In the News ~ Sept. 17

Strike continues: No class Wednesday as Highland teachers, board work toward agreement – The Highland Education Association and Highland School Board met well into the evening Tuesday, hoping to bring an end to the teachers strike that began last week. Teachers union President ShiAnne Shively submitted a new proposal to the board Tuesday night, after the teachers overwhelmingly rejected a tentative agreement on Sunday that the two negotiating teams had arrived at late Saturday night…

 

Highland teachers strike for 5th school day
(WAND (NBC) 17 Decatur © 09/17/2014)

A teacher strike in southwestern Illinois’ Highland School District continued for the fifth day Wednesday as union representatives negotiated with district officials. The union president submitted a new contract proposal to the school board Tuesday night, after teachers rejected a previous offer Sunday, the Belleville News-Democrat reported. All seven …

 

Negotiations falter in Highland teacher strike
(Alton Telegraph © 09/16/2014)

A tentative agreement that may have ended the first-ever teacher strike in the Highland School District was rejected by the Highland Education Association. The tentative agreement was reached with a mediator after an eight-hour negotiation session without breaks on Saturday. It would have allowed teachers to retain their retirement incentives and health insurance.

 

Striking teachers distributing lunches to students
(Alton Telegraph © 09/16/2014)

With the Highland teachers’ strike continuing into its fifth day, many striking teachers are concerned about students getting healthy lunches. “We began a discussion a day or so ago about kids who get breakfast and lunch served to them at school who may not have it during the strike,” Highland Education Association President ShiAnne Shively said.

 

Lunches from Highland teachers

Belleville News Democrat – ‎ September 17, 2014

Highland Elementary School teachers Christine Ford (left) and Kerri Spies talk as they give sack lunches to students who stopped by Tuesday in downtown Highland. Spies said there were four separate groups of teachers distributing about one hundred and …

 

Hinsdale district asks teachers union to drop strike threat
(Arlington Heights Daily Herald © 09/16/2014)

Pay, benefits and dress code Sticking points in contract negotiations in Hinsdale High School District 86: Salary schedule structure: District wants a 35-step scale that would slow teachers’ rise to the top of the pay grade; union wants to maintain existing 19-step scale. What teachers make: Starting pay would be $53,002 (union proposal) or $54,000 (school board proposal).

 

Hinsdale D86 official: Names of emailers are private
(Chicago Tribune © 09/16/2014)

Some Hinsdale school district officials say releasing the names of people who sent emails voicing their feelings on on-going teachers contract negotiations would be a violation of their privacy, while a community member asking for those names contends redacting them as the district did may violate Freedom of Information laws. In the on-going public relations war over working out a…

 

Hinsdale school district administrators discuss pension penalties
(Willowbrook Suburban Life © 09/16/2014)

As the District 86 Board of Education and Hinsdale High School Teachers Association remain at odds and the debate over fair teachers’ salaries stretches into the school year, the board remains adamant that pension-boosting pay hikes for teachers will not be a part of the new deal. Information obtained from the Teachers Retirement System shows that in addition to the cost of paying teacher …

 

Hinsdale D86 teachers: No strike before homecoming
(Chicago Tribune © 09/16/2014)

The earliest teachers in Hinsdale Township High School could legally call a strike is Oct. 7, although teachers have vowed that if they call for a walk-out it will not be before homecoming, which is scheduled for Oct. 11. At a press conference Monday, Board President Richard Skoda and Board Vice President Edward Corcoran, reiterated their position that their offer to teachers,

 

Hinsdale District 86 Board president says investigation of teachers called off
(Oak Brook Doings © 09/16/2014)

Hinsdale High School District 86 School President Richard Skoda said Tuesday teachers will not be investigated in regards to a photo of an ax that appeared on the teachers’ union Facebook site this summer. Skoda said Superintendent Bruce Law did not want to pursue the investigation and the School Board concurred Monday night. ‘The Facebook posting that had an ax through a windshield was…

 

Southeast High student who brought gun to school charged in juvenile court
(Springfield State Journal Register © 09/16/2014)

A 15-year-old Southeast High School student accused of sneaking an unloaded gun into school was charged in juvenile court Tuesday with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and unlawful use of a weapon. The boy appeared in front of a judge for the first time after being arrested Friday at the school. Sangamon County State’s Attorney John Milhiser said the teen could still be charged as an adult, …

 

Superintendent’s View: District 205′s focus: Student success is what it’s all about
(Rockford Register Star © 09/17/2014)

This is an edited transcript of Superintendent Ehren Jarretts speech at the Rockford Chamber of Commerce’s Educational Outlook Luncheon on Sept. 4 at the Radisson Hotel Conference Center: We have an unprecedented challenge in our community.

 

Guest Column: Rockford Public School District: ‘Then There Were None!’
(Rockford Rock River Times © 09/17/2014)

Two more stellar teachers, Donna Moeller, dean of secondary math curriculum throughout Rockford Public School District 205 (RPS 205), and the CAPA and Fine Arts director, LuAnn Widergren, have recently lost their jobs in District 205! These outstanding teachers/administrators wrote a noteworthy federal grant for the district, the RPS 205 Arts Infusion Grant.

 

 

Our Opinion: Carbon monoxide alarms belong in schools
(Springfield State Journal Register © 09/17/2014)

Families and officials at the North Mac School District in Girard surely are relieved that no one was seriously injured Monday when a carbon monoxide leak in a school sent more than 140 students and adults to the hospital. The leak occurred just after the school day began at the North Mac Intermediate School and was attributed to a broken furnace vent. Students and adults who were not showing signs…

 

 

Emanuel: Custodial Contractors Can ‘Clean Up Their Desks And Get Out’ If They Fail To Fulfill Contract
(WBBM TV CBS 2 Chicago © 09/16/2014)

CHICAGO (CBS) Mayor Emanuel says the Chicago Public Schools will hold its cleaning contractors accountable, amid complaints from principals and announcement of layoffs among janitors, reports WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore. Principals have complained about poorly cleaned schools since janitorial services were privatized and now Aramark, the principle contractor, is threatening to layoff … 

 

Dist 299

 

Which Is It Going To Be: CTU Or City Hall?

 

Emanuel allies are pressuring Lewis to make a decision. Meanwhile, Emanuel and Byrd-Bennett are telling Aramark to get on the ball with cleaning CPS Schools.  Riffing off of yesterday’s PDK poll of public opinion on teachers, Chicago teacher Ray Salazar lists 3 reasons people don’t trust teachers, and charter school applications were down in DC this year.

 

Pro-Rahm group tells Karen Lewis to choose: Mayor’s race or CTU Chicago Sun-Times: A group that has supported Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the past on Tuesday called on Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis to make a choice: Declare candidacy for mayor or lead in negotiating the next teachers contract.  Elsewhere, UTLA is now calling for LAUSD superintendent Deasy’s resignation,

 

Emanuel vs. Lewis shifts up a gear Chicago Sun-Times: The not-yet-formally-announced mayoral campaign of Karen Lewis is taking shape. After registering a campaign committee in late August and this month loaning it $40,000 of her own money, Chicago Teachers Union boss Karen Lewis has now put a …

 

Emanuel, Byrd-Bennett To Aramark: Clean Up Your Act And Our Schools Chicagoist:  CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said she wasn’t concerned by the Sun-Times report, yet added Aramark and SodexoMAGIC, which holds an $80 million contract for facilities management at some CPS pilot schools, have been slow out of the gates.

 

Aramark to keep schools clean, or else, Emanuel says WLS-TV: “Aramarks job is to clean the schools so our principals and teachers can focus on their fundamental responsibility, education,” Emanuel said. “They will either live up to that contract and clean up theschools, or they can clean up their desks and get …

 

Three reasons people don’t trust teachers The White Rhino: Between 2009 and 2012, Chicago Public Schools went through five CEOs (Arne Duncan, Ron Huberman, Terry Mazany, Jean Claude-Brizard, Barbara Byrd-Bennett). This instability made its way to the classroom as policies and expectations changed each…

 

The Homestretch’ Shows The Struggle Of Chicago’s Homeless School Kids DNAinfo: In 2009, Kirsten Kelly discovered an almost secret population of Chicago PublicSchools kids who couch surf, crash with friends and sleep under cars but never get called “homeless.”

 

Chicago-area neighborhoods ranked by schools Tribune: Redfin recently cross-referenced data on home prices withGreatSchools ratings to arrive at the top three neighborhoods for highest-ranked schools in several metropolitan areas. In the greater Chicago area, they are Downtown Northbrook, Downtown La Grange, and North Center.

 

NATIONAL

 

Lawsuit challenges teachers’ compulsory dues EdSource Today: A lawsuit working its way through the courts is striking at the core of the California Teachers Association’s power: its authority to automatically deduct hundreds of millions of dollars a year in dues from the paychecks of both members and non-members.

 

What’s the best way to teach teachers? PBS NewsHour: An annual poll out today by Gallup and Phi Delta Kappa finds that majorities of Americans believe teacher preparation should be more rigorous.  There was also support for stronger certification requirements and evaluations, more training and practice time for teaching candidates, and opposition to using student test results to evaluate teachers. A new book explores what better teaching may look like.

 

Bobby Jindal Trusts Science Except When He Doesn’t Huffington Post: America needs a leader to bridge the widening gulf between faith and science, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a devout Roman Catholic with Ivy League-level science training, thinks he can be that person.

 

Texas’ New Social Studies Textbooks Under Fire Texas Tribune: Several academics on Tuesday pointed to flaws — including inaccurate descriptions of world religions and out-of-date racial terminology — in proposed social studies textbooks up for adoption by the Texas State Board of Education.

 

‘A’ Is For Apps: Teachers Share Top Digital Tools Of The Trade NPR: Nestled between Julia Auster’s fantasy football app and Facebook Messenger is a relatively new bucket of apps: the education tools she uses in the French classes she teaches at Robert Adams Middle School in Holliston, Mass.

 

Computer tutors that can read students’ emotions Hechinger Report: Researchers have found ingenious ways to identify these emotions in students; for example, the Posture Analysis Seat. Then there’s the Pressure Mouse, a computer mouse that can detect how much pressure a user applies when clicking.

 

U.S. EdTech Companies Raise $154M in August EdSurge: US-based edtech companies raised $153.9 million in August of 2014, according to analysis by EdSurge. The funding was spread over 16 separate deals; more than 36 individual investors participated in the funding.

 

OTHER CITIES

 

LAUSD police to give up some weaponry obtained in federal program LA Times: Los Angeles Unified school police officials said Tuesday that the department will relinquish some of the military weaponry it acquired through a federal program that furnishes local law enforcement with surplus equipment. The move comes as education and civil rights groups have called on the…

 

Teachers union urges board to fire Deasy LA School Report: UTLA says it wants the board to downgrade Deasy’s performance to “unsatisfactory” at his annual evaluation, scheduled to take place behind closed doors on October 21. That would effectively spell the end to the superintendent’s contract which – at his own insistence – stipulates he meet performance targets set by the board.

 

Wealthy L.A. Schools’ Vaccination Rates Are as Low as South Sudan’s Hollywood Reporter: Hollywood parents say not vaccinating makes “instinctive” sense. Now their kids have whooping cough.

 

Fewer charter school applications this year Washington Post: The D.C. Public Charter School Board two years ago created a fast track for experienced charter operators with successful records in other cities to apply to open schools in the District.

 

Questions about “parent trigger” in Columbus schools linger Columbus Dispatch: State officials showed up at the Columbus school board meeting tonight to answer questions about the “parent trigger,” which could transform up to 20 schools.

 

 

Political News

 

Quinn Leading Rauner in Newspaper Poll
(WJOL-1340 Joliet © 09/17/2014)

A new poll shows Governor Quinn in the lead for the first time in his re-election bid. The Chicago Tribune survey has the governor ahead of Republican challenger Bruce Rauner by eleven points. Both sides downplayed the numbers while continuing to blast the opposition. The newspaper polled 800 people over the phone for its survey. 9-17 5:15 AM…

 

Latest Poll Shows Quinn Ahead for the First Time
(WICS ABC 20 (Springfield) © 09/16/2014)

Both the Rauner and Quinn camps downplayed the latest poll results, each saying the race will continue to be extremely competitive regardless of what the numbers show. Analysts say the results are fairly surprising, but voters say they’re trying to focus on the issues. Ron Finley of Taylorville says, “I vote for the person, not for the polls.” James McSheffery of Woodridge says, “I …

 

Rauner questions pot program’s transparency
(Decatur Herald and Review © 09/17/2014)

Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner is raising red flags about the state’s new medical marijuana program. The businessman from Winnetka alleged Tuesday the new law could give Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn the ability to dole out licenses for pot sellers and marijuana growers to companies with political connections. In particular, he pointed to former Quinn chief of staff

 

Rauner questions medical marijuana program secrecy
(Joliet Herald News © 09/17/2014)

Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner said Tuesday he wouldn’t have signed legislation creating Illinois’ medical marijuana pilot program because it includes a secret process for deciding who may grow and sell the drug. Rauner said it’s “another hallmark” of a culture of corruption under Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. He said the public should know who’s applying for a limited number of…

 

The Politics of Pot
(WTTW Chicago © 09/17/2014)

GOP candidate for governor Bruce Rauner says the process to become a medical marijuana grower or seller is rigged to benefit the politically connected. Is it? Paris Schutz takes a closer look. Bruce Rauner has one message for Governor Pat Quinn. Governor, the jig is up, he said in a press release Tuesday.  The application process for medical marijuana should not be held in secret where inside…

 

Bruce Rauner Attacks Gov. Pat Quinn over Medical Marijuana
(WTVO ABC 17 Rockford © 09/17/2014)

Rockford- Its been a week since business started applying for medical marijuana cultivation centers, but there’s already uproar in Springfield. Republican nominee for Governor Bruce Rauner is attacking Governor Pat Quinn for making the application process secretive. Local Republicans agree. Senator Dave Syverson says of the process if you’re going to do it in this kind of process, …

 

How IDOT became Governor Quinn’s latest political football
(Champaign WCIA (CBS) 3 © 09/17/2014)

Governor Quinn can’t seem to get away from the scandal involving fired state workers. Quinn’s been under scrutiny since a state watchdog report revealed improper hiring practices. Quinn replaced leadership at IDOT and his Chief-of-Staff involved in the scandal resigned. The Office of the Executive Inspector General revealed controversial hiring process where people…

 

Rauner’s running mate adds criticism to illegal IDOT hirings
(WJBC AM 1230 Bloomington © 09/17/2014)

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner’s lieutenant governor running mate is adding her criticism to the governor’s illegal hiring at the Illinois Department of Transportation. Evelyn Sanguinetti said Gov. Pat Quinn perhaps though…

 

Sanguinetti criticizes Quinn at Bloomington stop
(Bloomington Pantagraph © 09/16/2014)

Republicans are turning up the heat on Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, blasting him for the patronage scandal in the Illinois Department of Transportation. GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner and his lieutenant governor running mate, Evelyn Sanguinetti, called out Quinn Tuesday after it was reported that one of the 103 people still on the job at IDOT is the wife of a top Peoria-are…

 

Rauner Bars College Journalists from Presser
(Chicago Press Release Service © 09/16/2014)

Republican Governor Candidate Bruce Rauner held an event today to announce something. Columbia College Chicago journalism professor Curtis Lawrence brought his class of aspiring reporters to listen to Rauner’s announcement about something or other and get some practice covering a political press conference, according to the Sun Times’ Natasha Korecki.

 

Schneider gets endorsement from union that backed Dold in 2012
(Arlington Heights Daily Herald © 09/16/2014)

The Illinois Education Association has changed horses and endorsed U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider in his re-election bid against former congressman Robert Dold. The 130,000-member teachers union backed Dold two years ago when he lost to Schneider in a close race for the 10th District seat. “I’m honored to have the endorsement of the Illinois Education Association,” Schneider said …

 

 

National News

 

 

Chicago survey says: Fix our roads, cut   crime

Ask   Chicago residents about the local economy and they’ll express concern over crime   and infrastructure problems. But there’s still plenty of optimism, according to   a poll by Charles Schwab. Read more from Crain’s.

Meet the new MacArthur ‘genius grant’   winners

A   materials scientist at Northwestern, a U of C professor and a University of Illinois   environmental engineer are among the 21 winners of this year’s MacArthur Foundation   “genius grants.” More from the Associated   Press.

— And the Sun-Times   profiles another winner who is an ensemble playwright at Chicago’s Victory Gardens   Theater.

Chip startup gets $3.5 million to keep   HQ in Illinois

The   state is offering $3.5 million in incentives to convince Hoffmann Estates-based   Akhan Semiconductor to move its headquarters to Gurnee instead of another state.   Crain’s John Pletz has details.

The $400 million question at Sears: Why   are investors bailing?

Edward   Lampert’s $400 million loan may have been meant to bolster confidence in Sears   Holdings, but the retail CEO’s move seems to be having the opposite effect on   investors,writes Crain’s Joe Cahill.

Uber accelerates Chicago growth with   new West Loop lease

Ride-share   firm Uber Technologies is adding a large chunk of office space at 111 N. Canal   St. to make way for potentially hundreds of new employees. Chicago Real Estate Daily   reports.

BMO Private Bank taps new U.S. chief

BMO   Financial Group is turning to an up-and-comer to jump-start its U.S. private bank,   which serves wealthy families. Crain’s talks with   the new president of BMO Private Bank in the U.S. about his new role.

Rag & Bone zeroes in on Gold Coast   location

The   New York-based clothier and retailer is negotiating a lease for ground-floor space   at 25 E. Delaware Place in a shop last occupied by the local gourmet foods company   Goddess & Grocer, sources tell Chicago Real   Estate Daily.

Mayor Emanuel joins NYC, LA in push for   immigrants to become citizens

The   mayors of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago plan to launch a new effort today   to increase citizenship among legal permanent residents. As the Wall Street Journal reports,   they hope the effort will spread across the country.

Blame U.S. tax policy for those corporate   inversions

The   owner of a Park Ridge manufacturing company that has offices in England offers   his thoughts on how the U.S. can make changes to its tax policies to keep companies   from moving their headquarters abroad. Read his Crain’s guest op-ed   here.

Are healthy moves too late for fat margins   at General Mills?

On   the day that General Mills posts earnings, there are concerns that the $18 billion   cereal company has been late to the table on such trends as Greek yogurt and offering   consumers healthier options in general. Check out this video report   from First Business News (click on the image to launch the video).

 

 

TIME.com

 

Vikings Ban Peterson

The Minnesota Vikings reversed its earlier decision and placed star running back Adrian Peterson on the NFL’s exempt list, an effective indefinite suspension from all team activities, until his ongoing child-abuse charges are resolved

 

Netflix’s Plan to Conquer the World

The streaming service is rolling out in six new European countries this week, which will expose the company to millions of new customers

 

General Tweaks Obama’s Plan

If the bid to “degrade and destroy” ISIS falls short, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey would ask the President to send in a limited number of ground-combat forces

 

‘Bechdel Test’ Creator Wins MacArthur Prize

The MacArthur Foundation announced the 21 recipients of this year’s fellowships, often called the “genius grant,” and among the honorees is cartoonist and graphic artist Alison Bechdel, known for her novels Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic and Are You My Mother?

 

Turns Out New Yorkers Aren’t America’s Rudest Drivers

But they’re close behind. A survey by Insure.com asked 2,000 drivers nationwide about driving habits and found that Idahoans complained of motorists who are either too slow or too aggressive; New Yorkers clocked in at No. 3 and Massachusetts closed out the Top 5

 

Meredith Vieira Reveals ‘Why I Stayed’

During the Wednesday episode of her daytime show, the host cites the rising popularity of the Twitter campaigns #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft, about domestic violence in the wake of the Ray Rice scandal, and reveals she suffered in an abusive relationship as a young woman

 

Sony Thinks It Will Lose $2.14 Billion This Year

Sony expects its annual loss to swell to $2 billion and cited intense competition as a major factor, especially from Chinese rivals; the tech giant has canceled dividends for the first time in more than half a century after writing down the value of its troubled smartphone business

 

Scottish Athletes Face Tough Choice in Referendum

Should Scotland opt out of the union, and they go with it, they risk losing out on the benefits of British funding, coaching and facilities. Even if they stay with Team Great Britain, they’ll have a harder time earning the love of English and Welsh fans

 

N.Y. Man Indicted on Charges of Helping ISIS

A 30-year-old man from Rochester has been charged with three counts of attempting to provide material support and resources to ISIS, one count of attempted murder of current and former members of the U.S. military, and three counts of weapons-related offenses

 

Report Claims Tech Giants Don’t Take Harassment Seriously

The Association for Progressive Communications’ Women’s Rights Program mapped Twitter, Facebook and YouTube’s policies for reporting and resolving instances of harassment or violence against women — and gave each a failing grade

 

Stakes High at China-India Talks

President Xi Jinping arrives in India on Wednesday, making the first visit by a Chinese head of state in eight years, and underscoring the increasingly important ties between the world’s two most populous nations. Both will aim to focus on business and avoid tension

 

Alzheimer’s Disease and Heart Disease Share Risk Factors

A new report highlights the connection between the neurodegenerative disease and the heart, finding that that blood pressure, diabetes and smoking are risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, which strikes women far more than men

 

 

The Washington Post

 

U.S. Senate up for grabs as Iowa race tightens

Philip Rucker and Dan Balz

Democrats hope Iowa is part of a broader political shift in close races elsewhere that could preserve their Senate majority.

 

Scottish vote also a verdict on Britain’s establishment

Some view the vote as a chance to support Scottish nationalism and give Britain’s political elite a kick in the teeth.

 

Why the Vikings changed their minds about letting Adrian Peterson play

The team, like the NFL, can’t find solid footing with the public and sponsors over child-abuse charges.

 

Rove-affiliated group attacks Grimes over her stance on immigration bill

FACT CHECKER | The Senate candidate is being hit for positions once backed by another Rove group.

 

What folks are saying about iPhone 6

The Earth moved. The stars aligned. Someone likely wept. A phone was born.

 

 

Word of the Day  Wednesday, September 17, 2014 

higgledy-piggledy  \HIG-uhl-dee-PIG-uhl-dee\

adverb;   

  1. in a jumbled, confused, or disorderly manner; helter-skelter.

 adjective: 

  1. confused; jumbled.

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