In the News ~ Sept. 16

Coaltion forms to push school funding reform – Nearly 100 organizations are joining together to push Illinois lawmakers to pass a school funding reform…

 

Highland teachers strike continues

(fox2now.com– September 16, 2014)

FOX 2 reached out Highland Superintendent Mike Sutton by phone on Monday and so far no response. Right now there are 192 teachers in the Highland school district with 175 in the union. Teachers hope to meet with the district officials and mediator again …

 

Negotiations falter in Highland teacher strike

(Alton Telegraph– September 16, 2014)

In a statement from Highland School District Superintendent Mike Sutton, he said that the Board of Education is disappointed that the tentative agreement was shut down by the HEA. He added that the HEA indicated that there never was a tentative agreement.

 

‘Slap in the face’: Highland district officials consider filing complaint against …

(Belleville News Democrat – September 16, 2014)

Highland School District is considering filing an unfair labor relations complaint against the teachers union, Highland Superintendent Mike Sutton said on Monday. Sutton called the Highland Education Association’s 140-20 membership vote against a deal …

 

District Exploring Legal Options Amid Strike

(Alton Daily News– September 16, 2014)

Officials in the Highland School district are exploring available legal options as the teacher’s strike enters its fourth day. District Superintendent Mike Sutton announced the district’s consideration of filing an unfair labor relations complaint against the teacher’s …

 

Highland football players concerned strike will affect scholarship opportunities

(KMOV.com– September 16, 2014)

Members of Highland High School’s Varsity football team are continuing with their regular season workout despite the strike. But due to the strike, games are being cancelled, making it difficult for students who have aspirations to be recruited by a college team …

 

Can’t hear the congressmen
(Belleville News-Democrat © 09/16/2014)

As a former teacher I’ve been proud of the Highland teachers for standing together to fight for a fair contract. Teachers are professionals who work each day to ensure our children have a brighter future, and they deserve to be treated with respect. I’m deeply disappointed that our local leaders like U.S. Reps. John Shimkus and Rodney Davis have remained silent about this strike.

 

Highland teachers aren’t ‘takers’
(Belleville News-Democrat © 09/16/2014)

The only redeeming quality within Jay Brown’s letter, (“Taking too much in Highland,” Wednesday) was that he initially moved to Highland because of its fine schools and teachers. He even acknowledged that his children received a quality education and became successful adults because of its public schools. However, the balance of his letter made the teachers out as nothing more than parasites …

 

Highland strike is ridiculous
(Belleville News-Democrat © 09/16/2014)

I raised 13 children through public, private and home education, and I feel the Highland teachers strike is ridiculous. Teachers desire, among other things, a 4 percent raise, but where does it stop? The state of Illinois is in dire financial straits. Families are struggling. Highland had numerous cancellation days this past winter, forcing the children to make them up….

 

Hinsdale D86 investigating teachers who ‘liked’ Facebook post

(Chicago Tribune – September 15, 2014)

Hinsdale Township High School District 86 has launched an investigation into 17 teachers who liked a Facebook post linked to a story about teacher contract negotiations accompanied by a photo that showed an ax lodged in a car windshield.

 

Hinsdale District 86 teachers claim Board intimidation with investigation

The Doings Weekly – September 15, 2014)

(Officials of the Hinsdale teachers union report the District 86 Board is pursuing an investigation of teachers who allegedly responded to an online story about teacher contract negotiations. John Bowman, co-president of the Hinsdale High School Teachers …

 

Hinsdale teacher contract dispute could have ripple effect in suburbs

(Chicago Daily Herald – September 15, 2014)

A contract dispute that threatens to trigger a teachers strike in Hinsdale High School District 86 could have far-reaching effects on similar talks throughout the suburbs, officials on both sides of the debate say. The stalemate in the yearlong negotiations centers …

 

Highland church welcomes students during teacher strike

(KSDK – September 16, 2014)

Highland, Ill. – For the time being, parents in Highland are finding ways to keep their kids busy during the teachers’ strike, so they can go to work. One Highland church is offering all-day care for kids in kindergarten through 6th grade. Teachers in Highland, Ill.

 

Letter: Hinsdale District 86 Board should be put on a 30-day plan

(The Doings Hinsdale – September 15, 2014)

I don’t know what the District 86 Board thinks effective leadership looks like, but 13 new staff resignations on an agenda might provide a clue that something has gone very wrong. I was an officer at a telecom company for 10 years, and effective leadership …

 

Letter: Hinsdale District 86 teachers are already well-paid

The Doings Weekly – ‎1 hour ago‎

As a graduate of Hinsdale Central High School and a taxpayer/resident here for several decades, I have concluded that the Hinsdale District 86 teachers are bold to be demanding as a union for yet another pay increase, on top of those they enjoyed in 2008, …

 

$500 raises, step’ increases in new contract for Springfield teachers
(Springfield State Journal Register © 09/16/2014)

Springfield teachers will get $500 raises plus a bump in pay for years of service under a one-year contract agreed to at Monday’s school board meeting. The impact to the district’s budget will be a little more than $1.5 million.

 

North Mac schools to install carbon monoxide detectors after leak sickens 140
(Springfield State Journal Register © 09/16/2014)

A carbon monoxide leak attributed to a broken furnace vent sickened dozens of children and staff at North Mac Intermediate School Monday morning, sending more than 140 to area hospitals. At least three of the victims were admitted overnight at St. John’s Hospital. The rest had been treated and released, hospital representatives said. All schools in the North Mac district will be closed Tuesday …

 

Some U-46 residents say no to higher taxes, expenses
(Arlington Heights Daily Herald © 09/16/2014)

Several Elgin Area School District U-46 taxpayers, largely from the DuPage County portion of the district, complained of higher tax bills and rising expenses during a public hearing on the proposed 2015 budget Monday night. The school board is expected to adopt a $488 million budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year Sept. 29. It incorporates $20 million more in anticipated revenues and $13 mill…

 

Less Illinois students attending the University due to cost
(Urbana Daily Illini © 09/16/2014)

This year, fewer students traveled to the University for their freshman year of college – even students from Illinois. Since 2006, the number of incoming in-state freshman that enrolled at the University has decreased from 6,385 to 4,927 this year.

 

Dist 299

 

Janitors, Politics, & Marshall High School

 

Today’s news includes more back and forth about the benefits of privatizing school custodial services, while at the same time there are concerns about the removal of the principal at Marshall (and potentially at other troubled schools). A Washington website looks at the impact of the Karen Lewis/Rahm Emanuel mudslinging on national unions and reform efforts.

 

JANITORS

 

Chicago Schools CEO: privatizing janitorial services not ‘as smooth as we would like’ WBEZ: CPS employs 825 custodian positions that are covered by SEIU Local 73 and none of those positions are being cut, according to district officials. However, many of those board-funded janitors have been reassigned to cover other schools as a result of the layoffs.

 

Union says layoffs will hurt school cleanliness Chicago Daily Herald: The union representing custodians in Chicago Public Schools said Monday that it will be difficult to keep schools clean once a private company takes over the work.

 

Byrd-Bennett: CPS cleaning contractors will be held accountable Chicago Sun-Times: Chicago Public Schools is holding its private cleaning contractors accountable for complaints of filthy buildings being lodged by principals and conditions will change, CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett told reporters Monday after speaking to the City Club of …

 

POLITICS

 

What the Chicago mayor’s race says about the future of education politics Vox: Political observers say Lewis and her confrontational style had an immediate effect on the Chicago Teachers Union’s umbrella group, the American Federation of Teachers. While Emanuel is a supporter of charter schools who’s generally seen as being a reform-friendly, reformers don’t hurry to claim Chicago as a hotbed of change, which could blunt the election’s symbolic weight.

 

Chicago parents give school closures a poor report card Al Jazeera America: Several political developments in recent years have had education issues at their core, from the election of a reform caucus to lead the Chicago Teachers Union in 2010 to an ongoing campaign to change the Mayor-appointed board to an elected school …

 

MARSHALL HS

 

Marshall HS principal’s ouster sparks confusion, questions Chicago Sun-Times: CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said after a speech at the City Club of Chicago that school had been on academic probation for 18 years.

 

Marshall principal laid off Catalyst: Johnson will be replaced by Lori Campbell, who served as the principal of Piccolo Elementary School, when it was made into an AUSL turnaround. It is unclear whether the principals of the other high schools–Julian, Tilden, Kelyvn Park, Chicago Vocational, Hirsch and Corliss–will stay in their posts.

 

Teachers and students outraged over sudden firing of principal WGN: Chicago Public Schools officials explained the decision to teachers and staffers and introduced a new principal Monday morning after an impromptu protest was held outside the school at 3250 W. Adams St.

 

NATIONAL

 

NCLB waiver extended for seven districts EdSource: After months of negotiations, seven California school districts have received a one-year extension of the waivers from the federal government exempting them from key provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act in return for meeting a slew of new requirements. See also PK12.

 

Charter school enrollments increased by 13 percent nationally Washington Post: Nationwide, about 2.5 million public school students were enrolled in charter schools last school year, up from 789,000 a decade earlier, according to the most recent enrollment estimates from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

 

David Boies, eyeing education through a civil rights lens Washington Post: David Boies, the superlawyer who chairs a group that is trying to overturn teacher tenure laws in New York and elsewhere, said Monday that his organization is not looking to take the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court — at least not in the short run.

 

California school district rewrites menu for student lunches PBS NewsHour: Finally tonight: With the new school year now in full swing, one urban district in California [Oakland] is implementing an ambitious plan to transform their lunch program to provide healthier, locally sourced food.

 

The Case for Having Class Discussions on Twitter Atlantic: Lively debate and direct quotes continue to fill the threads four hours after school has ended. Students upload pictures of their annotated texts and ask their classmates to help them understand the nuances of iambic pentameter.

OTHER CITIES

New Rochelle Struggles Amid Rice’s Unraveling NYT: Now that Ray Rice, a hometown football hero, has been dismissed from the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely from the National Football League, the New Rochelle High School community is struggling to determine how to react.

 

Regents Weigh New Routes to a High School Diploma WNYC: If approved by the Regents next month, high school students could substitute one of the two social studies exams with a test in career and technical education, the arts or humanities. They would still have to take Regents exams in English, math and science to meet federal requirements. See also ChalkbeatNY

 

 

Political News

 

New poll gives Quinn 12-point lead in governor race
(WHOI (ABC) 19 Peoria © 09/16/2014)

A new poll shows Governor Pat Quinn with a significant lead over Bruce Rauner in the 2014 race for governor. …

 

Despite Dismal Approval Ratings, Quinn Surges Past the Untested Rauner: Poll
(Chicago Press Release Service © 09/15/2014)

In the Illinois governors’ race, it seems voters would rather go with the one they know over the one untested. Gov. Pat Quinn takes the lead in a revealing new survey from the Chicago Tribune that shows the embattled Democrat out-polling Republican challenger Bruce Rauner despite voter dissatisfaction with his performance.

 

New Poll Shows Quinn With 11-Point Lead Over Rauner
(Progress Illinois © 09/15/2014)

In a new Chicago Tribune poll released over the weekend, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn leads GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner by 11 percentage points, at 48 percent and 37 percent, respectively. Five percent of the 800 registered voters surveyed for the poll supported Chad Grimm, the Libertarian candidate for governor.

 

Midday News Links: Rauner Ramps Up Attacks On Quinn
(Chicago Chicagoist © 09/15/2014)

With his poll numbers in decline, Illinois GOP gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner is stepping up his attacks on Gov. Pat Quinn and accused Quinn of overseeing a political hiring scandal at the Illinois Department of Transportation.

 

Rauner Steps Up Attacks As Poll Numbers Fall
(WBBM TV CBS 2 Chicago © 09/15/2014)

Behind in the latest poll, Republican candidate for Governor Bruce Rauner is stepping up his attacks on what he calls the corruption of incumbent Democrat Pat Quinn. WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports Rauner is accusing Governor Quinn of presiding over a cesspool of political hiring at the Illinois Department of Transportation,

 

Governor candidates spotlights on business, hiring
(Southern Illinoisan © 09/16/2014)

Illinois’ gubernatorial campaigns took jabs at each other on business and hiring Monday, with Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn’s running mate accusing Republican businessman Bruce Rauner of profiting “from fraud” and Rauner calling hiring under Quinn’s Department of Transportation a “scam.” Both campaigns – locked in a competitive race – intensified focus on issues previously in the…

 

Rauner: Quinn pretending to be a ‘folksy, bumbling fool’
(Chicago Sun Times © 09/16/2014)

Coming off a weekend where he’s reportedly behind double-digits in the governor’s race, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner launched one of the harshest attacks yet against Gov. Pat Quinn, likening Quinn to a crafty political patronage boss who heads an ‘Outfit’ that’s steeped in cronyism

 

Quinn says monitor not needed to oversee state hiring
(Chicago Daily Herald © 09/16/2014)

Gov. Pat Quinn contended in a federal court filing late Monday that a court-appointed monitor is not necessary to ensure compliance with political hiring bans, as suggested by an anti-patronage attorney. In the filing by the attorney general’s office, Quinn says his response to allegations of political hiring in the Department of Transportation

 

Peoria labor boss’ wife among IDOT employees hired in controversial process
(Peoria Journal Star © 09/16/2014)

One of the 103 people still on the job after being hired in a patronage scandal that has engulfed Gov. Pat Quinn’s transportation department is the wife of a top Peoria area labor official, state records show. Teresa Helfers made nearly $50,000 a year when hired into the staff assistant position in District 4 of the Illinois Department of Transportation in December 2011, ‘

 

Rauner says those hired under patronage rules but given non-patronage work should be fired
(WGEM Quincy (NBC) 10 © 09/15/2014)

Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner wants everyone hired under patronage rules at the Illinois Department of Transportation but given non-patronage work to be fired. IDOT announced on Friday that of the 245 people hired as ‘staff assistants at IDOT since 2002, 173 still work for the state, 161 of them at IDOT.

 

Rauner’s call for firings of illegal patronage hires’ would affect many in Springfield
(Springfield State Journal Register © 09/16/2014)

Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner’s call for the firing of all the “illegal patronage hires” made at the Illinois Department of Transportation would target many workers in or around Springfield. “The people of Illinois are drowning in Pat Quinn’s cesspool of corruption,” Rauner said in a statement Monday, the same day he had a news conference on the subject in Chicago.

 

Governor Quinn, clean house
(Chicago Tribune © 09/15/2014)

To fully appreciate the unabashed cronyism that flourished at the Illinois Department of Transportation, it’s helpful to look back to 2003, just after the felonious Rod Blagojevich was elected governor. Jacob Miller, appointed by Blagojevich to head IDOT’s Bureau of Personnel Management, quickly obtained a list of employees whose jobs were exempt from rules meant to keep clout out of state person…

 

Poll: Illinois voters back referendum issues
(Chicago Tribune © 09/16/2014)

Illinois voters strongly support the idea of increasing the minimum wage and raising the state income tax on millionaires positions that could help Democrats drive turnout in November, a Chicago Tribune poll shows. The survey also found that voters like the notion of placing term limits on state lawmakers, a concept that Republican governor challenger Bruce Rauner tried to put on the fall ballot…

 

Quinn Defends Public Education, Though Hes A Product of Private Schools
(WUIS 91.9 PBR (Springfield) © 09/15/2014)

Who Illinois voters choose to be their next governor could make a big difference in how Illinois funds schools, and even where students can go to get an education.

 

Mike Madigan pulls in $358,000 — in one weekend September 15, 2014
(Crains Chicago Business © 09/15/2014)

Unlike Illinois Republicans, he doesn’t have a sugar daddy with super-deep pockets to depend on. But Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan doesn’t need one. As if there were ever any doubt. Campaign disclosure reports filed over the weekend indicate Mr. Madigan is doing just fine in the contest for campaign cash, even though he doesn’t have a super-donor such as Bruce Rauner.

 

Video of lawmaker tirade resurfaces in House race
(Jacksonville Journal Courier © 09/16/2014)

A red-faced Mike Bost showed little restraint when he took to the floor of the Illinois House in 2012 and unleashed a furious rant about the way Democrats run the state, complete with hollering, paper-throwing, fist-waving and an oddly placed reference to Moses. “I’m sick of it!” the GOP lawmaker yelled as he swung at and missed pages of legislation he’d sent fluttering t…

 

 

National News

Lampert lending Sears $400 million

Billionaire   hedge-fund manager and Sears Holdings CEO Edward Lampert is lending the struggling   Hoffman Estates-based retailer $400 million through his investment company, ESL   Investments. Read more here.

Dogfight develops in race to become city   aviation czar

Chicago’s   long-time aviation commissioner is scheduled to fly off to a new gig next month,   and her departure has set off a lively succession battle. Crain’s Greg Hinz has the   list of potential contenders to replace Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino.

Why’s it so hard to be a boutique owner   in Chicago?

They   chased their dreams to own and run stores of their own. Crain’s talks with   three Chicago entrepreneurs about why they ultimately had to close down their   boutiques.

The upstart that hopes to beat Morningstar   — again

Financial   software welterweight NextCapital Group beat Morningstar in court this summer.   Now its bigger battle begins: competing with its larger rival to win new customers.   Crain’s has the story.

Boeing pulls ahead in space taxi race

Boeing   appears positioned to beat out two smaller rivals, including SpaceX, for the bulk   of a multibillion-dollar NASA contract to ferry astronauts to and from orbit,   according to the Wall Street   Journal.

— Meanwhile, Reuters reports   Boeing and Lockheed Martin will announce tomorrow that they are teaming up with   Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos to develop a new rocket engine.

United offers $100,000 buyouts

Chicago-based   United Airlines says it will offer flight attendants up to $100,000 in severance   if they leave the company. More from the Associated   Press.

When is a street vendor an emerging business?   When Chicago says it is

Why   has Chicago given special permission to nonprofit E.A.T. Chicago to sell tofu   scramble wraps downtown, calling the idea an innovative “emerging business,” while   traditional vendors are arrested for selling tamales in Little Village? The director   of the U of C’s Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship raises some questions   in this Crain’s guest op-ed.

Poll: Illinois voters support minimum   wage increase

A new Chicago Tribune poll   shows Illinois voters strongly support the idea of increasing the minimum   wage and raising the state income tax on millionaires. Will these positions help   Democrats drive turnout in November?

CPS chief says companies must clean up   schools

As   complaints arise about filthy school buildings, Chicago Public Schools chief Barbara   Byrd-Bennett acknowledges that the district’s transition to private contractors   for janitorial services hasn’t been smooth. The Sun-Times has more.

Raised patios raise a ruckus with neighbors

Developers   of high-end homes are raising yards, decks and gardens in Lincoln Park, Old Town   and Lakeview so they are level with the family room or kitchen. Are they killing   the neighborly feel of the neighborhoods? Crain’s takes a look.

 

TIME.com

 

U.S. Gears Up for Ebola Fight

On Tuesday, President Obama will announce more efforts by the U.S. to lead a global battle against the spread of the deadly virus. Obama has called America’s response to the disease a “national security priority,” with top officials leading the government’s efforts

 

United Will Offer Big Buyouts

The airline will offer thousands of flight attendants an early and voluntary buyout option, a lump-sum payout worth up to $100,000, in a bid to downsize

 

Peterson: I’m No Child Abuser

NFL star Adrian Peterson said he was sorry for hurting his four-year-old son, following an indictment on child injury charges, but denied he was an abuser

 

Stopping America’s Hidden Overdose Crisis

“Doctor-shopping” by patients addicted to opioids is one of the primary reasons that fatal overdoses of prescription drugs are on the rise — nearly 17,000 from pain medications in 2011 — but patchwork laws make them tough to stop

 

Downed Wires Halt Amtrak Service Between Philly, D.C.

The company said in a statement its Acela Express and Northeast Regional service were temporarily suspended during the morning commute until maintenance crews could remedy the issue, removing the wires from the tracks “as quickly and safely as possible”

U.N. Investigators Document Worsening Atrocities in Syria

Investigators warned at a briefing in Geneva on Tuesday that the civil war in Syria has reached new depths of “madness” as they presented fresh evidence of atrocities committed by fighters on both sides of the raging conflict

 

See Inside California’s Worst Week of Wildfires

This week has seen wildfires spread throughout the state, from Yosemite National Park to the central region near San Francisco, and now to the small town of Weed on the border with Oregon; on Monday night, 100 homes burned down as 1,500 residents were evacuated

 

Matt Damon May Return for Another Bourne Film

The actor is reportedly in early talks at Universal for his fourth appearance as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Identity series; the film would likely enter production to fill the July 16, 2016, release date set for an untitled Bourne film, possibly delaying the Aaron Cross spinoff sequel

 

GM Lawyer Increases Death Toll From Recalled Cars

A lawyer for the automaker has raised the number of eligible compensation claims for deaths related to defective ignition switches from 13 to 19; GM has received 125 death claims so far, and it is not known how many of those claims might be found eligible

 

U.S. Launches First Offensive Strike Against ISIS

The U.S. launched its first airstrike under its expanded mission to “degrade and ultimately destroy” Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria; previous strikes had been limited in scope to humanitarian efforts and protecting American personnel and facilities

 

British Politicians Make Final Push to Save Union

Prime Minister David Cameron implored Scottish voters not to let their dissatisfaction with his government lead them to opt out of the United Kingdom in the Sept. 18 referendum: “If you don’t like me — I won’t be here forever”

 

Walmart Spokesman Quits Over Résumé

David Tovar, vice president of communications, will resign after it was found he represented himself as a University of Delaware graduate; Tovar has not spoken publicly about the allegations but a Walmart statement acknowledges he has “decided to leave” at month’s end

 

The Washington Post

 

U.S. to lead Ebola fight with 3,000 troops in Africa

Lena H. Sun and Juliet Eilperin 8:54 AM ET

Obama plans to announce that the U.S. military will take the lead in overseeing what has been a chaotic response to the worst Ebola outbreak in history.

Obama will seek faster phaseout of popular coolant

Joby Warrick

The White House is preparing to introduce steps to phase out production of a coolant used in refrigerators and air conditioners.

When a low-paying job can be a risky choice

Tina Griego

For America’s poor, the security of public benefits can outweigh the risks of a job.

Loss of shipbuilder echoes at sea

 

Aaron C. Davis

The continuing journey to get the USS America, a $2.8 billion ship, ready for commissioning remains harder without its top designer.

Talk of war in Congress has a different feel this time around

DEBRIEF | Signs of reluctance show how the post-9/11 politics of war have changed.

 

A White House bid by Gov. O’Malley is a long shot. And that’s okay with him.

Past success as an underdog emboldens him to consider a run — possibly against Hillary Clinton.

 

Just two senators attended the D.C. statehood hearing. One walked out.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) called the whole exercise a waste of time and then left after only 30 minutes.

 

Rihanna is furious CBS now wants to use her ‘Thursday Night Football’ intro

The network pulled the singer’s song during the controversy over the Ray Rice domestic abuse case.

 

Word of the Day Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ablactate \ab-LAK-teyt\

verb;

  1. 1.       to wean.