MAKING THE GRADE? The annual
School Report Card for Illinois public schools is out today and, befitting its
Halloween release date, should give us all a scare. Not because scores dropped
drastically this year -- which they did due to the adoption of more rigorous
standards -- but because they reveal that fewer than 60 percent of Illinois
elementary school students can be considered proficient in reading and math.
It's 53 percent for high school students. They also reveal a shocking, through
not unexpected, disparity in test scores between affluent and poor students.
I've got a summary of news coverage and links to charts and databases so you
can find out how specific schools did on this years tests. The Chicago
Sun-Times ranks the state's 50 best schools using its own scoring formula. Find it all here.
JUDICIAL TRICKS Advice to
trick-or-treaters: Don't show up at Illinois Chamber of Commerce President Doug
Whitley's door tonight dressed as an activist judge handing out a generous
workers compensation award to a plaintiff claiming injury. If Whitley's message
today is any indication, that costume will earn you a very nasty trick at the
Whitley household. This piece is a prelude to a study on high workers
compensation costs that the Chamber is releasing tomorrow. Whitley pulls no
punches. Read it here.
SCARY, SCARY ILLINOIS Yesterday we featured
a new study from the Fiscal Futures
Project at U of I's Institute for Government and Public Affairs that
said, among other things, that Illinois suffers from a chronic fiscal ailment,
not just a temporary "crisis." Frightening stuff. We've compiled some
other truly scary facts about the state's fiscal condition in today's jack-o-lantern-themed Top
10 list. We only get to do this once a year, so don't miss it!
2014: WHO'S GOT WHAT Our chart of the day looks at
the campaign coffers of the five candidates for governor. We zero in on how
much each candidate has received from individuals compared to donations from
groups. It's a companion to our previous chart on how much
out-of-state money candidates have received. Find today's here.
BULLY! As noted above, the School Report Card
dominates the news today, and it's the top item in our daily news summary. Also
in the news today: NBC5 Chicago's Ward Room blog discusses State Treasurer Dan
Rutherford's campaign error that has volunteers starting over on nominating
petitions. And the war of words between House Speaker Michael Madigan and
Better Government Association President Andy Shaw continues to make great
political theater. Go here for our news wrap-up and
links to the full stories.
HEADLINES: No time for even the summary above? Here are the headlines:
- 5. Opinion: Dan Rutherford had
to throw away nominating petitions because of an error is somewhat embarrassing.
4. The Better Government Association’s Andy Shaw says the BGA is just doing its job, despite Michael Madigan calling him a bully. (BGA)
3. Due to the increased standards in test scoring, more suburban schools are labeled as failing. (Daily Herald)
2. The Sun-Times has a list of the top 50 elementary schools, middle schools and high schools in the state. (Chicago Sun-Times)
1. Illinois grade school test scores plunged – but they were much more severe in poorer communities than in the affluent suburbs. (Chicago Tribune)