In the News ~ Oct. 1

State hears from both sides on Elgin charter school plan – Supporters of a proposal to create a charter school denied by Elgin Area School District U-46 took their case to a higher authority Tuesday. Members of the Illinois State Charter School Commission heard from dozens of parents, teachers, district administrators and community members at a public hearing appealing the charter application denial at Larkin High School in Elgin. …


KEA president: Members will be ‘active participants in the 2015 school board elections’
(Geneva Kane County Chronicle © 09/30/2014)

Lori Shroka, president of the Kaneland Education Association, read this letter Monday night at the Kaneland School District 302 Board meeting: Dear Kaneland Community, My name is Lori Shroka. I have been a teacher in the district for 12 years, a coach in the district for 11,


U-46 parents, students criticize new grading system
(Arlington Heights Daily Herald © 09/30/2014)

Several Elgin Area School District U-46 parents and students complained at Monday night’s school board meeting that a new standards-based grading system is too subjective.

U-46 insider supports D300 fight
(Arlington Heights Daily Herald © 09/30/2014)

As a parent with two kids in the U-46 school system, a two-time candidate for the U-46 board of education and a former vice chairman of the U-46 Citizens Advisory Council, I know the financial misery school districts are facing.


School district has balanced budget
(Champaign WCIA (CBS) 3 © 09/30/2014)

More good news now in education. The Decatur Public School district is in the black. Their budget – balanced. WCIA 3’s Kelsey Gibbs explains what this means for future operations.


Agriculture education gets $10,000 boost
(Belleville News-Democrat © 10/01/2014)

Columbia Community Unit School District 4 has been named a $10,000 grant recipient for America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund.


Editorial: School case a wake-up call on reporting sex-abuse suspicions
(Arlington Heights Daily Herald © 09/30/2014)

People entrust their children to teachers every day and expect more than lessons in math and English. They expect — no, they demand — that teachers watch over children and protect them as if they were their own. Sadly, that responsibility may have been ignored in Ingleside-based Gavin Elementary District 37.


District 7 pushing concussion awareness
(Edwardsville Intelligencer © 09/30/2014)

Edwardsville High School Athletic Director Brad Bevis provided an update during last week’s Edwardsville District 7 Board of Education general meeting regarding the district’s progress in implementing concussion awareness and training required by the state of Illinois.


Quincy Public Schools facing graduation changes
(WGEM Quincy (NBC) 10 © 09/30/2014)

The Quincy School District is adding a new incentive for students to do well in school. An advisory panel for the Quincy School District is recommending top tier seniors receive a Magna Cum Laude, which means high honors and a Summa Cum Laude which is the highest honors.


District 205 Superintendent Search Underway
(WGIL AM Radio 14 (Galesburg) © 09/30/2014)

(Donna Johnson, Illinois Association of School Boards) The Galesburg School Board can now begin the work of finding a replacement for Superintendent Bart Arthur. The Board, during a special meeting yesterday, accepted Arthur’s notice to retire at the end of the current school year, and hired the Illinois Association of School Board to conduct the search for a replacement at a cost of aro…



Black Voters’ Disenchantment Could Mean Trouble For Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
(Huffpost Chicago © 09/30/2014)

Rahm Emanuel won election as mayor of Chicago three years ago in part because of his strength in the African-American community, but enough black voters have since soured on him that a black labor leader is emerging as a potential rival in the city’s February election.


Emanuel to City Agencies: Up Minimum Way to $13
(WGIL AM Radio 14 (Galesburg) © 09/30/2014)

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has asked the city’s sister agencies to pay all contractor and subcontractor employees a minimum wage of $13 an hour. The mayor signed an executive order earlier this month requiring city contractors and subcontractors to pay employees the higher minimum wage.


CPS won’t cut schools based on enrollment shortfalls
The big news this week is that for the second year in a row schools will get to keep money for students projected to attend, but who failed to show up. This will cost the district about $25 million.

Take 5: Fewer tenured teachers rehired, voucher rally and Elgin charter fight
CTU officials say CPS information shows that student-based budgeting is beginning to result in fewer tenured teachers being rehired in full-time positions. Also, the Archdiocese is hoping for a voucher bill this Spring.

Take 5: First-day attendance, Dyett concessions and school funding bill
Though first-day attendance doesn’t matter for any funding reason, CPS officials announce that more students showed up on the first day this year than last.

Comings and goings: New principals
Some principals get permanent jobs and a Columbia College’s vice president takes a new position.



Dist 299


Big Money, Low Support For Rahm


Today’s news: There’s a bit more coverage of the janitorial debacle, though that story seems to be fading (is anything changed at your school?) Al Jazeera looks at Mayor Rahm’s chances, and the Sun Times covers his $2.4M super PAC. Meanwhile, they’re down to two finalists at Earle STEM Elementary. Nationally, 11 states have put in “reading by third grade” laws that limit social promotion (sound familiar?).




Union: CPS was warned that janitor job cuts could cause problems Chicago Sun-Times: An Aramark spokeswoman confirmed the news Monday night, saying in an email: “Chicago Public Schools, Aramark and SEIU Local 1 continue to work closely to make sure all CPS schools have appropriate custodial staffing levels to ensure clean schools.”




Could Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel Lose His Re-Election Race? Al Jazeera America:  The mayor’s approval ratings have plummeted, but he still commands a massive money advantage.


Emanuel super PAC rakes in $2.4 million since late June Chicago Sun-Times: Carroll was asked whether any of the money would be used to trash Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd), who has declared his candidacy for mayor, or Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, who is thinking about running.


Emanuel Calls On City Agencies To Adopt $13/Hour Minimum Wage For Chicagoist: He can’t tell his hand-picked school board and CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett to make it so?




Earle STEM Elementary Principal Search Down to Two Finalists DNA Info: Two finalists, who were not named, are being considered for the vacant principal position.




CPS students with good GPA might get free ride to City Colleges Chicago Sun-Times:  Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis has denounced the hiring preference as a “meaningless stunt” that will “foster religious and racial divisiveness” and invite legal challenges that could taxpayers millions.”


Town hall focuses on bullying prevention  Windy City Times: Heather Steans, Ald. Harry Osterman, Chicago Public Schools ( CPS ) and Lurie Children’s Hospital co-hosted the event attended by about 50 people.


Students’ personal info compromised when teacher’s backpack stolen in suburbs WGN:  The pack, known as a “crisis backpack,” has won awards and was developed by the Hoffman Estates Fire Dept to use in an emergency situation. It contains a whistle, a red vest for the teacher, tarp, flashlight, first aid kit, toilet paper, pens and pencils and a class list with a student’s first and last name and when they’re in the class; items that would be necessary for teachers in a lockdown situation.




Third Graders Face High-Stakes Reading Targets AP: Since the idea was pioneered in Florida in 2002, automatic retention for unsatisfactory third-grade reading scores has spread to at least nine states, according to the Tallahassee, Florida-based Foundation for Excellence in Education, which tracks the movement. In 10 other states, third-grade retention laws have certain caveats, such as giving parents a final say or requiring reading intervention before students can be held back.


Are You For Or Against School Uniforms? Two Fashion Editors Debate Huffington Post: There’s nothing quite like the discussion of school uniforms to get HuffPost Style editors all riled up. The need — or lack there of — sparked a major debate on our team. Below, two fashion editors sound-off on whether or not they think uniforms are a good idea.



Political News


Quinn holds slight lead in new poll
(WJBC AM 1230 Bloomington © 10/01/2014)

A new Rasmussen Reports survey shows Gov. Pat Quinn has a slight lead over Republican challenger Bruce Rauner. The poll of 750 likely voters found 44 percent backed Quinn while 42 percent favored Rauner. Six percent like another candidate …


Rauner Maintains Lead In Governor’s race
(WJOL-1340 Joliet © 09/30/2014)

A recent poll shows the Republican challenger for the governor’s office Bruce Rauner is maintaining a lead over the incumbent. The latest We Ask America survey has Rauner ahead of Governor Quinn by three percentage points. Meanwhile Libertarian hopeful Chad Grimm received six percent and nine percent of those surveyed remain undecided. Quinn does have a slight lead with women in the polls 44 to 42,…


Does Obama’s support for governor help or hurt Quinn?
(Chicago WFLD (Fox) 32 © 10/01/2014)

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn plans to lean on some heavy-hitting Democrats with strong ties to the state — including President Barack Obama — as his re-election campaign against Republican Bruce Rauner enters its crucial last month.


Obama to arrive Wednesday in Chicago for visit
(Crystal Lake Northwest Herald © 10/01/2014)

President Barack Obama is headed home to Chicago. The White House says the president will arrive in Chicago on Wednesday and spend the night. President Obama on Thursday is to speak at Northwestern University and then attend a campaign event for Democratic Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.


Quinn embraces Obamacare ahead of president’s fundraising visit
(Chicago Tribune © 09/30/2014)

Gov. Pat Quinn wasn’t especially visible when Illinois residents were signing up for Affordable Care Act coverage last year, but on Tuesday he called getting people health coverage the mission of a lifetime.


Obama bro-hug something Quinn has to deal with
(Chicago Tribune © 09/30/2014)

President Barack Obama might have his difficulties with foreign policy, terrorists, the economy, Vladimir Putin, his own bumbling Secret Service and those vanished IRS emails. But this week he’s coming back to Illinois for a big political fundraiser for Gov. Pat Quinn. And once back in the land of political reform and transparency, he might just go on a bro-hug spree.


Obama heading to Chicago for Quinn fundraiser, Northwestern speech September 30, 2014
(Crains Chicago Business © 09/30/2014)

The White House finally is releasing some details about President Barack Obama’s trip here tomorrow and Oct. 2, and it appears he’ll mostly be promoting two things: Gov. Pat Quinn, at a private event, and his economic policies, in a speech at Northwestern University. And, it appears commuters will be getting a bit of a break. The president arrives late tomorrow.


Nuns On The Bus Rally With Quinn To Promote Voter Participation
(Progress Illinois © 09/30/2014)

A group of traveling Catholic nuns passed through Chicago’s Union Park in West Town last week to pass along a key message — get out and vote. Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK, a national Catholic social justice lobby, led the “We the People, We the Voters” tour, which is traveling to 36 cities as part of its voter registration effort.


Big labor investing in turnout for Quinn, Illinois Democrats
(Chicago Sun Times © 10/01/2014)

Major unions are pumping big money into a November ballot question about raising Illinois’ minimum wage which in reality is a political tool to energize Democratic voters who are also more than likely to vote for Gov. Pat Quinn and other Democrats down the ticket.


Kadner: Try to find Quinn’s income tax stance on his website
(Chicago Daily Southtown © 09/30/2014)

Here’s a little game voters can play. Go to the campaign website of Gov. Pat Quinn ( and see if you can find mention of his position on making the “temporary” state income tax hike permanent. His spokeswoman told me it was there, but I couldn’t find it.


Candidate spotlight: Andy Manar
(Alton Telegraph © 09/30/2014)

Democrat Andy Manar is running against Republican Linda Little to retain his position as Illinois State Senator of the 48th Legislative District which includes Bunker Hill, Brighton, Shipman, Springfield and Decatur. In an interview with the Telegraph, Manar said that his campaign is focused on school funding reform, road construction and repair and job creation


Teamsters Local breaks union ranks, backs Anderson over Jacobs; AFSCME stays mum
(Quad Cities Dispatch Argus Leader © 09/30/2014)

Republican Neil Anderson, running against incumbent Democrat Mike Jacobs in the 36th state senate district, is making some inroads into the union support generally reserved for Democrats in the district. Teamsters Local 371, which has around 1,400 members in the Quad-Cities region, endorsed Mr. Anderson, though the Teamsters Joint Council 25, which covers northwest Indiana, Chicago and…


Video shows Rauner opposing Medicaid expansion last year
(Chicago Sun Times © 10/01/2014)

Newly surfaced video of Republican Bruce Rauner obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times shows him telling conservative activists in Lake County last year that, as governor, he would have blocked Gov. Pat Quinn’s 2013 expansion of Medicaid


National News


Inside the Koch Brothers’ Toxic Empire

(Rolling Stone – October 1, 2014)

Together, Charles and David Koch control one of the world’s largest fortunes, which they are using to buy up our political system. But what they don’t want you to know is how they made all that money


Ground Zero for Ebola in U.S.

Officials in Dallas, Tex. have urged residents to remain calm at news that a local hospital was treating the first Ebola virus patient to be diagnosed in the United States. “We were prepared,” said Dr. Edward Goodman, an epidemiologist at Texas Health Presbyterian (pictured). But questions remain about how the disease arrived on American soil


HK Protests Cloud National Day

Chaotic scenes stole the show from Chinese National Day celebrations in Hong Kong on Wednesday, as thousands of pro-democracy activists set up camp


Calif. Enacts Gun-Safety Law

California residents can now petition a judge to temporarily remove a close relative’s firearms if they fear their family member will commit gun violence


2014 Has Become the ‘Gotcha’ Election

Many of the country’s most important races have been dominated by an emphasis on petty issues and an absence of substantive policy debates—and in an election about nothing, one of the dark arts of campaign combat, opposition research, has taken center stage.


‘Fat Finger’ Blamed for Canceled Japan Stock Orders

Over $600 billion worth of stock on the Japanese market—including large stakes in Canon, Honda, and Sony—was ordered and then abruptly canceled Wednesday before they could be executed, possibly the result of a so-called “fat finger” error, or accidental order


The Cost of War Against ISIS Nears $1 Billion

U.S. military operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) have cost up to $930 million as of Sept. 24, according to a report released Monday. That figure is set to rise as the Pentagon’s air campaign broadens


Obama, Netanyahu to Meet as Iran Deadline Looms

President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet for the first time since a rash of civilian casualties during Israel’s summer war with Hamas heightened tensions between two leaders who have long had a prickly relationship


Obama Approves Refugee Plan for Central American Kids

Several thousand young Central American children will now be able to apply for refugee status in the United States, White House officials said Tuesday, after President Obama approved a plan that provides a legal path for some to join their parents north of the border


Taliban Suicide Bombers Kill 7 in Kabul, Wound 21

Taliban suicide bombers struck two buses carrying Afghan soldiers in Kabul early on Wednesday, killing seven people and wounding 21, just a day after the signing of a key U.S.-Afghan security pact. The deal allows U.S. forces to remain in the country past 2014


AMC Theaters Will Boycott New Netflix Film

AMC joined two other major theater chains, Regal and Cinemark, that are refusing to show Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend, which Netflix produced with Weinstein Co. Together, the three chains operate 247 of the 400 IMAX theaters in North America


Panama Opens Frank Gehry–Designed Museum

Panama has opened a biodiversity museum designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. It’s his first project in Latin America and a long time coming, construction having started in 1999. The Biomuseo presents a tour of the Central American nation’s diverse ecosystems


Has the ISIS crisis pushed the CIA into bed with Hezbollah?


Air Strikes Will Never Work, Say the Troops Fighting Isis

Newsweek’s exclusive interviews with commanders on the ground reveal how Isis is outwitting Allied attacks


Washington wants Lebanon to stop ISIS at its borders. So does Hezbollah. It’s a tricky minuet for two longtime lethal foes.



The Soothing Sounds of Bob Ross

Long after his death, a gentle man who painted kitsch landscapes on public television still gives millions of fans the tingles



CDC Reports First Case of Ebola Diagnosed in the U.S.

The first case of the Ebola virus diagnosed in the United States is in Dallas, Texas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention



How Lena Dunham Landed Her First New York Times Profile

The New York Times sent a reporter to cover a vegan dinner party Lena Dunham held in 2003. But why?



Big Blew: How Michigan Football Got So Bad, So Quickly

University of Michigan’s Brady Hoke, now in his fourth season, is finished in Ann Arbor



Two Numbers: The Gender Pay Gap

Gender-based salary differences have narrowed but not by much



Men-Only Domestic Violence Meeting To Include Women

Iceland and Suriname want men to talk to men about violence against women



Phelps Apologizes After Arrest for Drunk Driving

18-time Olympic gold medalist takes to Twitter to say sorry for second DUI.



Hong Kong Leader Defiant as Umbrella Revolution Protesters Await Holiday Showdown

Pro-democracy demonstrators continued to occupy central Hong Kong as the city’s chief executive rejected their demands


Word of the Day  Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Demesne  \dih-MEYN, -MEEN\


1. possession of land as one’s own: land held in demesne .

2. an estate or part of an estate occupied and controlled by, and worked for the exclusive use of, the owner.

3. land belonging to and adjoining a manor house; estate.

4. the dominion or territory of a sovereign or state; domain.

5. a district; region.