In the News ~ Sept. 25

Rockton teachers and school board at impasse over contract – Rockton Teachers Association and the Rockton School Board have been negotiating for the past five months to no avail on a new contract. Wednesday, nearly 50 RTA members took to the picket line and marched outside of Rockton Grade School about an hour before Wednesdays scheduled board meeting. The majority of the teachers stayed for the board meeting.

 

Critical voices at Hinsdale District 86 School Board meeting
(PioneerLocal.com © 09/24/2014)

Parents and residents at the Hinsdale High School District 86 Board meeting Monday urged the board to reach an agreement with teachers. Many are signing an online petition that asks the School Board to accept the teachers ‘ union ‘s proposal from Sept. 8.  “We believe this proposal is fair and keeps District 86 competitive with neighboring districts,” the petition reads.

 

Teachers union, Waukegan School District remain at odds
(Lake County News Sun © 09/24/2014)

In an attempt to avert a strike that could begin as early as Oct. 2, teachers union leaders are scheduled to meet with representatives of Waukegan School District 60 on Thursday for a second round of contract negotiations. District Superintendent Donaldo Batiste sent a letter home to parents Wednesday that was sensitive to the teachers pursuit of a fair agreement, but he added that the union app…

 

Illinois schools seeing spike in homeless students
(WGEM Quincy (NBC) 10 © 09/25/2014)

The number of homeless students in Illinois is on the rise. According to new numbers released by the U.S. Department of Education, Illinois has seen a 17 percent increase in the number of homeless students since last year. Phyllis Stewart, the Homeless Liaison for the Quincy Public School District, says 34 students in the Quincy School system are considered homeless …

 

Schools ditching textbooks with new Common Core standards
(WREX (NBC) 13 Rockford © 09/24/2014)

Many students across the state may not have as much to carry in their backpacks. Common Core may be to blame. The Illinois State Board of Education began aligning their curriculum to the national common core standards in 2010. Before then, it hadn’t been updated since 1997. With the new standards, some text book companies aren’t able to keep up with the changes.

 

Unit 5 school board passes balanced budget
(Bloomington Pantagraph © 09/25/2014)

The McLean County Unit 5 school board passed a $146 million budget for all funds. The fiscal 2015 budget is projected to be balanced overall and specifically in the education and operations and maintenance funds, which account for most operating expenses. The transportation fund is projected to run a substantial deficit due to reductions in state payments.

 

Sangamon Valley schools install carbon monoxide detectors
(Decatur Herald and Review © 09/25/2014)

When Sangamon Valley School District Superintendent Ernie Fowler heard about a carbon monoxide incident at North Mac Middle School in Girard, he knew he had to address the possibility in his own district.  “It got me to thinking about our schools and what we need to be doing, “ he said.  “I wish I’d have thought of this before, but after that happened,

 

The 16 Best Public High Schools in Illinois, as Ranked by Newsweek
(Vernon Hills Patch.com © 09/25/2014)

The school year is back in full swing for Illinois ‘ high school students, and just in time, Newsweek has named the top 500 public high schools in the country. Of those 500, 16 Illinois high schools made the cut based on an analysis of data from the 2011-12 academic year, which is the most recent available from the National Center for Education Statistics, t…

 

Second IHSA hearing set Oct. 3
(Alton Telegraph © 09/24/2014)

The Illinois High School Association received confirmation Wednesday that a second hearing with the Illinois General Assembly’s Elementary and Secondary Education Committee will take place at 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3 at South Shore International High School in Chicago. State Rep. Linda Chapa La Via, D-Aurora, who chairs the committee, has previously said she would like to hold…

 

DuPage school districts talk state funding with legislators
(Arlington Heights Daily Herald © 09/24/2014)

Representatives from three DuPage school districts heard from state leaders on both sides of the aisle Wednesday about the impact of a proposed law to make sweeping changes in the way the state funds education. Officials from Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200, Naperville Unit District 203 and Indian Prairie Unit District 204 met with legislators in Naperville to discuss the possible i…

 

Board approves budget for 2014-15 school year
(Edwardsville Intelligencer © 09/24/2014)

The Edwardsville Board of Education approved the 2014-15 budget Monday night during the general meeting, but not before taking a hard look during the finance committee meeting at the future budget which looks unstable. With an approximate budget deficit in excess of $3.8 million anticipated for the 2014-15 school ye…

 

Decatur Public Schools hire new principal for MacArthur High School
(WAND (NBC) 17 Decatur © 09/24/2014)

The Decatur Public Schools Board of Education hired a new principal for MacArthur High School during a regularly scheduled meeting on September 23. During the meeting, the board selected Paul Ranstead to be MacArthur High School’s next principal.  Decatur Public Schools began their search for a new principal when Dr. Rhonda Key announced her resignation earlier this year. Ranstead…

 

Faculty Association no-confidence vote adds to tension at College of DuPage
(La Grange Doings © 09/24/2014)

An already tense atmosphere at the College of DuPage just got a little more tense. The COD Faculty Association announced recently that a vote of no-confidence in college President Robert Breuder was approved by it members by a secret ballot Sept. 10.  “This vote of no confidence reflects a deep and profound discouragement with the leadership of the current president, “ read a statement by as…

 

 

Dist 299

 

Emanuel Admits Obama High “Mistake”

 

Today’s news roundup: Emanuel admits it was a mistake to name the new school after Obama — but isn’t changing his views on legalized pot. The CPS Board of Education focused on janitorial issues, approved more Safe Passage schools, and Dyett protests (at City Hall). Commenters debated the Board’s banning of a handful of advocates and wondered about political connections that still seem to determine who gets hired or fired in CPS. Plus: National news, teacher and parent news, and education news from other cities.

 

POLITICS

 

Emanuel says he ‘made a mistake’ in naming school after Obama Sun Times: Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday he “made a mistake” in his “rush to honor” President Barack Obama — which is why he dropped plans to name a new, $60 million selective-enrollment high school on the Near North Side after his former boss.

 

Emanuel ridicules Lewis for proposal to legalize and tax pot Sun Times: Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday ridiculed Chicago Teacher’s Union President Karen Lewis for suggesting that marijuana be legalized and taxed because it’s a “great revenue source.”

 

Emanuel, Lewis clash on legalizing, taxing marijuana Tribune: Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday knocked down potential challenger Karen Lewis’ idea to legalize and tax marijuana, saying he doesn’t “think you should balance the budget by promoting recreational smoking of pot.”

 

Karen Lewis shares her views with McKinley Park residents The Gate News: Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis drew a crowd of about 75 people during a forum Monday as part of the “Conversations with Karen” series that are being scheduled in neighborhoods across the city.

 

JANITORS

 

CPS promises to clean up custodial issues Chicago Tribune: District chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett, who was absent from Wednesday’s meeting because of what the district said was a family emergency, said earlier this month that the transition “has not been as smooth as we would like.”

 

Top CPS administrator grilled over janitorial contract Chicago Sun-Times: Facing an avalanche of complaints about the cleanliness ofChicago Public Schools since privatizing janitorial management, a top district administrator who recommended Aramark was grilled by Board of Education officials over the $260 million contract they …

 

CLOSINGS / SAFETY

 

11 Dyett High School protesters arrested at City Hall, sources say WLS-TV: The Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School wants Emanuel, the Chicago school board and CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett to sign an agreement indicating their “full support” for the school.  See also DNA Info, Mike Klonsky.

 

Chicago schools getting more Safe Passage workers MyFox Chicago: Another 15,000 students at 27 more Chicago public schools will be seeing Safe Passage workers in their neon vests on their way to and from school.

 

Comings and Goings: Chapman Catalyst: Warren Chapman has been named Chief Advancement Officer at The Chicago Lighthouse for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired. In this position he will manage activities related to analysis, planning, and execution of fundraising/development goals.

 

NATIONAL

 

Is there too much testing in the public schools? PBS NewsHour: Alberto Carvalho is the superintendent of Miami-Dade County School District, who’s calling for changes. His district is dealing with dozens of mandated tests throughout the year. And Kathleen Porter-Magee is with the Partnership for Inner-City Education. She’s also a fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

 

White high school dropouts are wealthier than black or Latino college graduates Vox: When it comes to building wealth, whites have a vast advantage over their black and Hispanic peers. Writing at Demos, Matt Bruenig dug into the Federal Reserve’s latest Survey on Consumer Finances and found a huge wealth gap by race and ethnicity.

 

Time for Cell Phones in School? WNYC: Mayor de Blasio spilled the beans that his son Dante takes a cell phone to school and that he still intends to do away with the ban.

 

Three R’s For The Digital Age: Rockets, Robots And Remote Control NPR: The World Maker Faire comes to one of the nation’s most diverse neighborhoods.

 

Bill Clinton: Charter Schools Must Be Held To ‘The Original Bargain’ HuffPost: Charter schools have great potential, but they aren’t living up to their promise, former President Bill Clinton said late Tuesday night at a gathering of about 100 international philanthropists and businesspeople.

 

OTHER CITIES

 

For a third year in a row, pro-charter groups plan large political rally ChalkbeatNY:  Calling itself the “Coalition for Education Equality,” a group led by the pro-charter Families for Excellent Schools announced they will stage a large education rally on Oct. 2 at Foley Square in Lower Manhattan.

 

Chancellor to Schools: Focus on Social Studies WNYC: The city’s Department of Education is updating its social studies curriculum for the first time in nine years, and Chancellor Carmen Fariña made it clear she wants the subject to get more attention. See also ChalkbeatNY.

 

‘TIE Tuesday’ Making Positive Impact on Florida Students NBC News: A Florida grade school is seeing positive improvements in test scores by starting with how students see themselves. WFLA’s Rod Carter reports.

 

This Is How Denver Area High School Students Are Protesting Proposed Curriculum Changes Huffington Post: This week hundreds of students from schools in the Jefferson County School District have left class to protest a proposal from the school board that would modify the curriculum of a high school history class.

 

TEACHERS

 

What makes a student “gifted”? This study says we’re getting it wrong Vox: A new National Bureau of Economic Research working paper found that the students who benefit the most from gifted classrooms are students who aren’t gifted at all — at least, not as measured by intelligence tests. Instead, they’re students who scored well on standardized tests in previous years.

 

Teacher who talked of killer robots resigns, gets $92,000 settlement LA Daily News: A San Diego County teacher resigned after being investigated for talking in class about programming robots to shoot and kill students.

 

Center for Union Facts says Randi Weingarten is ruining nation’s schools Washington Post: The 11-page mailing, on expensive paper stock, was sent first class to 125,000 households across the country this week.

 

PARENTS

 

When the digital classroom meets the parents Marketplace APM: On a recent night at High Tech Los Angeles, a charter high school in Van Nuys, California, a group of parents got a lesson in just what that means. One of them was Nooneh Kradjain, who has two sons at the high school, and was busy scribbling notes. She said she was struck by how much things have changed since she was in school.

 

Michelle Obama delivers keynote address at UN education event Washington Post: First lady Michelle Obamadelivered the keynote address at a United Nation’s education event on Wednesday, focusing on providing girls around the world with quality education.

 

Political News

 

Education funding formula dividing 41st House candidates
(Arlington Heights Daily Herald © 09/24/2014)

The proposed state law that would change the formula for how education funding is divided among schools also is dividing candidates for state-level offices. State House District 41 candidates Grant Wehrli and Ed Agustin have different perspectives on the proposal referred to as Senate Bill 16, which would give more state money to school districts in poorer areas that don’t receive as much…

 

81st House candidates ‘vehemently’ disagree on school funding
(Arlington Heights Daily Herald © 09/25/2014)

Education funding is just one of many issues that divide the Republican incumbent and the Democratic challenger running for the 81st state House District in the Downers Grove area. Republican Ron Sandack said he disagrees “vehemently” with Democrat Elizabeth Chaplin that Senate Bill 16, which proposes education funding reforms, can be a conversation starter about the topic of how the state …

 

At least a dozen Rauner-linked companies went bankrupt
(Southern Illinoisan © 09/25/2014)

Republican Bruce Rauner has touted his success as a businessman as a reason Illinois voters should support his bid for governor. But, just as Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has been at the helm of a financially troubled state, a number of companies owned by Rauner’s firm also have faced turbulent financial waters.

 

Student leaders invite Quinn, Rauner to UI
(Champaign News Gazette © 09/25/2014)

Two student leaders at the University of Illinois have made public their invitation to gubernatorial candidates Pat Quinn and Bruce Rauner to debate on campus. Student Trustee Lucas Frye and Student Body President Mitch Dickey announced on Wednesday night that they would extend the invitations for a proposed forum at 7 p.m. Oct. 7 at Foellinger Auditorium.

 

Rauner campaign is stumbling into the home stretch
(Chicago Daily Southtown © 09/25/2014)

Bruce Rauner reportedly had one of those bugs that were going around last week. I feel his pain. I was sick with one thing or another all week. Luckily, I took a little time off, or I’d probably have felt even worse. Rauner didn’t take any time off, and it showed. For the first time at his news conferences, he read his statements off the page, painfully stumbling over his words.

 

FACT CHECK: Rauner’s early prison release TV ad
(Chicago Sun Times © 09/25/2014)

A secret program allowing the early release of Illinois prison inmates nearly sunk Democrat Pat Quinn’s first run for governor four years ago. Now it has resurfaced in his bid for re-election. With each candidate attacking the other on their management records, Republican Bruce Rauner has aired a 30-second television spot about the 2009 policy that Quinn terminated after it …

 

At least a dozen Rauner-linked companies went bankrupt
(Southern Illinoisan © 09/25/2014)

Republican Bruce Rauner has touted his success as a businessman as a reason Illinois voters should support his bid for governor. But, just as Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has been at the helm of a financially troubled state, a number of companies owned by Rauner’s firm also have faced turbulent financial waters.

 

Rauner uses Harold Washington criticism of Quinn in new ad
(Chicago Tribune © 09/24/2014)

Looking to dampen African-American support for Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn at the ballot box, Republican challenger Bruce Rauner on Wednesday unveiled a new radio and TV ad featuring the late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington criticizing Quinn’s job performance at City Hall. Pat Quinn is a totally and completely undisciplined individual who thinks this government is nothing but a large easel on which …

 

Rauner Mellows on Decriminalizing Pot: ‘I’m Open to the Discussion’
(Chicago WMAQ (NBC) 5 © 09/24/2014)

Since Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel made the case Tuesday for decriminalizing pot possession statewide, Illinois’ Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner is seeming to mellow from a harder stance that has included opposing the state’s newly minted medical marijuana law. …

 

National News

 

Land behind Wrigley Building could fetch $40 million

Owners   of the shuttered Lakeshore Athletic Club building are looking to sell the prime   River North development site. At $40 million, the estimated value is far more   than they paid three years ago to buy both the 1.5-acre site and the historic   Wrigley Building just to its east. Chicago Real Estate Daily has more.

Pat Arbor’s brief but brazen Chicago visit

After   leaving the country to avoid forking over $18 million in his divorce settlement,   the former Chicago Board of Trade chairman spent as many as 45 days in the Chicago   area, even though there’s an arrest warrant issued for him in Cook County, sources tell Crain’s Shia Kapos.

Local entrepreneur gets another scoop

Alan   Cook hit it big once with a scoop-free product, an automatic cat litter box. Now   he’s hoping to hit it big again, this time with a product that is itself a scoop   — an ice cream scoop. Crain’s has his story.

Fines, pressure drive petcoke operator out of Chicago

Seven   months after Mayor Rahm Emanuel vowed to make it too costly to store dusty petroleum   coke in Chicago, the mayor announced that Beemsterboer Slag Corp. has opted to   sell its storage terminal rather than continue to fight a series of lawsuits and   regulatory actions. The Chicago Tribune reports.

Japan fails to isolate cause of Boeing 787 battery meltdown

A   build-up of lithium, a metal fragment or damage to a cell separator may have caused   a short circuit in the battery aboard an ANA flight last year, the Japan Transport   Safety Board said today. Bloomberg reports.

Caterpillar: Autonomous trucks not about cutting jobs

Peoria-based   Caterpillar, one of the biggest producers of driverless and autonomous trucks   and trains, insists the technology removes humans from dangerous workplaces, and   is not simply designed to get rid of workers, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

Illinois Supreme Court to hear Philip Morris appeal of $10 billion tobacco   verdict

The   class-action case accusing the Altria Group unit of misleading consumers about   the risks of smoking “light” cigarettes was brought in 2000 on behalf   of 1.4 million Illinois smokers. Reuters has more.

Bruce Rauner: The College Years

Chicago Magazine takes a closer look at how GOP   gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner’s time at Dartmouth affected him.

— Meanwhile, the Associated Press fact checks Mr. Rauner’s   new attack ad on Gov. Pat Quinn.

High fashion on the block at Leslie Hindman

As   handbags become hot collectibles and investment pieces, especially vintage bags   by Hermes, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will have several of the bags on the auction   block next week. Find out more from Crain’s.

Clearing the air in China

Is   it possible? First Business News takes a look at new pledges from the United Nations   to combat climate change in this video report. (Click on image to launch   video.)

 

TIME.com

 

Congress Punts on ISIS War

The lame-duck period after November’s midterm elections is not the time for Congress to debate authorization for war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, House Speaker John Boehner said, pushing debate over the issue into January

 

9 Email Rules From a Google Exec

Google executive chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt shares nine insightful rules for emailing (or gmailing!) like a professional

 

Apple Offers Rare Update Fix

Its official fix for devices affected by issues with the iOS 8.0.1 update is essentially a way to revert to iOS 8.0.0, a process it typically doesn’t officially endorse

 

GOP Uses Democrats’ Own Playbook Against Them

Two years after Democrats held the White House by painting Mitt Romney as a callous plutocrat, Republicans are using the same playbook in a bid for control of the Senate in the midterms, and Hillary Clinton may find herself on the receiving end of such attacks in 2016

 

Safety Head Admits Major Reform Needed After GM Recalls

A week after facing blistering criticism for the way his National Highway Traffic Safety Administration handled the recent GM auto recall, David Friedman acknowledged that his office needs to improve. “Dropping the ball will not be tolerated,” he tells TIME

 

Frenchman’s Execution Ups Fears of Wider Fight Against ISIS

The videotaped execution of tourist Hervé Gourdel in Algeria seemed yet another in a string of horrific beheadings of Westerners, but officials say it signals the fight against ISIS may grow far more complicated as its clout expands across a region riven by violent upheaval

 

Suspect Captured in Case of Missing Virginia Student

Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. was arrested in the Texas community of Gilchrist, authorities said Wednesday night, less than a full day after police announced they had probable cause to arrest him on charges of abduction with intent to defile Hannah Graham

 

West Africa’s Ebola Death Toll Tops 2,900

The death toll of the Ebola outbreak in several countries in West Africa is now at least 2,917, the World Health Organization announced Thursday, and there have been 6,242 reported cases overall. More than half of all known deaths and infections have occurred in Liberia

 

U.K. Counter-Terrorism Raid Nabs 9 in London

Police arrested nine men in London on Thursday on suspicion of encouraging terrorism and being members of and supporting banned groups. The arrests were not a response to any immediate public safety risk, but part of an ongoing probe into Islamist-related terrorism

 

Marathon Bombing Trial Stays in Boston

A defense request to move the alleged Boston Marathon bomber’s trial outside Massachusetts has been denied by a federal judge in Boston, who did not agree with the contention that finding an impartial jury in the state would be impossible

 

Surfers Beat Billionaire in Landmark California Beach Case

A California court issued a milestone ruling on Sept. 24 that may restore public access to a beach that requires traveling across privately owned land, the latest turn in a multiyear legal battle that has pitted surfers against venture capitalist Vinod Khosla

 

‘Senior Moments’ Could Be Early Signs of Dementia

So-called senior moments, like failing to recall your missing sunglasses are perched on your head, might not be just benign mishaps but early harbingers of Alzheimer’s disease, reports a new paper. Scientists hope that early detection of signs may help prevent

 

Newsweek.com

 

U.S.

 

Googling Her Father’s Killer

Joselyn Martinez found her father’s killer online in 2013 — almost 30 years after his slaying. Was she too late?

 

ISIS Paranoia Reaches America

Houston. Chicago. Juárez. Anywhere but Syria and Iraq.

 

Mass Shootings on the Rise, New FBI Study Shows

The number of average mass shootings per year more than doubled between 2000 and 2013, the study found

 

Controversial Anti-Muslim Ads Coming to New York City Transit

Ads to end the “denial” and “willful ignorance” of the jihadist threat are criticized as anti-Muslim, hateful

 

CULTURE

 

Exclusive: Why Women Don’t Want to Be Kate

A YouGov poll, commissioned by Newsweek Europe, reveals that the British public is losing its unhealthy obsession with royalty

 

WORLD

 

U.S. Airstrikes Target Islamic State Oil Assets, Refineries

The Pentagon has confirmed that strikes were underway but declined to provide details.

 

U.S.

 

Palestinian Bodyguards, U.N. Security Tussle on First Day of General Assembly

The U.N. guards prevented Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s security team from entering the General Assembly chamber’s front entrance, leading to a brief confrontation.

 

TECH & SCIENCE

 

Water Found in Atmosphere of Neptune-Sized Planet, Trillions of Miles Away

The study suggests water is even more widespread than thought.

 

WORLD

 

U.S. and France Warn Their Citizens in Turkey of Possible Terror Attacks

The U.S. Embassy in Ankara said Turkey’s eastern and southeastern regions, parts of which border Syria and Iraq, were particularly vulnerable

 

Word of the Day  Thursday, September 25, 2014

Iwis  \ih-WIS\

adverb; 

  1. 1.  Obsolete . certainly.

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