In the News ~ Nov. 13

District 87 teachers speak out at board meeting – Several teachers spoke at Wednesday night’s District 87 Board meeting, as frustrations continue to grow over contract negotiations. Talks have been ongoing between district teachers and the school board, but new terms have yet to be created.


District 87 teachers want contract soon (Bloomington Pantagraph © 11/13/2014)

Against a backdrop of ongoing contract negotiations and a report on falling enrollment, 10 teachers spoke Wednesday night to the Bloomington District 87 school board about work teachers do outside of regular hours and expressed their desire for a quick agreement on a fair contract. “We’re still making progress” with contract negotiations, Bloomington Education Association President …


Pleasant Plains teachers picket amid stalled contract negotiations (Springfield State Journal Register © 11/12/2014)

Teachers here have been working under an expired contract for nearly three months, and negotiations have hit a standstill. Members of the Pleasant Plains Education Association hosted informational pickets outside of the Farmingdale Elementary School and Pleasant Plains High School campuses on Wednesday in anticipation of continuing negotiations with a mediator later that evening…

Pleasant Plains Teachers Demand Higher Pay (WAND (NBC) 17 Decatur © 11/13/2014)

“We’re working without a contract at this point. Determined to get a raise.. “We have been bargaining since April.” Pleasant Plains teachers formed a sea of red, Wednesday evening.  Supporting their union leaders as they met with the school board.  The hope is to reach a compromise about the teachers’ contracts.


LIVE COVERAGE: Forum Featuring Galesburg School District, Teachers Union Thursday (WGIL AM Radio 14 (Galesburg) © 11/12/2014)

The Galesburg Chapter of the NAACP is hosting the first public question and answer session surrounding issues related to the Galesburg Education Association strike over the summer.  The forum will be held at the Boys and Girls Club on Depot Street, and while the public can attend, seating is limited, and questions will be asked based on those submitted prior to the forum.


Palatine Dist. 15 not on board yet with $3 million in construction projects (Arlington Heights Daily Herald © 11/13/2014)

Three schools. Nearly $3 million in repairs. That’s the proposal Palatine Township Elementary District 15 officials unveiled Wednesday night before several wary school board members who wondered whether there are more pressing needs in the district’s 20 schools. “We haven’t received any information at all about what’s urgent,” board member Scott Herr said.


District 41 faces challenges in all-day kindergarten talks (Arlington Heights Daily Herald © 11/13/2014)

There’s support for an all-day kindergarten program among administrators in Glen Ellyn Elementary District 41, but they caution there will be some major challenges — both in terms of cost and space — to implement it at their four schools. Superintendent Paul Gordon told school board members this week the district received 642 responses to a community survey on the topic,


District U-46 settles discrimination case for $2.5 million (Arlington Heights Daily Herald © 11/13/2014)

Elgin Area School District U-46 settled a 9-year-old discrimination lawsuit against the district for $2.5 million, officials said Monday. The school board unanimously approved the settlement agreement Monday night in the case of McFadden vs. Board of Education for Illinois School District U-46. The settlement comes after seven months of negotiations between the parties …


Budget plan buys Maroa-Forsyth some time (Decatur Herald and Review © 11/13/2014)

The Maroa-Forsyth school board has a plan for alleviating some of its immediate budget pain. But taxpayers need to be wary, the plan could cost them more money. The board unveiled a plan at a packed meeting Monday to use what is called a “balloon levy” and to issue working cash bonds to relieve budget pressures.


Rockford School Board Approves Construction Timeline (WIFR (CBS) 23 Rockford © 11/13/2014)

We are learning more about the construction timeline for some Rockford Public Schools. The Rockford School Board accepted a construction timeline for the district’s $250 million facilities overhaul. The board voted 6-1 tonight. All schools will remain open for the 2015-16 school year and any moves or changes will happen during the summer.



Dist 299


So Much Gentrification – But Still Not At CPS


Lots of news today: Only about half of the white school-age kids in Chicago go to CPS, reports WBEZ (the city’s gentrified but not the schools). CPS isn’t giving out new quality report card data at pickup this week, says Catalyst. Common Core and related assessments are getting scrutinized at an Amundsun event tonight. It’s too late to get risky bond money back, says Emanuel in the Tribune. Plus national news and education updates from other cities.




Why so few white kids land in Chicago Public Schools — and why it matters WBEZ: Roughly half of all white children who could go to CPS do, while the other half gets their education somewhere else. [But] even if all 65,259 eligible white students in the city went to CPS, they’d still be far outnumbered by students who are black and brown. [Also key: families leaving Chicago and paying the higher property taxes in the burbs.]




School quality ratings delayed, but no details on why Catalyst: Parents picking up their children’s report card today and on Thursday were supposed to find out their school’s rating based on a new, more comprehensive accountability system, but for some reason CPS officials have not released the ratings, nor did they give out the colorful school progress report parents are accustomed to receiving. The lack of information has fueled speculation that the ratings are being withheld for political reasons or because the ratings are not what leaders expected. One principal said the delay raises questions about the validity of the ratings.




Emanuel: Too late to recoup potential losses on CPS bonds Chicago Tribune: Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday that it’s too late to try to recoup any of the money from burdensome interest payments that Chicago Public Schools made after issuing risky auction-rate bonds. “There’s a thing called a contract,” he said.


City Council Debates CPS’ Bond Deals Chicago Tonight: Did a series of questionable bond deals with private banks cost Chicago Public Schools $100 million? And can the cash-strapped agency renegotiate or recover that money?


CPS must recover losses from toxic financial deals Tribune (Jackson Potter oped):Imagine if the mayor had listened when people first raised these concerns? Imagine if we held the banks accountable and reinvested the savings into our schools? We could have avoided the 50 school closings and instead created 50 sustainable community schools with free full-day pre-kindergarten, art, music, robust social services, after-school programming, etc.




Taking back Chicago Mike Klonsky: Now the coalition has to find a way to translate its militancy into a successful election strategy. With Rahm’s ratings plummeting, there may never be a better time, not only to take back City Hall, but to build up and expand the Progressive Caucus in the city council.The CTU’s Jackson




Common Core Reading: The High Achievers NPR:The Common Core State Standards are changing reading instruction in many schools. And that means new challenges for lots of students, even traditional high achievers.


PARCC, the New Standardized Test: Is CPS Ready? Forum Asks DNA Info: A forum scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at Amundsen High School, 5110 N. Damen Ave., will tackle the controversialPARCC test, which activists are petitioning to suspend for the 2014-15 school year.




A veteran’s tough love message to at-risk kids — and fellow vets PBS NewsHour: If you listen to West Point graduate and retired Lt. Col. David Oclander, who is now a teacher and principal-in-training at an inner-city Chicago charter school, there’s no doubt they do. When we caught up Oclander last week at Chicago Bulls College Prep, on Chicago’s Near West Side, he explained why.




Denver court rejects dismissal of education funding lawsuit Colorado Public Radio: A Denver trial court has rejected the state of Colorado’s request to dismiss a lawsuit that has major implications for how much money school districts get from the state.


Using data to predict students headed for trouble Marketplace: These school interventions take a lot of forms, everything from special-ed evaluations, to behavioral counseling, to mentoring, to intervention classes in a subject area back at Principal Birch’s middle school in Vacaville.




School district scraps religious names on calendar AP: Presented with the opportunity to recognize a Muslim holiday on the school calendar for the first time, leaders of Maryland’s largest school district went a different direction: They removed all mention of religious holidays from the calendar…. See also WashPost, Vox.


NYC Pre-K Enrollment Exceeds De Blasio’s Target WNYC: New York City hit its target for pre-kindergarten enrollment, with 53,230 children signed up for pre-kindergarten programs across the city this fall. The pre-k expansion has been de Blasio’s signature initiative, and he set the goal of enrolling more than 53,000 students this year. See also ChalkbeatNY


D.C. State Board of Education member elected to lead national association WashPost: Mary Lord, vice president of the D.C. State Board of Education, was elected president of the National Association of State Boards of Education for 2015. Lord, a journalist and Dupont Circle resident, has served on the D.C. state board since its inception in 2007.


Tackling discipline disparities: MPS data illuminate possibilities for change MinnPost: Contrary to popular wisdom, in many schools reports of discipline peak on Thursdays, the data showed. The blip meant little to Moore, but drew a swift response from the principals.



Political News


Rauner, Quinn finally hold that post-election chat November 12, 2014 (Crains Chicago Business © 11/13/2014)

It wasn’t exactly Richard Nixon going to China. There was no railroad car where a great armistice was signed. But for the first time since last week’s bitter election, Gov. Pat Quinn and Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner finally have spoken to each other. The incumbent made the first move, calling and getting his successor on the phone earlier today. “It was a cordial call, and Bruce appreciates …


Governor Pat Quinn calls Governor-elect Bruce Rauner for first time (Crystal Lake Northwest Herald © 11/13/2014)

Gov. Pat Quinn has called Governor-elect Bruce Rauner for the first time since he lost last week’s election to the Republican. Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf said the “cordial” phone conversation took place Wednesday. Quinn’s office said it lasted a few minutes and the two discussed the Affordable Care Act.


Quinn, Rauner talk for first time (Mattoon Journal Gazette © 11/13/2014)

It took a week, but Gov. Pat Quinn and the man who beat him finally talked. Aides for the governor and Republican Bruce Rauner confirmed the two men chatted over the telephone for several minutes about noon Wednesday. It was described it as a cordial conversation that focused on the second year of the federal Affordable Care Act. “Bruce appreciates the governor reaching out,”


Rauner and Quinn Speak over the Phone (WJOL-1340 Joliet © 11/13/2014)

Governor Quinn and Bruce Rauner are finally on speaking terms. Quinn picked up the phone and called Rauner yesterday, eight days after the election. The two had a brief but cordial conversation about the Open Enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act, which will run into February, after Rauner is seated as governor. Rauner thanked Quinn for his years of service to the people of Illinois. …


Rauner, shaker-upper in chief (Springfield Illinois Times © 11/13/2014)

Governor-elect Bruce Rauner visited Springfield last week to say thanks for electing him. You would never have guessed the election was over, with Rauner winning by a bigger margin than most pundits and pollsters had predicted, if they had envisioned a Republican win at all. Three days after the polls closed, the governor-elect spoke at Cafe Moxo against a backdrop of campaign signs tacked to …


Lawmakers must wait for Rauner (Belleville News-Democrat © 11/13/2014)

Local lawmakers say they don’t expect the lame-duck General Assembly to vote on making the temporary income tax increase permanent, but forgive us for not sharing their confidence. We’ve seen too many votes in the wee hours, including the passage of the tax increase four years ago, to rule out any covert possibility.


Kadner: Rauner needs to address Illinois losing border war (Chicago Daily Southtown © 11/13/2014)

If Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner is really interested in economic development, he needs to take a hard look at the Illinois-Indiana border war that’s been going on for more than a decade. The devastation wrought by those battles is apparent in the economic wreckage of Chicago Heights, Calumet City, Dolton, Riverdale and several other…


A new first lady for Illinois (Sterling Sauk Valley News © 11/13/2014)

Illinois hasn’t had a first lady for nearly 6 years, since Patti Blagojevich, wife of the impeached and convicted Rod Blagojevich, left the position. Because Gov. Pat Quinn is divorced, the state has had no first lady since he became governor in January 2009. But in January 2015, when Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner takes office, his wife, Diana, will assume the mantle. (By the way, when Illinois el…


Could Pat Quinn Actually Run for Chicago Mayor? | NBC Chicago (MSNBC Chicago © 11/12/2014)

Come January, Republican Bruce Rauner will officially replace Democrat Pat Quinn as governor of Illinois, which makes Quinn a free agent. People in the know say there are some in Chicago City Council who would like to recruit the ousted incumbent to run for mayor in February’s election. …



National News



Calling BS on Michelin’s Bib Gourmands

Really? You can get a meal for $40 or less at Avec or Nightwood? While the Michelin Guide has given Bib Gourmand awards to 59 Chicago restaurants for “good value,” some on the list made Crain’s think twice about how easy it really is to dine there on the cheap.

Chicago loses one, wins one in HQ game

City Hall has lost out on its bid to lure the major new corporate headquarters for Bridgestone Americas to downtown Chicago. But the Loop area will gain the smaller headquarters of Medix when the staffing firm moves into town from Lombard next spring, bringing 90 jobs and creating an additional 50. Crain’s reports.

Why more people are renting their pieds-a-terre

These part-time city residences long have been a status symbol for suburbanites and others seeking a downtown weekend getaway or weeknight respite from work. But the downtown apartment construction boom has fueled a new trend: the pied-a-terre rental. Chicago Real Estate Daily has more.

Sam Zell eyeing Albertsons?

Chicago real estate mogul Sam Zell is among three bidders vying for a portfolio of more than 100 grocery stores being sold by Albertsons, sources tell the New York Times.

Gutierrez edges closer to race for president

Congressman Luis Gutierrez tells Crain’s Greg Hinz national Latino dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party is rising and will rise even more unless President Barack Obama fulfills his promise to use his administrative powers to enact immigration reform before the end of the year.

Macy’s joins same-day delivery wars

Customers in Chicago and seven other cities can now buy items on Macy’s website and have the goods at their door the same day, as the department store chain joins the frenzy of retailers offering quick delivery. Crain’s has more.

Motorola Mobility gets another day in court to test antitrust reach

Motorola Mobility, twice rebuffed by U.S. courts, is expected in court today for a third chance to argue federal antitrust laws apply to the overseas companies it accused of conspiring to fix prices. More from Bloomberg.

How Meathead turned AmazingRibs into one of the nation’s top BBQ sites

Crain’s has the story of Craig Goldwyn, who runs, a Brookfield-based website devoted to grilling that has mushroomed into a serious small business, ranking among the top 25 food websites in the nation.

Integrys, Wisconsin Energy aim to settle shareholder suits

Lawyers for Wisconsin Energy and Chicago-based Integrys Energy Group are working to settle a series of class-action lawsuits pending in state and federal courts that claim Integrys shareholders aren’t getting fair value in the $9.1 billion utility acquisition announced this summer. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has details.

Rauner’s minimum wage stance puzzles Emanuel

Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner says he supports a minimum wage hike only if it is paired with pro-business measures. But Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he doesn’t know what Mr. Rauner is talking about. More from the Chicago Tribune.


Amazon Buries the Hachette

One of publishing’s nastiest, most high-profile conflicts is ending after Amazon and Hachette announced a multi-year agreement Thursday to resolve the months-long standoff over e-book prices

Why Amazon Wants to Deliver Your Groceries

Amazon’s Dispute With Hachette Might Finally Be Hurting Its Sales


Here Comes the Big Freeze

Cold air will blanket two-thirds of the U.S. on Thursday, with arctic air expected to hit the East Coast after ripping through the rest of the country


Gas Drops Under $3

The average price of gas in the U.S. dropped to $2.917 per gallon, and some states are averaging under $2.70


Taylor Swift: Women Have to Work Harder for Respect

The 24-year-old pop star spoke with TIME as she prepared for the release of her new album and again as she watched its record reception. “Other women who are killing it should motivate you,” she says

Liberia Lifts State of Emergency Over Ebola

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said she would not extend a state of emergency that officially expired earlier this month. About 2,800 people have died of the disease in Liberia, the hardest hit country in an outbreak that has killed more than 5,000


New Orleans Cops ‘Failed to Pursue Sex Crimes’

Detectives ignored reports of sex crimes, failed to follow up on reported sexual abuse cases and routinely failed to provide documentation of sexual investigations, often writing up questionable case files, according to a report released by the city’s inspector general


Scientists Rejoice in Historic Comet Landing

The spaceship initially failed to fire anchoring harpoons into the surface of the comet, which has very weak gravity, and it bounced three times before coming to an awkward stop in a still undetermined area of the comet


Hasbro in Talks to Acquire DreamWorks Animation

Hasbro is in talks to buy DreamWorks Animation, in a move that could help it reclaim its position as the world’s No. 1 toymaker from Lego. The deal could allow the toys and movies businesses to feed off each other


Russia Plans to Send Bomber Patrols Toward the U.S.

Russia said it would begin long-range bomber patrols in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean in an apparent flex of military muscle amid the worst relations with the United States and the West in general since the Cold War


Pope Francis Warns of ‘Unbridled Consumerism’

Pope Francis warned heads of states attending the annual G20 meeting in Australia about the effects of “unbridled consumerism” and called on them to take concrete steps to alleviate unemployment


Word of the Day Thursday, November 13, 2014


Horripilation \haw-rip-uh-LEY-shuhn, ho-\




  1. a bristling of the hair on the skin from cold, fear, etc.; goose flesh.