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jannie122 - Updated: Illinois Tobacco Quitline closes amid grant suspensions - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.c
I am surprised that this money could be used for something else as I thought it was received by states from the Cigeratte companies in a class action court settlement of money for the states to use to encourage people to stop smoking or to encourage people to not smoke.
jannie122 - Study: EPA Global Warming Rule To Kill Nearly 300,000 Jobs - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Not only should we be concerned about the jobs, we should also be concerned about the unreliable nature of "green" energy. The money we (government) have given away to solar and wind we could have "given" in the form of subsidies to develop scrubbers on coal plants. Coal, cheap, efficient, and abundant. With all of the green energy we will see our electric bills raise - all one has to do is look to…
UJacks1 - Walden to retire - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
May I be so bold to nominate Barack O'bama ? Illinoisian, experienced lawyer, liberal to the max.
UrKidsWillPay - Local 63 approves contract - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Okay fine, have it your way. Instead of offering them a pay cut a another five years with the golden goose I would just stop all negotiations with them and sim
at_ease - Local 63 approves contract - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
WarCry- I believe that the city had the opportunity a year ago to give the firefighters a much lower pay increase and voted it down. If money is the real issue here why would they now give them such a good contract. Also, is it fair to close one station to save money? Shouldn't the people in that area be the ones to receive the tax break since they won't have the service any more? "By…

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VIDEO: Your kids could fail the Illinois state test, but they aren’t stupid

2 years, 2 months ago By Benjamin Yount, Illinois Watchdog

The state of Illinois is telling millions of parents that their kids did not get dumber since last year, the state’s elementary school test just got harder

By Benjamin Yount | Illinois Watchdog

SPRINGFIELD  —  The state of Illinois is telling millions of parents that their kids did not get dumber since last year, the state’s elementary school test just got harder.

The Illinois State Board of Education has “raised the bar” for the Illinois Student Achievement Exam, which third through eighth-graders will take this spring.

“What’s changed is that the bar is higher. And it’s more aligned to the Common Core,” said Illinois State Superintendent Chris Koch.

The “higher bar” will result in lower scores. Koch is telling parents to expect that only 60 percent of kids will meet or exceed the stands of the new test. In 2011, 79 percent of students met or exceeded standards in reading, and 86 percent  met standards in math.

In a letter to parents Koch and the state board said the double-digit drop in scores “does not mean that our students know less. Instead, ISBE is simply expecting more from students.”

The changes to the ISAT scores are just the first of many changes for students, parents, local schools and the state of Illinois.

Within two years Illinois will do away the ISAT all together, replace it with a new yet-to-be-written test, and fully implement the national Common Core State Standard Initiative. Illinois is one of 45 states to sign-on to Common Core, which are essentially national learning standards. Supporters say all students should have the same learning goals, while critics worry that a one-size fits-all approach may not be the best way to teach students across the country.

“We are preparing students, teachers, and (school districts) for that test,” Koch said.

But some local school districts don’t feel prepared at all.

“The educational bureaucracy is out of control,” said Carbondale High School Superintendent Steve Murphy. “The state is changing the test scores for a test that is going away in a few years.”

But Murphy’s students, as high schoolers, will not take the test.

Carbondale’s other superintendent, Mike Shimshak, who oversees the elementary schools, will see his students’ scores drop. Though Shimshak is not focusing too much on the scores.

“We look to see how we compare to the state. If they move up or down, we will likely follow,” Shimshak said. “We want to know how we are doing compared to other districts like us.”

Koch said the state is going to shift focus from individual tests scores as well, as part of the Common Core, and move toward “growth standards.”

And that worries Murphy.

“Standards are a good thing when you use them to enlighten people,” Murphy said. “But when you use those standards to control people they’re not. I think these standards are a way to wrest local control of schools.”

Murphy said he worries about the coming changes linked to Common Core.

“We have over 800 school districts in Illinois, and the state and federal governments are trying to treat them all the same.”


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