Morning! So the legislature passed pension reform that may or may not be legal and doesn't affect Chicago directly (but may lead the way for Chicago reforms). What do you think? Where's CTU? And the City Council isn't going to vote on an elected school board. Nationally.... oh, hell, you guys don't really care about any of that, do you?
Legislature passes "historic’ pension vote WBEZ: Public employee unions, who oppose the bill, vowed to quickly take legal action. They say the legislation is unfair to workers and retirees who for years made faithful contributions to retirement systems but now will see benefits cut because of government mismanagement. They also argue parts of the measure are unconstitutional.
Illinois Lawmakers Ram Pension Reform Bill Through, Labor Preps For Legal Fight Progress IL: State Sen. Linda Holmes (D-Aurora), who was the lone member of the ten-person, bipartisan conference that didn't vote for the bill to move out of committee said the state's pension debt is the fault of the state legislature — not public employees and retirees. She also pushed back against House Speaker Michael Madigan's (D-Chicago) assertion earlier today that the pension system was "too rich" for what the state to afford.
Illinois lawmakers approve major pension overhaul Tribune: Illinois lawmakers narrowly approved a historic, sweeping overhaul of government worker pension systems Tuesday, overcoming years of political and philosophical differences in an attempt to address one of the state's most pressing...
Emanuel mum on city pension fix Tribune: Mayor Rahm Emanuel today declined to say whether he got a specific pledge from legislative leaders to deal with the city’s pension mess, even as the Illinois legislature is preparing to vote in Springfield today on a state pension reform package that does not address the city’s shortfall.
Lawmakers should approve the pension funding overhaul bill: Brown Sun Times: There are times in public life when elected officials have to lay the political risks aside to stand up and be counted. This will be one such day for members of the Illinois General Assembly, who will stand tallest if they vote to approve the pension funding overhaul endorsed by their legislative leaders and Gov. Pat Quinn. Legislators should support the bill, which has the potential to substantially improve the financial health of the state’s pension system, and in turn, stabilize the state’s overall finances.
Quinn vows to sign pension reform bill ‘promptly’ — unions promise court fight Sun Times: Pension reform might happen in Illinois after all. After years of posturing, inertia and debate, the Illinois House and Senate each passed a controversial reform bill in a lightning fast one-two punch Tuesday afternoon. Gov. Quinn says he’ll sign the pension deal once it hits his desk.
Reaction to Pension Reform Vote Chicago Tonight: Pension Reform passed the Illinois House and Senate this evening. Here are some reactions from politicians and policy institutes.
Illinois 1, Chicago 0 on pension reform Crain's: If reducing retirement costs was a necessity for the state, it's imperative for Chicago, which faces an enormous increase in contributions after next year if nothing is done.
Illinois Legislature Approves Retiree Benefit Cuts in Troubled Pension System NYT: The hard-fought deal, which includes higher state contributions to the system, could be a template for agreements elsewhere.
The mayor gets the City Council to bury the elected school board issue (again) Chicago Reader: That's not to be confused with B-3, which is what the mayor affectionately nicknamed schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, the woman he brought in from Detroit to be the genial face on his cuts and closings.
City Hall Squeeze-Out: Proposed Vote on Elected School Board in Jeopardy DNAI: Ald. John Arena charged that three proposed referendums were intended to keep his measure off the ballot.
Early Education in Latino Community Chicago Tonight: We take a look at a home visiting program designed to help mothers learn how to better prepare their children for the first days of school, so that Latino children don’t start off academically behind their peers.
Data Breach Exposes 2000 Chicago Public School Students' Health Data eSecurity Planet: The Chicago Sun-Times reports that health information on approximately 2,000 Chicago Public Schools students who participated in a free vision exam program provided by the city was recently posted online by mistake.
Schools get mixed grades Hyde Park Herald: Chicago Public Schools (CPS) released 2012 School Progress Reports to parents on report card pick up day. The reports offer a more comprehensive look at the academic and social climate of each school.
Tech training centers Tribune (essay): It is my belief that any future plan for the success of Chicago must include solid job skills training for the inner-city community residents. This training must have technology has its foundation.
Comings and Goings: New principals, OPPY Award Catalyst: Here’s a roundup of principal contracts announced in November: Plus Edgar Ramirez, Jeanne Walker.
Parent involvement at L.A. schools getting new look LA Times: In Cudahy, parents collected more than 600 signatures demanding a new principal. In Culver City, they fought attempts to unionize classroom aides and formed a group that elected a school board majority. In Los Angeles, parents are organizing for more effective school disciplinary practices.
Speculating on De Blasio’s Choice for Schools Chief NYT: Several educators frequently mentioned as candidates for New York City schools chancellor once worked under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, but then criticized his policies.
Washington, New York Set Passing Bars on New Teacher Test Teacher Beat: Washington state set a lower cutoff point for most teachers than did New York on a new teacher-licensing test.
ALEC Ed. Agenda for 2014: Course Choice, Student Data 'Backpack Act' State EdWatch: The free-market-oriented organization is considering draft bills dealing with school choice and a state records database with academic information on individual students.
Brooklyn Teachers Decry Emphasis on Testing WNYC: Greenfield and others spoke to parents and fellow teachers in the P.S. 321 auditorium at a forum under the umbrella of Teachers Talk Testing, a newly-formed group seeking to reduce the emphasis on testing in three ways: ending grade promotion tied to test scores; ending middle school and high school admissions tied exclusively to test scores; and revising the way test scores factor into school progress reports.
School counselors increasingly are missing link in getting kids to college Hechinger: The challenges facing Ryder soon become clear. When she asks about her students’ goals, one hand goes up. Then a low voice in the back of the room wisecracks, “Be a drug dealer.” A while later, when the students are told to sit at computers and go through a questionnaire to help determine what courses of studies and careers would be good fits for them, several struggle with the words on the screen, English still foreign to them.