemon and Container Store are moving into   the Roosevelt Collection shopping center in the South Loop. Read more here.

7.

CME chair says drain dark pools to fix a broken stock   market

CME   Group chairman Terrence Duffy tells Bloomberg his solution for those   seeking to fix the U.S. stock market is to kill “dark pools,” which   he says hurt investors because they obscure the true price of stocks.

8.

McDonald’s CEO: ‘We actually crack eggs’

Don   Thompson tells analysts that he’s not worried about “taco shops” microwaving   frozen eggs as the breakfast fast-food wars continue to heat up. More from Slate and Bloomberg Businessweek.

9.

Your view: The upsides of Illinois’ C- grade on   infrastructure

At least   the grade given by professional civil engineers in Illinois is an improvement   from the D+ doled out in 2010. But in this Crain’s guest op-ed, the chair of   the report card group says the state has a long road ahead.

10.

Happy 100th to Wrigley Field

Wrigley   Field marks the 100th anniversary of its first game today with a matchup   against Arizona. The Associated Press takes a look back.   Here’s more from the Chicago Tribune.

 

 

Education Week

 

Just Released: Special Report on the Common Core in Action

The Common Core State Standards have been reshaping the American education landscape for four years, leaving their mark on curriculum and instruction, professional development, teacher evaluation, the business of publishing, and the way tests are designed. In this special report, Education Week explores how the initial vision for the standards-and for aligned assessments-is now bumping up against reality in states, school districts, and local communities.

 

FEATURED IN THIS SPECIAL REPORT:

 

The Common Core at Four: Sizing Up the Enterprise
The common standards have touched virtually every aspect of the nation’s K-12 system over the past several years, but big challenges remain for the enterprise.

 

Vision, Reality Collide in Common-Core Tests
Political, technical, and financial factors have constrained some of the original, and more ambitious, plans for the assessments being developed by two state coalitions.

 

Standards Pose Teacher-Prep Challenge
Response to the common core by teacher-preparation institutions runs the gamut from embrace to uncertainty and even resistance.

 

New Standards Sway Purchasing Plans
From technology to curricular materials and testing tools, the common core is having considerable influence on spending decisions by states and school districts.

 

Two Districts, Two Approaches to Common-Core Curriculum
To help implement the common-core standards, one district opts for the offerings of a major publisher, while another writes its own materials.

 

Common-Assessment Groups Differ on Accommodations
The two state consortia both aim to provide a more-inclusive experience for English-language learners and students with disabilities, but they part company on some testing accommodations.

 

Alternative-Assessment Groups Pursue Divergent Pathways
The two organizations, both federally funded, are developing alternate assessments for students with severe cognitive disabilities, but are working under very different theories of learning.

 

Resistance to the Common Core Mounts
Critics of the standards for English/language arts and mathematrics span the political spectrum, from tea-party members to union leaders.

Read the entire report for free during this site-wide open house. Find more complete reporting on the Common Core standards and implementation here.

 

 

TIME.com

 

Amazon Gets Prime Cut of HBO

An unprecedented, multi-year licensing deal announced on Wednesday will bring dozens of HBO series, movies and comedy specials to members of Amazon’s $99-per-year Prime subscription service, with the first shows hitting Prime in late May

 

Tributes Recall Ferry Heroes

Tales of crew helping passengers escape the doomed Sewol ferry are emerging in the aftermath of its sinking off South Korea as the death toll climbs

 

Most Americans Want Birth Control Coverage

A new survey published in the journal of the American Medical Association finds that an overwhelming majority of Americans—69 percent—say all health plans in the U.S. should be required to cover the cost of birth control

 

TIME, VICE Journalists Detained in Eastern Ukraine

TIME’s Berlin Correspondent and three other journalists were freed an hour after being detained at a checkpoint in the separatist-held town of Slavyansk on Monday but a VICE News correspondent is still being held, highlighting the threat to media in the region

 

Georgia Governor to Sign ‘Guns Everywhere Act’

Radical new gun legislation due to be signed into law on Wednesday will allow licensed owners to carry guns in more public places than ever before, as places like churches can opt in to permit the weapons and bars can opt out if they want them banned

 

Nothing But the Best

President Obama begins his week-long Asia trip by dining with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the world’s only three Michelin star sushi restaurant

 

Pujols Joins ’500 Club’ After Two Homers

First baseman Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels joined the few who have hit 500 home runs in their careers, during a win over the Washington Nationals, making him the third-youngest player to accomplish the feat in the history of Major League Baseball

 

Supreme Court Weighs Truth in Politics

The justices appear ready ahead of the midterm elections later this year to knock down laws in 16 states that aim to prevent lying in political races, likely claiming they violate the First Amendment’s guarantees of free speech

 

Colbert Drops By the Late Show for Letterman Selfie

Comedian Stephen Colbert stopped by David Letterman’s set less than two weeks after CBS announced he would replace the late-night legend in 2015. The duo even took a selfie as the interview drew to a close

 

Fears Rise Over Saudi Arabia’s MERS Outbreak

The deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome has neither no definitive origin, nor a known cure, so global public health officials are becoming increasingly concerned by the Saudi government’s sluggish response as the number of human cases continues to rise

 

Gun Silencers Are Selling Like Hot Cakes

A new report shows gun owners are eager to accessorize despite silencers often costing more than the weapons they’re meant to hush. Sales to civilians in the U.S. rose to about 500,000 units in 2013, nearly 37 percent above the 360,000 sold a year earlier

 

 

The Washington Post

 

General rebuked over bungled sex-assault case

A commander of U.S. Army forces was reprimanded after letting sexual misconduct complaints slide. He has since been moved to a Pentagon post.

Read: The investigation report

 

Russia threatens to retaliate as Kiev orders military moves

As reports of beatings, disappearances and detentions of Ukrainians rise in recent days, Russia warns that it will retaliate if its citizens are harmed.

 

After $3.2B debacle, Navy tries again

The last time the president’s coolest ride needed an upgrade, the effort became a fiasco that produced no usable helicopter.

 

Supreme Court decision limits how much child-porn victims can be paid

The justices throw out a nearly $3.4M judgment in favor of a woman whose childhood rape is online.

The victim’s reaction to the ruling

 

Elizabeth Warren, at home and fighting financial wrongs

BOOK REVIEW | The political narrative reveals her stubborness, but not her presidential ambitions.

 

A growing heroin problem, even in the affluent D.C. suburbs: ‘We had no clue’

Two mothers’ stories — of a son who died and of a son trying to live — highlight the scourge of addiction.

 

What you need to make in every county to afford a decent one-bedroom

MAP | Search your county to see what you’d need to earn to rent what the U.S. considers a modest home.

 

How a N.Y. police campaign to engage the public completely backfired

For another case study in the perils of using Twitter for branding, look no further than the #myNYPD hashtag.

Word of the Day  Wednesday, April 23, 2014

 

scherzo

SKERT-soh \  , noun;

 

1.  Music . a movement or passage of light or playful character, especially as the second or third movement of a sonata or a symphony.

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