In the News ~ Sept. 4

25 of Illinois’ Top School Districts – Kids all across Illinois are headed back to school, but some students will be enrolled in schools that are in school districts that are considered better than others. School Digger provided rankings for 774 of the state’s school districts, which were determined by averaging the rank percentile of the schools within each district.

 

Belleville school officials concerned over 24 new mandates, no funding
(Belleville News-Democrat © 09/04/2014)

Schools in Illinois have begun their academic years with two dozen new requirements from lawmakers that do not come with any corresponding state funding. Data collected by the Illinois State Board of Education show the 24 additional requirements this year are down slightly from the average 27 new rules imposed each year since 2007, according to a report from the Springfield bureau of Lee

 

Districts dealing with 2 dozen new mandates
(Champaign WCIA (CBS) 3 © 09/03/2014)

New school year means new school rules. Districts are being forced to learn right along with their students. Schools will have nearly 24 new preliminary mandates. The State Board of Education is showing the number is down slightly from the average 27 new rules imposed each year since 2007. Classrooms will be required to train students how to save lives with the use of AED’s and …

 

Movement aims to add school days
(Galesburg Register Mail © 09/03/2014)

GALESBURG — An initiative to restore six days back to the school calendar has emerged via social media on the “Friends & Family of GEA” Facebook page. Concerned parents and other residents are calling to “Restore 174,” complete with lawn signs and T-shirts. Group members are asking residents to send emails to District 205 officials and other education professionals to rework a calendar …

 

Batavia School Board OKs new teachers contract
(Geneva Kane County Chronicle © 09/03/2014)

BATAVIA — Batavia School Board members on Tuesday unanimously approved a new three-year contract with the Batavia Education Association, the union that represents Batavia School District 101â€(tm)s teachers. As part of the agreement, Batavia teachers will receive a 3.72 percent salary increase in the first year of the contract and projected increases of 2.25 percent in the second year ….

 

Belvidere Teachers Rally for New Contract
(WIFR (CBS) 23 Rockford © 09/03/2014)

Teachers in Belvidere are rallying for a better contract as they’ve been working without one since the beginning of the school year. School board and Teachers Union leaders are meeting with a federal mediator as contract negotiations kick up again today and teachers were out in full force.

 

Our View: Don’t strike in District 157
(Crystal Lake Northwest Herald © 09/04/2014)

Padding the pensions for new teachers and how much teachers with a master’s degree make is what stands in the way of a new teachers contract in Richmond-Burton Community High School District 157. The district and the Richmond-Burton Education Association have reached an impasse in negotiations regarding a new five-year contract. The teachers have filed a 10-day notice,

  

Dist 299 

First Week Back Is Almost Over!?

 

Day 3, already?  How did we get here so quickly — and why hasn’t anyone covered (or livetweeted, to my knowledge), anything other than pro forma MRE and B3 and CTU school visits on the first day?  Maybe I missed something (#backtoschoolCPS?).  In other news:  UNO is under investigation (again), it’s the first day of UPK for NYC (50,000 additional kids!), and Diane Ravitch made Politico’s Top 50 Influencers list this year. Oh, and Rod Estvan thinks white neighborhood parents opposed to sale of Trumbull are hypocrites.

 

Why This Chicago High School Has Only 12 Students Left Huffington Post: In the meantime, Dyett’s staff of three teachers and one principal continue to offer classes to the remaining students. Certain courses — such as art, gym and music — are taught online.

 

UNO charter schools now target of IRS audit over bonds Sun Times: The United Neighborhood Organization’s charter-school network is facing possible new legal troubles, with an IRS audit of bonds issued for its Chicago schools. The Internal Revenue Service audit involves nearly $37 million in bonds issued in 2011 for the UNO Charter School Network Inc.

 

CPS Principal: Data Shows Neighborhood Schools Outperform Charters CBS Local: An influential Chicago Public Schools principal has said the district’s own figures show much of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s education reform plan isn’t working.

 

School District Trying New Lunch Menu Without Federal Guidelines CBS Local: The state’s second largest school district has started the school year with a new look for its lunch menu, after opting out of the National School Lunch Program and forfeiting nearly $1 million in federal funding, to gain more freedom

 

Karen Lewis to Attend Logan Square’s First Schools Rally of the Year DNAinfo: The Logan Square Neighborhood Association will host Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis at “The Eagle” monument Friday for a neighborhood party at the end of the first week of class for schools citywide.

 

Local Web Series On Education To Air On WTTW Progress IL: The series, made popular through its YouTube channel, follows five Chicago-area eighth graders in different public schools as they transition into the region’s top selective-enrollment high schools.

 

Conversations with teachers: Evaluations Catalyst: For most CPS teachers, this is the year the district’s new evaluation system finally means something. And that’s a scary prospect. When the Recognizing Educators Advancing Chicago Students (known as REACH) system went into effect last year, it only applied to non-tenured teachers and those with…

 

OTHER CITIES

 

NYC School Year Starts with New Mayor’s Imprint WNYC: While his signature campaign initiative to expand pre-kindergarten classes has received the most attention, it is just one of several policy changes expected to ripple through the system.

 

Final Touches Range From Flowery to Frantic as Expanded Pre-K Awaits Start NYT: Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign promised free prekindergarten for every 4-year-old, and his administration has invested mightily in quickly bringing that plan to life.

 

Gentlemen, Preschool Is Calling NPR: New York City is scrambling to make good on its promise to provide preschool for all. That means hiring roughly 1,000 new teachers. But few will likely be men.

 

Supt. Deasy’s early and avid support of iPads under intense scrutiny LA Times: The pitch came from a smiling man in a jacket and tie, sitting at his desk and rhapsodizing about the wonders one product could bring to the sprawling Los Angeles Unified School District.

 

North Carolina District Breaks Ties With Teach For America NPR:  The school board in Durham, N.C., voted 6-1 to end its relationship with Teach For America, after the current crop of teachers finish out their stints. Board members cited the lack of experience and the limited commitment of these young teachers in the district’s “high-needs” schools.

 

How One Counselor In Texas Advises Hundreds Of Students Houston Public Media: The auditorium is packed at Reagan High School. Ninth graders are learning about all the different clubs they can join — like cheerleading. “Ready! Big maroon!” Via Chalkbeat.

 

NATIONAL

 

Texas Mimics New York in Pushing Back State Tests’ Impact on Students State EdWatch: Texas is considering a timeline for phasing in the impact of new tests on students that resembles an approach recently adopted by New York state.

 

State awards Common Core test contract EdSource Today: With the State Board of Education’s approval, California became the ninth state Wednesday to award a contract to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium for the standardized tests in the Common Core State Standards that students will take next spring.

 

Michael Bloomberg to Return to Lead Bloomberg L.P. NYT: When he left politics, Mr. Bloomberg, 72, was expected to devote most of his time to giving away his $32.8 billion fortune.

 

State of the Art: Grading Teachers, With [Survey] Data From Class NYT: Panorama Education, aided by prominent tech investors, is refining student feedback through innovative data collection. School systems are embracing the concept.

 

Back to School: What Are the Rules of Prayer in the Classroom? NBC News: NBC News Education Correspondent Rehema Ellis clears up some of the rules of religion in public schools.

 

#48 Diane Ravitch Politico: Many question her dramatic about-face. But Ravitch argues that it gives her more credibility: “How many people actually admit that they’re wrong?”

 

 

Political News

 

Latest Governor’s Race Poll Shows Quinn Closing on Rauner
(WTVO ABC 17 Rockford © 09/03/2014)

The latest poll in the Governor’s race reveals it is 2010 all over again. That year, Democratic Governor Pat Quinn began the election cycle trailing by double-digits, chipped away at the lead of Republican challenger Bill Brady and then pulled off a slim win on election day. The latest ‘Reboot Illinois/We Ask America’ poll indicates the same cycle may be repeating itself, …

 

Poll Shows Tightening Race For Governor
(WJOL-1340 Joliet © 09/04/2014)

A new poll shows that the race for governor between incumbent Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner is getting tighter. A Reboot Illinois/We Ask America poll finds Rauner’s lead over Quinn at eight-point-five-percent, down from 14-percent in July.

 

Rauner has 8-point lead over Quinn in latest poll
(Chicago Sun Times © 09/04/2014)

A new poll shows the race for Illinois governor between Republican Bruce Rauner and Gov. Pat Quinn is tightening up

 

New Rauner property tax ad aimed at suburban voters
(Chicago Tribune © 09/03/2014)

For the second time in a month, Bruce Rauner has gone on the airwaves to attack Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn by highlighting one of the most controversial issues on the Republican challengers agenda: the idea of freezing local property taxes without voter approval. In the latest ad, Rauner features several suburban homeowners a key demographic in his election-year chances bemoaning their higher property taxes …

 

Is Rauner’s wealth hurting or helping his campaign?
(Chicago WFLD (Fox) 32 © 09/03/2014)

Governor Pat Quinn’s campaign was on the attack Wednesday night, once again portraying his Republican challenger Bruce Rauner as out of touch with typical Illinoisans. The governor’s campaign seized on Rauner’s reluctant admission that he belongs to a wine club that costs more than $100,000 to join.

 

Rauner ruse or candor
(Springfield Illinois Times © 09/04/2014)

“We should have billions of dollars every year as part of our budget process (to) maintain and expand our infrastructure,” Bruce Rauner said last week, according to the Chicago Tribune. Rauner has been doing his best to woo the road builders all year, and he was speaking to the Illinois Farm Bureau, which has lots of members who rely on roads and bridges to get their goods to market.

 

Bruce Rauner Admits Spending More On Wine Club Than Most Families Make In A Year
(Huffpost Chicago © 09/03/2014)

An Illinois GOP gubernatorial hopeful trying to downplay attacks related to his personal wealth has admitted he belongs to an elite California wine club where the initiation fee reportedly costs around $140,000 — nearly three times the median household income for Illinois families. Venture capitalist Bruce Rauner once made a point to describe himself as 1 percent of the 1 percent.

 

Jeb Bush to Stump for Bruce Rauner Amid 2016 Buzz
(Chicago Press Release Service © 09/03/2014)

Jeb Bush is hopping aboard the Bruce Rauner bandwagon.

Weeks after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s pro-Rauner tour in Chicago, Bush—who governed Florida for an eight-year stretch ending in 2007—will travel here to stump for the Republican venture capitalist as part of a national GOP effort to flip Illinois from blue to red.

 

Opinion: Why Wealth—and Wine—Matter in Governor’s Race
(MSNBC Chicago © 09/03/2014)

When it comes to great wealth, many Americans are of two minds. …

 

Kadner: The privileges of membership in the club
(Chicago Daily Southtown © 09/03/2014)

(A conversation at a wine club somewhere in Napa Valley, California). “I say, this is a fine proprietary red.” “I believe it’s the 2006. A blend of power and elegance.” “You still raising cattle out in Wyoming or was it Montana?” “Actually, I have a little property in both places. Nothing major.”

 

Quinn Lampoons Rauner’s Wine Club Confession in New Ad
(Chicago WMAQ (NBC) 5 © 09/03/2014)

Well, that was quick. …

 

Quinn Eats $2 Breakfast for Minimum Wage Challenge
(Chicago Press Release Service © 09/04/2014)

Quinn digs in his wallet for a couple of bills after eating a $2 breakfast in Champaign Wednesday. Mayor’s Task Force Recommends Increase In Minimum Wage To $13/Hour Workers May Love It, But Others Warn It Could Be a Job Killer. Emanuel Signs Minimum Wage Executive Order 9/3/2014: The minimum wage is a hot-button issue in Illinois this election season, and Chicago’s

 

A Cheese Toastie On $8.25 An Hour
(WAND (NBC) 17 Decatur © 09/03/2014)

A cheese toastie, ice tea and fries.  Not exactly a high priced lunch, but at $5.55 in a local eatery, it puts a dent in the budget of a minimum wage earner. The minimum wage guy in this case has a six figure income.  He is better known as Governor Pat Quinn. The Illinois Democrat is trying to demonstrate how difficult it is to live on a state minimum wage income of $8.25…

 

Symbolic gestures tout minimum wage hike
(Pekin Daily Times © 09/04/2014)

When Gov. Pat Quinn arrived in Peoria as part of a six-city tour of downstate Illinois to promote a hike of the minimum wage, he didn’t arrive like a typical candidate, let alone a sitting governor. Instead, he rolled up in a pickup truck owned by longtime friend David Vaught, who was driving him.

 

Pat Quinn’s minimum wage gimmick
(Chicago Tribune © 09/03/2014)

To commemorate the state of affairs in the Illinois governor’s race, tonight’s dinner will be saltine crackers dunked in tap water. Sad trombone, please. Don’t feel sorry for me. I have cabernet on standby. If you must pull a violin bow, do it for Gov. Pat Quinn who is demonstrating his solidarity with low-income workers by living on the minimum wage this week. It’s the latest fad among liberal…

 

Emanuel signs executive order raising living wage to $13 an hour
(Chicago Sun Times © 09/04/2014)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel signed an executive order Wednesday requiring city contractors to pay their employees $13-an-hour — 9 percent more than the $11.93 currently required — and broadened the “living wage” umbrella to include airport concessionaires. Emanuel called it a “downpayment” on his broader promise to raise Chicago’s minimum wage to $13-an-hour by 2018, no matter how the Illinois General Assembly …

 

Protesters Detained in Chicago Minimum Wage Rally
(Chicago WMAQ (NBC) 5 © 09/04/2014)

Nineteen protesters were detained and cited Thursday morning after blocking an intersection on Chicago’s south side in a continued fight for an increased minimum wage. …

 

Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon visits Algonquin to highlight work in ethics, education
(Crystal Lake Northwest Herald © 09/04/2014)

Several area community leaders and business people on Wednesday nodded in agreement as Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon stressed the importance of financial transparency among elected leaders. An informal visit from Simon during a regular Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Rotary Club meeting allowed members to ask questions and discuss such topics, as well as any others that came to mind.

 

Manar has served his district well
(Decatur Herald and Review © 09/04/2014)

State Senator Andy Manar is currently in his first term as Senator for the 48th Senate District, however, he is a lifelong resident of that senate district and he currently resides in Bunker Hill with his wife and three children. Andy has stepped up to the plate and has been vigorously fighting for downstate Illinois. He has done this through education funding reform, the disuse of ticket quotas,…

 

Oberweis gives hopeful update to area Republicans
(Crystal Lake Northwest Herald © 09/04/2014)

Jim Oberweis is doing his talking with his walking. The Republican challenger to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said he knew it would take a different approach to unseat a high ranking congressman that has been in Washington for 32 years, so he went to a Democratic stronghold where he said he is changing perceptions and the political landscape.

 

Dueling TV ads hit the air for Dold, Schneider
(Arlington Heights Daily Herald © 09/04/2014)

Dueling TV ads have hit the air in the suburbs’ highest-profile battle for Congress as U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider tries to outline his Democratic Party credentials with voters and Republican Bob Dold tries to strike a more middle-of-the-road tone. Schneider’s ad out this week hits a few key points outlining what he thinks it means to be a Democrat.

 

 

National News

 

Is Teaching America’s Most Embattled Profession?
(WMAQ-TV (MSNBC ) Chicago © 09/03/2014)

Her book may be called The Teacher Wars, but journalist Dana Goldstein’s new social history of teaching in America refrains from piling onto fierce debates over tenure, standardized testing, and the achievement gap. Instead, she puts this embattled profession on the continuum of the nation’s history. Throughout this 175-year saga, we learn that many new ideas and movements aren’t really new at all—…

 

 

JRW T-shirt sales pull in $164,000 for   team

Nearly   12,000 of the yellow shirts touting Jackie Robinson West’s Little League national   championship run flew off the shelves of the Dick’s Sporting Goods store in the   South Loop. Crain’s Danny Ecker has more.

The secret to reaching mobile shoppers

What   if retailers could text you a glossy image with a coupon right as you walked by   one of their stores? Would you take the bait? Crain’s profiles   the CEO of Iris Mobile, a mobile marketing technology company in the Loop that’s   betting you might.

Navistar CEO: Big closings, sales behind   us

Troy   Clarke, CEO of the Lisle-based manufacturer, says Navistar’s top priority now   is regaining market share lost as it struggled to recover from the disaster of   its costly proprietary smog-reduction truck engine system. Reuters has more.

Hospira’s inversion talks on hold?

Talks   by Lake Forest-based Hospira to buy the medical nutrition unit of Danone and use   the deal to move its tax domicile abroad have stalled, sources tell Reuters,   as attempts by U.S. companies to relocate abroad and cut their tax bills draw   growing criticism back home.

Why fast-food workers may be protesting   today

Hundreds   of workers from McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Wendy’s and other fast-food chains are   expected to walk off their jobs today as part of a national protest to push for   at least $15 an hour. More from the Associated   Press.

Emanuel raises minimum wage for city   contractors

The   mayor signed an executive order raising the minimum wage for employees working   for city contractors, pressing a popular progressive issue to raise Chicago’s   minimum wage to $13 an hour for all workers. The Chicago Tribune has more.

— Meanwhile, the Sun-Times reports   that GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner admitted in a newly unearthed radio   interview from early this year that he once favored the outright elimination of   Illinois’ minimum wage.

Boeing expects China sales to soar

Boeing   expects China will take deliveries of more than 6,000 passenger aircraft over   the next 20 years amid a growing economy and an expanding airline industry. The Wall Street Journal reports.

Opinion: The upside-down tax policy of   tax inversions

Tax   inversions are unfair to the vast majority of companies that do not, or cannot   invert, and continue to pay their taxes in full, writes attorney Don R. Sampen.   So what to do? Read his answer in this Crain’s guest op-ed.

Simple rules for a timeless look

Check   the style rules of Jacob Holton, a research assistant at Rush University, who   believes in brand loyalty and simple suits. See more of his workplace fashion   in Crain’s Business Models feature.

Over the mountain, but not over the hill

Crain’s   talks with David Schwartz, the co-founder and CEO of Waterton Associates, about   celebrating his 50th birthday by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Lean about the workouts that   got him there.

TIME.com

 

Al-Qaeda Expands

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri announced the creation of an Indian branch on Wednesday, boosting his group’s claims to be the world’s foremost jihadists. The announcement is seen as an effort to compete with the resurgent Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS)

 

Fast Food Workers to Strike

Fast food workers are expected to strike in an estimated 150 cities on Thursday, pushing for a raise in hourly wages and the right to form a union

 

Feds to Investigate Ferguson Cops

With the help of the FBI, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division has been investigating last month’s fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, who was wounded several times by a Ferguson police officer. The shooting sparked several days of protest

 

Report: IV Problem Led To Botched Oklahoma Execution

An improperly placed IV and inadequate executioner training led to April’s botched execution of Oklahoma death row inmate Clayton Lockett, according to a state review released Thursday. An IV placed in Lockett’s groin became dislodged sometime during the execution

 

Lego Is Now The Largest Toy Company In The World

The Danish block-maker on Thursday announced that total sales hit $2.03 billion, narrowly beating out Mattel’s $2 billion in revenue over the same period. Lego earnings have soared on the strength of products related to its wildly popular movie

 

Jennifer Lawrence Is the Highest-Grossing Action Heroine

The actress won the 2015 Guinness World Record for highest-grossing action heroine, thanks to the success of the blockbuster Hunger Games franchise, which has raked in more than $1.52 billion internationally

 

New Dino Species Weighed More Than a Jumbo Jet

Researchers said Thursday that they found a species of dinosaur that was 85 feet long and weighed as much as 12 elephants, making it one of the largest animals known to have walked the Earth. The titanosaur skeleton was found in Argentina and is 70% complete

 

Putin Says He Has a Plan for Peace in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled a seven-point peace plan for Eastern Ukraine on Wednesday that he jotted down in a notebook on a flight. His first point called for Ukraine and the pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine to “end active offensive operations”

 

Clooney to Direct Movie About Phone-Hacking Scandal

George Clooney is on board to direct the film, adapted from the 2014 book Hack Attack by journalist Nick Davies. It explores how a British tabloid hacked into voice mails of politicians, celebrities, members of the royal family and crime victims looking for scoops

 

This Asteroid Will Pass Really Close to Earth This Weekend

NASA says an asteroid that was first spotted only days ago will pass very close to Earth on Sunday. Designated 2014 RC, it will “safely pass” our planet at about one tenth the distance from Earth to the Moon, or roughly 25,000 miles away, the space agency said Wednesday

 

Eating Fruit Cuts Heart Disease Risk by 40%

A new study that looked at more than 451,680 participants’ fruit consumption over seven years found that compared with people who never eat fruit, those who eat fruit every day cut their heart-disease risk by 25% to 40%

 

Rosie Perez and Nicolle Wallace Will Join The View

Actress Rosie Perez and conservative political commentator Nicolle Wallace will join The View as co-hosts, ABC confirmed. Perez and Wallace will be replacing controversial former co-hosts Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy, who were both dropped over the summer 

 

The Washington Post

 

Islamic State prompts shift in GOP politics

The rise of the militant group is putting a halt to the anti-interventionist mood that had been gaining credence in the party.

 

Democrat quits Senate race, clears way for independent

In an 11th-hour decision, Democratic nominee Chad Taylor drops out.

 

Fix: A huge wrench in Senate math

 

A dinosaur heavier than a T. rex. And a Boeing 737. Combined.

Scientists found the remains of a new dinosaur in the Patagonian hills that has taken the crown for largest terrestrial animal.

 

Kremlin warns Ukraine that joining NATO could derail efforts to end crisis

Moscow warns any bid by Ukraine to join alliance could scuttle peace prospects in nation’s restive east.

 

Father who left toddler son in hot car is charged with murder

Justin Ross Harris told police he meant to drive his son to daycare but drove to work instead.

 

I’m a senior GOP spokesman, and I’m gay. Let me get married.

POSTEVERYTHING | The ex-RNC adviser helped install lawmakers who perpetuate a marriage bias.

 

Why Alzheimer’s hits women more

Recent findings suggest that biological, genetic and even cultural influences may play heavy roles.

 

Here’s what really happened in the Gaza war (according to the Israelis)

WORLDVIEWS | A top Israeli intelligence officer shared his slide show on the 50-day Gaza war.

 

Traveler at the center of seat-reclining debate speaks: ‘I’m pretty ashamed’

James Beach says he has a few regrets about his behavior on the United Airlines flight.

 

Breadwinner dad? Caregiving mom? Tough luck, Wally. This isn’t the 1950s.

A report being released today shows that 22 percent of children under age 15 are in traditional homes.

 

Why do players grunt in tennis? It helps them play better, says science.

EARLY LEAD | A new study found that grunting actually helps tennis players hit the ball harder.

 

Word of the Day  Thursday, September 04, 2014

Indagate  \IN-duh-geyt\

verb;

1. Archaic . to investigate; research.