In the News ~ Sept. 30

District 68, teachers’ union announce tentative pact – The teachers’ union, the Education Association, still has to ratify the pact and then the School Board has to approve it before it takes effect.


Kaneland teachers get 3.99 percent salary increase
(Geneva Kane County Chronicle © 09/30/2014)

Teachers in Kaneland School District 302 will receive a salary increase for the 2014-2015 school year. Officials from the Kaneland Education Association and Kaneland’s school board announced the agreement after Monday night’s board meeting


Practice of end-of-career teacher salary bumps being scrutinized

(Quincy Journal – Sept. 30, 2014)

“End-of-career increases save districts money by replacing a veteran teacher for years following retirement with a less expensive teacher,” Illinois Education Association communications director Charles McBarron said. “It’s not hard to imagine that a teacher without the incentive would receive a smaller (for example 2%) annual increase, then not retire in four years but actually might work an additional four years after that at the considerably higher salary.”


Ball-Chatham board upholds use of Iranian author’s book
(Springfield State Journal Register © 09/30/2014)

A request to delete a graphic novel from the Glenwood High School reading list was unanimously denied during Monday’s Ball-Chatham School Board meeting. A Glenwood High parent submitted a complaint earlier this month to principal Jim Lee regarding “Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood.” …


Whats cool in school: Technology in the gym at Urbana High School
(Champaign News Gazette © 09/29/2014)

When Urbana High School sophomore Javon Jackson first heard about the new toy his teacher was about to make a part of gym class, he couldn’t believe his ears. “It’s actually surprising they let us use iPads in P.E.,” Jackson said. “I like that we can use something in class that we really understand and even play with.


IHSA officials not attending legislative committee hearing
(WJBC AM 1230 Bloomington © 09/30/2014)

The Illinois High School Association has said it will not have an official presence during a hearing Friday with the state’s Elementary and Secondary Education Committee. Executive director Marty Hickman made the announcement Monday after being told the IHSA will not be able t…


IHSA to boycott legislative hearing set for Friday in Chicago
(Chicago Sun Times © 09/29/2014)

A legislative hearing set for later this week on Illinois High School Association operations won’t have a key player: the high-school sports governing body itself. IHSA officials announced Monday they plan to ‘have no official presence’ at the House Elementary & Secondary Education Committee hearing set for 4 p.m. Friday at South Shore High School


Teachers Retirement System and pensions subject of Oct. 2 presentation
(Peoria Journal Star © 09/30/2014)

All retired teachers, support personnel and administrators are invited to a presentation on pensions at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Fondulac District Library, 400 Richlands St. Rich Frankenfeld, the Teachers Retirement System outreach director, will be presenting the TRS portion of the presentation. He will discuss updates on pensions and Teachers Retirement Insurance Program premiums and …


3,000 fewer students enroll in Chicago Public Schools
(WBEZ 91.5 (Chicago) © 09/30/2014)

For the first time since at least 1970, Chicago Public Schools will serve fewer than 400,000 students. District spokesman Bill McCaffrey confirmed that there are at least 3,000 fewer students in the public school system. The decline keeps Chicago just ahead of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, which enrolls roughly 380,000 students, including pre-K students, vocational students and those in chart…


CPS data error transmits wrong test scores
(Chicago Tribune © 09/29/2014)

Chicago Public Schools officials said Monday that the district last week sent incorrect test scores to 201 area private school students vying to attend the city’s selective-enrollment schools and academic centers.


Karen Lewis
(WTTW Chicago © 09/30/2014)

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis joins us on Chicago Tonight at 7:00 pm to talk about the fate of teachers and students under the new-look CPS. Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett discussed her five year plan yesterday.



Dist 299


CPS Enrollment Dips Below 400K Students


As you already may have heard, CPS is now 3,000 students smaller than it was last year. But some janitors get to keep their jobs – for now. The BGA is giving Mayor Rahm mixed grades. Elsewhere: Superintendents overwhelmingly support the Common Core assessments, according to an EdWeek/Gallup poll. The Atlanta cheating trial has finally begun.




3,000 fewer students enroll in Chicago Public Schools WBEZ: For the first time since at least 1970, Chicago Public Schools will serve fewer than 400,000 students. Enrollment in CPS had been steadily declining for the last decade, but remained relatively flat from 2008 to 2012. In the last two years, since CPS closed 50 district-run schools, the system lost about 6,000 students.  The decline keeps Chicago just ahead of Miami-Dade County Public Schools.




Aramark, CPS change plan to cut school janitors WBEZ: Today was supposed to be the last day of work for 468 janitors in Chicago Public Schools. The union representing privately employed janitors in CPS said 178 janitors will keep their jobs and the remaining 290 will work for another month. Aramark spokesperson Karen Cutler confirmed some janitors will keep their jobs.


Fewer Aramark custodians in CPS schools losing their jobs Tuesday Chicago Sun-Times:  Aramark, the private service company now in charge of managing all the custodians in Chicago Public Schools, has decreased the number of janitors who were going to lose their jobs on Tuesday, the Chicago Sun-Times learned Monday night.




Pritzker Foundation gives scholarships to undocumented students Tribune: Some 70 undocumented high school seniors set to graduate in June from the Noble Network of Charter Schools can tap into a new $3 million college scholarship fund aimed at filling a financial gap and established by loyal Noble backers — the Pritzker Foundation.


Students sent wrong test scores after CPS data error Tribune:  Chicago Public Schools officials said Monday that the district last week sent incorrect test scores to 201 area private school students vying to attend the city’s selective-enrollment schools and academic centers.


Comings and Goings: new principals Catalyst: Mark Grishaber has been named principal of Taft High School. He was formerly assistant principal at Young High School. New principal, Michael Herring, has been named principal of Jahn. Former interim principal at Burnside, Kelly Thigpen has become contract principal.


Time to grade mayor’s performance BGA: The budget process has more transparency and input from city departments, sharper financial assessments, and tighter deadlines. But community participation is virtually nonexistent, and there’s still a long way to go to eliminate pension woes, structural deficits, poor credit ratings and excessive long-term borrowing.




Superintendents Support Common-Assessment Consortia EdWeek: About two-thirds of district superintendents say states should stick with their common-core testing consortia, while 16 percent remain on the fence over the issue, according to results from a new survey.

AFT Set To Spend More In 2014 Than Any Other Election Cycle Huffington Post: An AFT official told The Huffington Post that the union is on track to spend more than $20 million this cycle to “try to dial back some of the damage done by the cuts to public education and public services and elect people who will fight for kids, families and communities.”


NEA Sues New Mexico Schools Chief Over Teacher Evaluations TeacherBeat: NEA officials say that the state has violated local districts’ purview in dictating aspects of the evaluation systems, particularly by requiring a certain portion to be based on growth in students’ standardized-test scores.


Kids And Screen Time: Cutting Through The Static NPR: One Los Angeles school is working technology into the learning process, while avoiding the traditional screen-time pitfalls.




De Blasio stays mum on plans for struggling schools ChalkbeatNY: Mayor Bill de Blasio needs another extension. Four weeks into the school year, de Blasio said he wasn’t yet ready to detail his vision for improving with the city’s worst-performing schools, saying those plans would be released soon for the second time this month.


Colorado: Sickouts Close Schools Again AP: Hundreds of students in Jefferson County missed school again Monday as teachers shut down two high schools by calling in sick.


Business, civic leaders call on L.A. school board to retain John Deasy LA Times: Local business and civic leaders are calling on the Los Angeles Board of Education to retain Supt. John Deasy, hoping to head off potential action by a board majority that is unhappy with him.


Trial Opens in Atlanta School Cheating Scandal NYT: Prosecutors alleged that teachers and administrators had engaged in a “widespread, cleverly disguised” conspiracy to cheat on standardized test scores.


Takeovers of struggling charter schools offer families stability, and a culture clash WPost: The line of parents waiting to attend back-to-school night stretched down the sidewalk, and many of them had no idea what to expect as they approached the historic school on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Southeast Washington.


California Limits Suspensions for ‘Willful Defiance’ District Dossier: In doing so, the state is following in the footsteps of its large districts—Los Angeles and San Francisco—that have already moved away from using “disruption/willful defiance” as a reason for suspension. The practice has been criticized for its disparate impacts on minority students.



Political News


Opposition to school funding bill irks Manar
(DeKalb Daily Chronicle © 09/30/2014)

Illinois House Republicans, fearing that majority Democrats could take money away from their suburban Chicago school districts in a postelection vote, have thrown up prominent if symbolic opposition on Senate-approved legislation to overhaul state funding for public education. The resolution offered this month by Downers Grove Rep. Ron Sandack and co-sponsored by two-fifths of the …


Foes pushing to kill school funding reform
(Bloomington Pantagraph © 09/29/2014)

Lawmakers and school leaders in suburban Chicago are trying to kill a school funding overhaul that could help hundreds of downstate districts. Top Democrats met over a proposal to divert money from wealthy suburban districts to help poorer districts.


Manar Gears Up For Fight Over School Funding Change
(WUIS 91.9 PBR (Springfield) © 09/29/2014)

State lawmakers returning to the capitol for the fall veto session could discuss a change in the state’s school funding formula. But it won’t happen without a fight. State Senator Andy Manar, a Democrat from Bunker Hill in Macoupin County, has been pushing for approval of a plan that would provide additional aid to districts …


Rauner is confusing on state income tax hike
(Chicago Daily Southtown © 09/30/2014)

Updated: September 29, 2014 10:26PM Is the anti-tax candidate actually in favor of an income tax increase? Republican Bruce Rauner has been campaigning for governor as the guy who’s going to cut taxes and increase jobs. Rauner has blasted Gov. Pat Quinn and fellow Democrat Michael Madigan, the Illinois House speaker, for raising the state income tax from …


If you’re rich, Rauner is your man
(Chicago Daily Herald © 09/30/2014)

If you’re rich, Rauner is your man Republican Bruce Rauner was recently interviewed by the Daily Herald editorial board regarding his positions on some very important issues. However, when asked about how he plans to deliver on his promise to freeze property taxes, Rauner said he doesn’t have a plan other than he will “collaborate” on specifics with lawmakers if he is elected. …


Governor hopefuls square off on jobs, taxes
(Chicago WFLD (Fox) 32 © 09/30/2014)

The top two candidates for governor of Illinois fought over basic, pocketbook issues Monday: jobs and taxes. The opening of a new family-style, chain restaurant on the Northwest Side won’t do much to boost Chicago’s economy. Many of its 170 workers will make just under $10 an hour


Exclusive: Republican Mayor Gary Manier of Washington declares support for Democratic incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn
(Peoria Journal Star © 09/30/2014)

A prominent local Republican is now officially among Gov. Pat Quinn’s public supporters for re-election. In an ad being unveiled Tuesday, Washington Mayor Gary Manier lavishes praise on the incumbent Democrat as the right guy for Illinois and emphasizes how Quinn helped the city recover in the wake of the Nov. 17 tornado. ‘


Politics as Usual: Galesburg’s role in gubernatorial election
(Galesburg Register Mail © 09/30/2014)

The Bruce Rauner campaign has stopped by Galesburg three times this campaign season, while his opponent Gov. Pat Quinn has stopped by just one time.  Galesburg may not be the hot-bed of Illinois state politics like Chicago or Springfield, but the home town of the Lincoln-Douglas debates has been lopsided in gubernatorial candidate visits.


Rauner hits Quinn on tax hike timing
(Chicago Tribune © 09/29/2014)

Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner today criticized Gov. Pat Quinn over his idea to push lawmakers to make permanent the 2011 income tax increase when they return to Springfield following the November election, warning of lame duck legislators on their way out of office who’d vote for the proposal in exchange for sweetheart deals. Bruce …


Why you should be voting for governor
(Daily Vidette © 09/29/2014)

First off, and I think this goes without saying, you should be voting in this upcoming election because you are an American and that is a profound privilege of living in the greatest country in the world. Secondly, the two candidates that are running for governor of our notoriously corrupt state could not be bigger opposites.


Election 2014: Your Choice to Support School Referendum
(WAND (NBC) 17 Decatur © 09/30/2014)

Funding schools across Central Illinois is a hot button issue and many people will vote on school referenda in the November general election. WAND’s Brigette Burnett broke down some of the facts before voters head to the polls. Back in March, voters turned down the 1% sales tax hike for schools in Coles, DeWitt, and Effingham Counties.


Illinoisans on Forbes’ List of Richest in U.S.
(Chicago Press Release Service © 09/29/2014)

Forbes has released its annual ranking of the 400 richest people in America, and Chicago hedge fund tycoon Ken Griffin – who has donated millions to Illinois’ GOP governor candidate Bruce Rauner – jumped ahead 14 spots to No. 89. The 45-year-old Griffin, who ranked 103rd last year, boasts a net worth of $5.5 billion as the founder of the $20 billion hedge fund firm Citadel Group.


Clinton to Campaign for Quinn in Illinois: Report
(Chicago Press Release Service © 09/29/2014)

Hillary Clinton is heading home to her native Illinois to campaign for Gov. Pat Quinn, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Quinn’s campaign did not immediately respond to Ward Room’s request for confirmation. The Democratic governor is entrenched in a highly competitive – and increasingly hostile – showdown with Republican rival Bruce Rauner,


President Obama in Chicago Wed & Thurs for Quinn Campaign
(WJOL-1340 Joliet © 09/29/2014)

President Obama is stumping for Governor Quinn this week. He’ll be in Chicago on Wednesday and Thursday and will attend an event on Quinn’s behalf. Michelle Obama is also trying to help Quinn beat Bruce Rauner this November.


Quinn anti-violence grant hearings get green light from federal prosecutor
(Chicago Tribune © 09/29/2014)

The top federal prosecutor in central Illinois has given the green light for a panel of lawmakers to resume hearings into Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn’s anti-violence program that now could unfold only weeks before the Nov. 4 election.


Springfield: More Quinn Program Hearings; Frustration Over Senate Bill 16
(WJOL-1340 Joliet © 09/30/2014)

A panel of lawmakers holding hearings on Governor Pat Quinn’s anti-violence program have been given the go ahead to resume their hearings. Back in July, United States Attorney James Lewis asked the panel to hold off on their hearings on the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. ‘


Illinois has 1,431 townships. It’s time to get rid of all of them.
(Crains Chicago Business © 09/30/2014)

Illinois’ 1848 Constitution gave voters in each county the right to organize townships for the management of the fiscal concerns of the county. The framers’ decision for our then-30-year-old, largely agrarian state was a no-brainer: As the most local of local governments, townships would be directly accountable to residents of unincorporated rural areas whose interests might not be considered in d…


State air fleet sales fail to launch
(Decatur Herald and Review © 09/30/2014)

The latest attempt by Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration to sell off half of the state’s fleet of airplanes hit more turbulence Monday. After not finding any takers among local governments or universities for the eight airplanes and one helicopter, officials offered the aircraft to the public through an eBay-style online auction.


Durbin, Oberweis Butt Heads on ISIS, IRS
(Chicago Press Release Service © 09/29/2014)

Illinois’ Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the U.S. Senate, faced off against Republican rival Jim Oberweis in a frequently hostile “endorsement debate” before the Chicago Tribune editorial board on Monday. Chicago’s conservative-leaning paper recently live-streamed a similar pseudo-debate featuring Gov. Pat Quinn and GOP challenger Bruce Rauner wherein the two enemies …


Durbin, Oberweis seek endorsements for Senate race
(Chicago WGN (WB) 9 © 09/29/2014)

Senator Dick Durbin’s strength across Illinois makes him nearly impossible to beat, according to political watchers. But republican challenger Jim Oberweis is still trying to gain endorsements and sway voters before the November election. The candidates met before the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board Monday morning.



National News


Common Core: A Debate That Stretches Back 145 Years
(WMAQ-TV (MSNBC ) Chicago © 09/29/2014)

Long Story Short: Controversy surrounding Common Core Education standards didn’t start with the Obama administration. They stretch back to the when the department was first founded in the 1800s….


When Teachers, Not Students, Do The Cheating
(WUIS 91.9 PBR (Springfield) © 09/29/2014)

Opening arguments began today in the trial of 12 Atlanta educators charged in an alleged cheating conspiracy that came to light in 2009. Prosecutors claim there was widespread cheating on state tests throughout the city’s public schools, affecting thousands of students. The case has brought national attention to the issue, raising questions about whether the pressures to improve scores have dr…



Jewel-Osco hit again by data hack

The   parent of grocery chain Jewel-Osco says a data breach, separate from one in August,   may have captured customers’ credit card account numbers, expiration dates and   other information. Read more here.

— Plus: Let’s face it. Your data’s as good as hacked. What to do?

Here’s the space Baxter was hunting in Cambridge

Baxter   International plans to open a 200,000-square-foot research and development hub   in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for the biopharmaceuticals business it plans to spin   off next year. Chicago Health Care Daily reports.

The one utility not asking for help from Springfield

While   Chicago-based Exelon is preparing to ask lawmakers next year for legislation to   provide hundreds of millions in financial assistance for its nuclear plants, the   CEO of Illinois’ new kid on the block, NRG Energy, says it doesn’t have an ask.   Read why in Crain’s.

The rise of the CFO

As   more companies decide not to replace their COO, CFOs are overseeing operations,   IT, supply chain, risk management, HR and even PR. And increasingly, observers   say, this knowledge of every facet of the business is making them the heirs apparent   to their bosses. Crain’s takes a look at the trend.

Coming to the Chicago River: Flaming buoys, cauldrons and fireworks

Will   the inaugural Great Chicago Fire Festival spark a new tradition in Chicago and   become our Mardi Gras or running of the bulls? The organizers hope so, planning   a “spectacle of unprecedented scale.” Crain’s has details.

Boeing moving defense jobs out of Washington state

Boeing’s   move could affect the jobs of about 2,000 of its 5,200 defense employees in Washington,   as most of the work would be relocated to Oklahoma City and St. Louis. More from   Reuters and Bloomberg.

U of C to train civic leaders

A   new fellowship program at the University of Chicago will help develop leaders   at local not-for-profits and government agencies, training them to manage projects   efficiently while helping move the Hyde Park institution farther beyond the ivory   tower. Crain’s has more.

United’s deal ‘too friendly’ with Uber?

United   Airlines is drawing criticism for forming a partnership with the ride-sharing   service without airport input, especially at a time when airports are wrestling   with whether to accommodate these competitors to traditional taxi and limo services.   The New York Times reports.

Emanuel presses other city agencies on $13 minimum wage

The   mayor is pressuring all local government agencies under his control — CTA, CHA,   Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Park District, City Colleges and Public Building   Commission — to follow his lead to increase the living wage for contractors to   $13 an hour. The Sun-Times has more.

Secret recordings raise questions about banking’s cozy relationships

A   federal examiner secretly recorded 46 hours of conversation between banking regulators   and Goldman Sachs, raising questions about whether the Fed has really changed   enough to avert another financial disaster. Here is the video report from First Business News.   (Click on the image to launch the video.)


Live: Secret Service Gets Grilled

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson faces questioning by a congressional panel Tuesday in the wake of several security lapses and a recent report that finds the man who jumped the White House fence on Sept. 19 got further inside than previously thought


Hong Kong Protesters Up Ante

Pro-democracy demonstrators clogged central Hong Kong as their leaders vowed to keep up their civil disobedience until the city’s Chief Executive resigns


eBay to Spin Off PayPal

The web giant plans to separate eBay and PayPal into independent, publicly traded companies focused on their strengths: e-commerce and payments


NFL Feels Heat for Penalizing Muslim Player for Prayer

Kansas City Chiefs player Husain Abdullah, a devout Muslim, was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct — excessive celebration, resulting in a 15-yard penalty — after he knelt in the end zone to pray after scoring the second touchdown of his career


Prison Bankers Profit from Inmates, Squeeze Families

Companies that effectively serve as prison bankers collect tens of millions of dollars every year from inmates’ families in fees for basic financial services. To make payments, some forego medical care, skip utility bills and limit contact with their imprisoned relatives


5 Reasons We May Never Know Ebola’s True Impact

A recent CDC report estimates cases in West Africa would reach 1.4 million by January if current trends in the outbreak continue without a ramped up effort. Here’s why we may never know Ebola’s true impact, despite health experts’ best efforts to grasp its potential


Afghanistan, U.S. Sign Long-Awaited Security Pact

The deal, which will allow U.S. forces to remain in the country past the end of the year, was signed in Kabul on Tuesday. President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, sworn into office a day earlier, said it signaled a fundamental shift in Afghanistan’s relations with the world


Va. Kidnapping Suspect May Be Linked to 2009 Murder

Authorities say Jesse L. Matthew Jr., the main suspect in the disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, may be connected to the abduction and murder of another young woman in the area five years ago


Louisiana Restaurant Gives a 10% Discount for Packing Heat

Kevin Cox, owner of Bergeron’s Restaurant in Port Allen, is bucking a corporate trend by encouraging, rather than banning, firearms in his Cajun food establishment. “I just need to see a weapon. I need you to be carrying a gun,” he said


Marijuana Legalization Spreads Across 2014 Ballots

Referendums on legalizing marijuana across the country this year, from Florida to Alaska, have the power to shape the ongoing fight ahead of an even bigger battle in 2016. Here are the pot votes that will matter most in 2014


Netflix Plans to Release First Original Movie

Netflix has announced plans to release its first original movie — a sequel to Ang Lee’s martial-arts epic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon — to all subscribers in August 2015, charting new territory for the streaming service


Wildlife Populations Have Dropped by More Than Half

A new WWF report that measured more than 10,000 representative populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish found a 52% decline between 1970 and 2010, with even grimmer statistics for some species like freshwater dwellers



Hong Kong’s Student Protesters Want Democracy—At Any Cost

One in five Hong Kong residents may leave because of its poor political prospects


Hong Kong’s Protesters Plan for Peaceful Change

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests have seen tens of thousands of demonstrators take to the streets to demand universal suffrage from the Chinese government


India and U.S. Present Partnership That Will Be ‘Model for the World’

President Obama and Prime Minister Modi discuss climate change, UN reform and fighting terrorism at White House dinner

Open for Business: Modi’s Budget Promises a New India


Is Israel Really As Threatened As Netanyahu Says?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s UN speech leaves Israelis wondering whether the threats he cited were real or imagined


Photos: Me Against My Brother

Sandwiched between battlegrounds and threats, Lebanon lives on the precipice of war



Short Seller Chanos Targets China’s Casino Industry

The famed investor is increasingly training his skeptical eye — and multibillion-dollar war chest — on China’s casino industry.



Murder, Mayhem and the Evolution of LiveLeak

From a place of murder and mayhem, LiveLeak has morphed into something smarter—and more disturbing



Talking Treason: Is Hatred of Obama Trumping Patriotism?

Because some Republicans object to Obama’s military policies, they think they have the right to try to tear apart the military


James Foley’s Image Pulled From Controversial Ad Campaign

Foley’s family protested the use of his image in ads by the American Freedom Defense Initiative



Photos: Toxic Gases Stop Rescue Mission at Japanese Volcano Mount Ontake

At least 36 people are feared to have died after a Japanese volcano erupted without warning at the weekend, raining ash and stones on hikers


Word of the Day  Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pandurate  \PAN-duh-reyt, -der-it, -dyuh-reyt, -dyer-it\


  1. 1.   shaped like a fiddle, as a leaf.