In the News ~ August 6

Highland teachers file strike notice; other districts negotiating contracts – Teachers in nearly a dozen school districts in the metro-east area negotiating contracts as the school year approaches, and in at least one — Highland — they have filed a notice of intent to strike. Negotiations between Highland District 5 and the Highland Education Association have been contentious,

 

Southern Illinois teachers file strike notice
(Arlington Heights Daily Herald © 08/06/2014)

Teachers in a southern Illinois school district have filed a notice of intent to strike as contract negotiations are ongoing. The Belleville News-Democrat reports Tuesday that a teachers union in Highland filed the notice with the Illinois Labor Education Relations Board last week.

 

Hinsdale District 86 discusses referendum on teacher salaries and pensions
(PioneerLocal.com © 08/06/2014)

The Hinsdale High School District 86 Board is considering asking residents to weigh in on the salary issues that it is wrestling with in teacher contract negotiations via a referendum.

 

Strong, heartfelt comments from the community at District 86 Board meeting
(Oak Brook Doings © 08/05/2014)

Many of the 20 or so people who went to the podium Monday during the public comment portion of the Hinsdale High School District 86 Board meeting spoke passionately. Some stressed the importance of the teachers to the community, some thanked the School Board for trying to control costs and some expressed disgust with the tone of the board’s discussions.

 

State hinders school budgeting
(Decatur Herald and Review © 08/06/2014)

In what is becoming a common complaint this time of year, the tentative budget for Decatur schools had to be based partly on guesswork, as the state has yet to inform districts of the exact funds coming their way.

 

Streator elementary negotiating new contracts; baseball season in question
(Streator Times-Press © 08/06/2014)

While District 44 and the Streator Education Association negotiate a new contract, neither side is commenting about the district’s postponed baseball tryouts or parental worries of a potential labor dispute. “We are currently in negotiations with the Streator Education Association.

 

District 308 changes rule for home-school extracurricular activities
(Peoria Journal Star © 08/05/2014)

Home-schooled students such as Joshua Heller now can play sports for Washington Community High School. District 308 School Board members voted unanimously at a special meeting Monday to change the districts long-standing policy that barred home-schooled students from participating in extracurricular activities at the high school.

 

Free shots, physicals aimed at keeping more Springfield students in class
(Springfield State Journal Register © 08/05/2014)

Carrie Christison was one of dozens of parents who took advantage of immunizations and physicals offered during the first day of registration Monday for District 186 students. Medical personnel from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Central Counties Health Center and the Sangamon County Department of Health were at Washington and Jefferson middle schools.

 

Former teacher, administrator is Emanuel’s new education deputy
(Chicago Sun Times © 08/06/2014)

A former Chicago Public School teacher-turned-administrator who helped implement Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s signature plan for a longer school day will become the mayor’s top deputy for education.

 

New principals group to weigh in on policy
The group, which will be a committee of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, aims to take an active role in shaping CPS policy.

Scalding school report unlikely to get hearing
Members of the Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force want a public hearing on the process of closing schools, which they strongly criticized in their report. Several say House Speaker Mike Madigan is standing in the way, but his spokesman says the committee doesn’t need his OK. CPS officials disagreed with many of the findings in the report.

Take 5: Absenteeism task force, principal eligibility and lost children
The state task force on absenteeism makes its recommendations. Also, Gray Elementary School gets to hire Ald. Pat O’Connor’s sister Catherine Sugrue, even though she failed to pass the principal eligibility process twice. 

 

Dist 299

 

Mayor Names New Education Deputy

 

Big news of the day is that Arnaldo Rivera will replace Beth Swanson as education deputy at City Hall — anybody know or worked with him? Also: They’re selling old CPS buildings.  There’s a new principals’ advocacy group. Roughly 900 CPS teachers aren’t fully licensed — and some unknown number are mismatched with their assignments.  What else — you ready for the year to start yet?

 

RIVERA REPLACES SWANSON

 

Former CPS chief of staff joins Emanuel education team Chicago Tribune: Arnaldo Rivera, former Chicago Public Schools administrator and chief of staff to two district chiefs, will become Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s next deputy.

 

Former teacher, administrator is Emanuel’s new education deputy Sun Times: A former Chicago Public School teacher-turned-administrator who helped implement Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s signature plan for a longer school day will become the mayor’s top deputy for education.

 

Former CPS chief of staff joins Emanuel education team RedEye Chicago: He remained in that position under the current district chief, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, playing an instrumental role in the process to close nearly 50 elementary schools.

 

PRINCIPALS AND TEACHERS

 

New principals group to weigh in on policy Catalyst: Led by the two principals who wrote editorials critical of CPS administration, the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association has formed a new committee aimed at advocating for policy and amplifying principal voice. The first forum will be held on Aug. 21 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the University of Illinois-Chicago Pavilion.

 

Study shows many teachers not credentialed in their subjects Tribune: In the massive Chicago Public Schools system, where most students are poor and minority, federal 2011-12 data show that about 900 of 23,000 teachers were not fully licensed. That’s down from about 1,800 teachers in 2009. Those figures do not address the issue of teachers in classes for which they are not credentialed.

 

BUILDINGS

 

Three former CPS schools are put out for bid — with restrictions  Sun Times: Chicago Public Schools has put three of the 50 buildings from schools it shuttered in 2013 out for bid — one each on the North, West and South sides

 

Closed Chicago Schools on Developer’s Radar: Residential, Retail Considered DNAinfo: Chicago Public Schools closed 50 schools last year that officials determined were underutilized. The process was contentious and heart wrenching for …

 

POLITICS

 

Emanuel PAC created to ‘destroy’ eight aldermen, Fioretti says Chicago Sun-Times: That leaves Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis and Fioretti as the highest-profile challengers even thinking about challenging Emanuel.

 

OTHER CITIES

 

De Blasio Cheers on National Pre-K Movement WNYC: The mayor spoke broadly about efforts to expand preschool access in cities such as San Francisco, Miami, and San Antonio—efforts he said are reshaping the national conversation.

 

Memphis-Area School Year Starts With Opening of Six Breakaway Districts District Dossier: Memphis-area suburban communities moved to form their own school districts in the wake of the merger of the Shelby County, Tenn., district with the financially-strapped city school system in 2011.

 

Michelle Rhee to Chair Her Husband’s Sacramento Charter Group District Dossier: The former District of Columbia schools chancellor returns to the Sacramento charter school organization known as St. Hope Public Schools.

 

LA School Turnaround Sets Sights on Reinventing the Library EdSurge: The JetSpace features something reminiscent of a typical library: a space for quiet reading, but with hexagonal bookshelves that connect to create spaces for students to sit or do work.

 

Deasy opens school year with campaign against dropping out LA Times: Los Angeles Unified Supt. John Deasy opened the new school year Tuesday with a speech to administrators in which he urged them to eliminate the dropout rate, and then assigned each one a struggling student to look after.

 

NATIONAL

 

Dispute over Common Core gets personal AP via SF Gate: White issued a letter a few days later, saying he felt he was being personally attacked with suggestions of “unfounded malfeasance” within his office.

 

Scientists Say Child’s Play Helps Build A Better Brain NPR: Children learn their most important lessons on the playground, not in the classroom, researchers say.

 

Video: Which college has the most beautiful campus? NBC: Rob Franek of The Princeton Review presents the publication’s latest list of the best colleges in America.

 

Are iPads or Chromebooks better for schools? Hechinger: For an entire school year Hillsborough, New Jersey, educators undertook an experiment, asking: Is the iPad really the best device for interactive learning?

 

 

Political News

 

Should Illinois end public employee pensions?
(Huffpost Chicago © 08/05/2014)

Illinois currently has at least $100 billion in unfunded pensions and the amount public workers and all Illinoisans must contribute to the retirement funds of teachers, police officers and others is only expected to increase. Is it time to end the public pensions in Illinois?

 

Average public pension catching up to average salary
(Arlington Heights Daily Herald © 08/06/2014)

The average pension for a retired public employee in Illinois is quickly approaching the average salary of those still working. The gap has narrowed rapidly over the past decade, illustrating the problem of years of generous salary growth, compounded cost-of-living adjustments for pensioners and the financial perils of early retirement incentives, critics say.

 

Ten reasons governor election polls disagree
(Chicago Sun Times © 08/06/2014)

It’s not just campaign season. It’s political polling season. We were hit with a handful last week and the results were quite different. Why? What gives? What do we need to consider when we hear about polls?

 

Kadner: Rauner energizes Southland GOP
(Chicago Daily Southtown © 08/06/2014)

Republican committeemen in the southwest suburbs say Bruce Rauner, their candidate for governor, has brought a ‘new energy’ to their party. “It’s not just about his money,” said Elizabeth Gorman, the Republican committeewoman for Orland Township, referring to the nearly $7 million of his own money Rauner has put into …

 

Quinn: Is Rauner running for governor of Cayman Islands?
(Chicago Sun Times © 08/06/2014)

Gov. Pat Quinn cast his gubernatorial Republican opponent Bruce Rauner as unpatriotic Tuesday after a recent disclosure that the wealthy venture capitalist has channeled at least part of his fortune to the Cayman Islands.

 

Quinn, Rauner camps scrap on Cayman Island investments
(Chicago Tribune © 08/06/2014)

Gov. Pat Quinns campaign opened a new line of attack Monday, accusing Republican challenger Bruce Rauner of channeling personal investments through the Cayman Islands to avoid U.S. taxes.

 

New Rauner ads hit Quinn on property taxes
(Chicago Tribune © 08/06/2014)

Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner unveiled two new attack ads against Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, focusing the message on beleaguered property taxpayers.

 

Editorial: Rauner should release detailed tax returns
(Bloomington Pantagraph © 08/06/2014)

Everyone knows Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner is a rich guy. A really rich guy. Rauner shouldn’t have to apologize for his wealth, but he should take further steps to make his financial situation more accessible to the public. Specifically, he should release the details on his income tax returns from previous years. The issue was a campaign focus Monday after the Chicago Sun-Tim…

 

Christie brings $2.5 million for Rauner, springs for hot dogs
(Chicago Tribune © 08/06/2014)

After ordering a jumbo chili cheese dog with onions to go at Portillos on Friday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he delivered a $2.5 million check to Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner and promised more to come.

 

Former Republican foe backs Rauner for governor
(Chicago Tribune © 08/06/2014)

Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner urged Asian-Americans to vote for him over Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn during a stop in Chinatown today, with a former member of a rival GOP ticket encouraging voters to look beyond party labels.

 

Governor’s Race: Arguments about Money, Lots of Money Being Spent On It
(WJOL-1340 Joliet © 08/06/2014)

Governor Pat Quinn and Bruce Rauner are having a war of words over money, taxes, and who is and isn’t patriotic enough. Quinn is blasting Rauner for making investments in the Cayman Islands, which he says is a haven for people who want to avoid paying taxes.

 

GOP’s Rauner in Montana for vacation, fundraiser
(Chicago WFLD (Fox) 32 © 08/05/2014)

Republican Bruce Rauner has traveled to his family ranch in Montana to vacation and raise money for his Illinois governor campaign. The fundraiser is scheduled for Tuesday at Rauner’s 6,000-square-foot home near Yellowstone National Park. Tickets range from $500 to $5,000 per person.

 

Illinois GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Steps Back From Government Shutdown Threat
(Huffpost Chicago © 08/05/2014)

Shortly after video surfaced of Illinois gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner (R) stating that he is open to shutting down the state government in order to address the state’s underfunded pension system, the millionaire’s campaign distanced itself from the remark. The video (above) — posted to YouTube on Monday by the Illinois Federation of Teachers, which backs incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn (D) …

 

Gov. Quinn to sign payroll cards bill today
(Chicago Tribune © 08/06/2014)

Gov. Pat Quinn is scheduled to sign into law on Wednesday a bill that would regulate payroll cards, allowing employers to use them as long as they don’t make them a condition of employment.

 

Analysis: State fairs heavy in the red, run by political cronies
(Dixon Telegraph © 08/06/2014)

The longtime directors of both Illinois State Fair and the DuQuoin State Fair have a lot in common. Both were disciplined recently for unethical conduct, both have operated their event at a financial loss, and both came from political backgrounds with no professional experience in managing fairs before taking their jobs with the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

 

Walgreens to stay in Illinois
(Rockford Register Star © 08/06/2014)

Gov. Pat Quinn says Walgreens made the right decision to stay headquartered in Illinois. The Deerfield company announced Wednesday that it would stay in the U.S. instead of pursuing an overseas reorganization. Quinn put out a statement commending the nations largest drugstore chain.

 

Illinois Education Association endorses Rodney Davis

(The Capitol Fax Blog (blog) – August 6, 2014)

The Illinois Education Association’s political action committee, IPACE, the Illinois Political Action Committee for Education, and the National Education …

 

Davis wins endorsement of two education PACs
(Champaign News Gazette © 08/06/2014)

Republican Rep. Rodney Davis has won the endorsement of the political action committees of the Illinois Education Association and National Education Association. Two years ago, the two groups endorsed Democrat David Gill over Davis, and the NEA contributed $5,000 to Gill’s campaign. But for the first session of the current Congress, Davis earned a “B” on the NEA’s legislative

 

Obama raps GOP as he raises money for Durbin in Chicago
(Chicago Tribune © 08/06/2014)

President Barack Obama used a pair of hometown fundraisers Thursday to defend Democratic control of the Senate against potential gains in the fall mid-term elections by what he called ideologically rigid Republicans.

 

Lotto trouble with this deal
(Chicago Tribune © 08/06/2014)

In 2010, Illinois became the first state in the country to turn over the management of its lottery to a private company. Other states soon followed. The expectation was that a firm with broad expertise in lottery sales could attract new players and reap more money. Northstar Lottery Group, signed to a 10-year contract by Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration, said it could bring in up to $851.2 million…

 

 

National News

 

Walgreen stays put in U.S.

Walgreen,   which had considered moving its headquarters to Europe, announced today that   it will remain based in the Chicago area after it buys the remainder of   pharmaceutical giant Alliance Boots. Current CEO Greg Wasson will remain CEO   of the combined company, Crain’s reports.

— So why is Walgreen staying here? Crain’s Brigid Sweeney   says two factors kept the Deerfield-based, century old drugstore   chain from reincorporating overseas: a U.S. Treasury review of so-called tax   inversions and Walgreen losing control of the tax-dodge narrative.

— And on the political side: Some old-fashioned verbal arm-twisting from top   politicians including President Obama clearly was part of Walgreen’s   decision. But Crain’s Greg Hinz notes   that tactic won’t work all the time.

Could hiring binge follow big Yelp   lease at Mart?

Online   review site Yelp is the latest Northern California tech firm adding a large   office in the Merchandise Mart, where it is expected to move into more than   50,000 square feet by next year. The big jump in space suggests San   Francisco-based Yelp is preparing for a major ramp-up in Chicago hiring, Chicago Real Estate   Daily reports.

Groupon shares fall on dialed-down   profit forecast

During   after-hours trading yesterday, Wall Street gave Groupon’s shares a drubbing   on news that the company had weaker-than-expected quarterly sales and expects   a lower profit for the year. Crain’s has the details.  

Meet 5 power players in Chicago   corporate philanthropy

Crain’s Shia Kapos   profiles five of the most powerful people on Chicago’s   philanthropic scene. Meet the guardians of corporate giving strategies for   Northern Trust, W.W. Grainger, Exelon, Mesirow Financial and Microsoft.

Security concerns at Chicago’s water   filtration plant

The   Chicago Sun-Times   has discovered a disturbing example of unauthorized civilian entry at the Jardine   Water Purification Plant near Navy Pier, one of the city’s main potential   terrorism targets.

Fast food, faster

A   McDonald’s promotion in South Florida puts timers in drive-thru customers’   hands, and promises diners will get their meal in 60 seconds or get an item   for free. The Miami Herald has the   story.

Russian gang amasses a billion   Internet passwords

A   Milwaukee firm, Hold Security, has discovered that a Russian crime ring has   amassed the largest known collection of stolen Internet credentials,   including 1.2 billion user name and password combinations and more than 500   million email addresses, the New York Times   reports.

Police and fire pensions funds   drying up in dozens of suburbs

The Sun-Times reports   on a Better Government Association analysis that finds dozens of suburban   police and fire pension funds are in financial peril, putting retirement   incomes at risk — as well as the fiscal health of numerous municipalities.

ADM aiming to reap harvest profits

A   second straight year of bumper U.S. crops will boost Archer Daniels Midland’s   grain-trading profits by driving greater volumes through the company’s   sprawling trade and transportation network, according to the Wall   Street Journal.

Poll: Where do you and the kids eat   out?

With   all the news swirling around Cosi, Freshii and Potbelly — fast-casual   concepts aimed at adults — Crain’s wants to know where families with kids 12   and younger are dining out, and why. Take our poll   and tell us, and we’ll follow up with the results later.

 

 

TIME.com

 

One Billion Passwords

A criminal ring based in a small Russian city was discovered by a cybersecurity firm to have acquired 1.2 billion username and password combinations, in addition to more than 500 million email addresses, amassing the largest known collection of stolen web credentials

 

Missouri Nears Executions Record

An execution Wednesday in Missouri brought the state’s pace near record levels, at a time when problems have led to growing scrutiny

 

Mixed Bag for Tuesday Primaries

Most results of the ballots in Michigan, Kansas, Missouri and Washington were predictable as the fight for the soul of the Republican Party rages on

 

Feds Face Growing Fears Over Ebola

Federal health officials are facing a surge in reports of possible Ebola cases from hospitals and health departments, none confirmed but which highlight a moment of growing domestic concern about an outbreak that has claimed over 800 lives in Africa

 

Hillary Clinton Makes Surprise Colbert Report Appearance

Hillary Clinton and Stephen Colbert went head-to-head in the name game on Tuesday night when the former Secretary of State made an unannounced visit to the Colbert Report. There was lots of name-dropping, but still no talk of 2016

 

Uber’s New Carpooling Service Will Make Your Rides Cheaper

The smartphone-centric taxi service that aims to make car ownership obsolete may be getting closer to its goal; with the announcement of UberPool, the startup will figure out which customers are requesting cars to similar destinations then pick them both up

 

Target Announces Support for Gay Marriage

The retail giant announced its support for gay marriage on Tuesday, after years of criticism for its neutrality on the issue, by joining a growing list of companies that are signing onto an amicus brief in a case before a federal appeals court

 

No Easy Answers to Charges of War Crimes in Gaza

Experts on both sides of the conflict have already drawn their own conclusions about whether international humanitarian law was broken—but investigating and proving war crimes is a lengthy and complex process that could take many months

 

Regulators: Wall Street’s Big Banks Still Too Big to Fail

The Fed and FDIC said bankruptcy plans submitted by the 11 biggest banks fail to prepare for an orderly failure, have “unrealistic or inadequately supported” assumptions and don’t properly outline changes in firm structure that would prevent broader repercussions

 

Thousands of Iraqi Refugees Are Stranded on a Mountain

If they come down, they risk being killed by Sunni militia. If they stay, they risk death from thirst and exposure. “A humanitarian tragedy is unfolding,” says Nickolay Mladenov, special representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq

 

New Post-Snowden Leaks Reveal Secret U.S. Watch List

Documents published Tuesday, which detail the growth of federal terrorist watch lists, were drafted after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden fled prosecution in the U.S. for Russia, when he no longer had access to classified intelligence networks

 

 

The Washington Post

 

Wave of firms expected to shun U.S. citizenship

To avoid U.S. taxes, Chiquita and other businesses are merging with foreign firms or planning on it, analysts say.

 

U.S. general killed in Kabul was key figure in training

Harold Greene is the highest-ranking U.S. casualty since 9/11.

 

Space probe makes history with comet

After a journey lasting more than 10 years, the Rosetta probe was able to rendezvous with a comet 2 miles long and 2.5 miles wide.

‘God is angry with Liberia. Ebola is a plague.’

“There are dead bodies all over the place,” said Liberia’s president, “and they now know that it’s real.”

 

Why do 2 Americans get the Ebola test serum while hundreds of Africans die?

POSTEVERYTHING | A medical ethics expert discusses drug distribution.

Could production of test drug be accelerated?

  • Nigeria: Nurse dies of Ebola; 5 more cases

 

Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts fends off tea party challenger in primary

The tea party movement was dealt a blow in one of its last chances to field a successful candidate.

 

It’s time to kill the McDonnells’ blame-the-wife, fool for a ‘crush’ defense

COLUMN | The ex- Va. first lady’s supposed “crush” doesn’t preclude a husband-and-wife conspiracy.

 

Stranded on a barren mountaintop in Iraq, children begin to die of thirst

Up to 40,000 civilians face a bleak choice: descend and risk slaughter or wait for help that might not come.

 

Since Colorado legalized pot, its traffic deaths are at near-historic lows

OPINION | A variety of factors have contributed to the continuing drop in roadway fatalities.

 

The people I interviewed in Iran loved their country. So why did it jail them?

Anthony Bourdain

POSTEVERYTHING | The CNN show host shares his encounter with The Post’s Jason Rezaian.

 

 

Word of the Day  Wednesday, August 06, 2014

 

Taradiddle  tar-uh-DID-l

noun; 

1. Informal. A small lie; fib.

2. Informal. Pretentious nonsense.