Friday, Jul 25, 2014
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Loverofblues - Illinois gets below-normal rain and temperatures - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Temps here. How about global? That is world wide.
1950Brutus - Burlington, IA considering requirement for toy gun cases - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
If they want my light saber they will need to pry open my cold, dead hands.
WarCry - Burlington, IA considering requirement for toy gun cases - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
I know what they're trying to do her, but they need to tighten up the language if they're serious. this could - COULD - lead to kids getting misdemeanors for their toy ray-guns. Things like Airsoft DO look very real - real enough to use as movie props, in fact. Paintball guns are iffy (most guns don't have a Coke-bottle-looking magazine or a compressed air tank on them). If they're…
qfingers - Illinois gets below-normal rain and temperatures - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Hadn't you heard? Global Warming -> Climate Change -> Climate Disruption -> Weather They've started figuring out that weather changes so now no matter what happens they're right. I get a kick out of reading NASA's explanation of global warming just recently updated due to a correction they had to make to U.S. data
QuincyJournal - Burlington, IA considering requirement for toy gun cases - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
"...or replica of a firearm." I guess that would be it, eh? BG

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Illinois Week in Review for 1/28 to 2/2

1 year, 5 months ago By Benjamin Yount | Illinois Watchdog

Illinois Week in Review: Lowered credit rating scuttles bond sale, lowered expectations scuttle confidence

SPRINGFIELD —  Illinois’ pension inaction continues to haunt the state’s finances.

On Wednesday, Gov. Pat Quinn’s office delayed a $500 million bond sale because of an “unsettled market.”

Bob Williams, editor at State Budget Solutions, said Illinois is trying to borrow money while holding one of the worst credit ratings in the country.

“Frankly, I think rating agencies have too been generous with Illinois,” Williams said. “It should have junk-bond status now. But they haven’t quite grasped the depth of Illinois’ economic problems.”

Just last week, Standard and Poor’s downgraded Illinois credit rating to an A-, the worst in the country, because lawmakers still have not come to grips with the state’s $96 billion to $130 billion pension debt.

Expecting bad grades

Illinois school officials are telling some parents to expect their children to fail the Illinois Standard Achievement Test test this spring.

Illinois State Superintendent Chris Koch says the state has raised the bar for the test. Every student between third and eighth grade will take the ISAT.

Koch said the test is getting harder to be more in line with national education standards, the Common Core goals.

Carbondale High School Superintendent Steve Murphy said the changes come at a strange time.

“The state is changing the test scores for a test that is going away in a few years,” Murphy said.

Koch said the state will have a new test for elementary school kids in two years, just in time for all schools to switch to the coming Common Core learning standards.

School choice?

So, if kids are going to do worse on a test, could they do better in another school?

School choice advocates asked that question this week in Illinois.

But for Illinois families, charter schools are the only real choice, unless parents want to foot the bills themselves.

Andrew Broy, president of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools, said Illinois is in the middle of the pack when it comes to school choice across the country. Broy says Chicago has a huge demand for charter schools.

“Eight years ago we had 6,000 students in charter schools, and a wait-list of 3,000. Today we have 53,000 charter school students in Chicago, and a wait-list of 20,000,” Broy said.

But charter schools are the only choice that comes with any money. Illinois does not have a voucher program, and Sister Mary Paul-McCaughey, superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Chicago, said that means the state does not have “true school choice.”

In addition to providing a good education, McCaughey said, private schools could use public dollars to save the state money, particularly in Illinois, which is burdened with sky-rocketing pension debt for public school teachers.

Open nothingness

Illinois did get high marks this week, but there’s still a catch.

Sunshine Review gave Illinois a B+ for government transparency, making the state among the best in the nation.

Sunshine Review issued a report showing Illinois has published volumes of public information on budgets, government transparency and government operations online.

But the Sunshine Review report only looked at the amount of public information, not whether that information actually answers questions about the effectiveness of government.

David Morrison of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform sees a difference between making information public and making it useful.

“Putting big data dumps online is not the same as providing the info people want to have access to,” Morrison said.


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