Friday, August 28, 2009

Northern Star Online: Controversial officer resigns

 

Yarbrough, a former Chicago police officer who was most recently Colorado State University Police Chief, came under fire when he allegedly told students that beating suspects and paying off informants is routine for Chicago police. Yarbrough resigned from his post at CSU after an internal investigation.

subject of a sexual harassment complaint by a subordinate in December 2008 and was placed on administrative leave.

Yarbrough was hired by NIU Public Safety and began work with the campus police on June 29. He resigned his probationary position on July 14, 2009.”

Northern Star Online: Controversial officer resigns

Law firms paid $440,000 by U. of I. to respond to scandal :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Education

 

The University of Illinois has paid $440,000 to six outside law firms it hired to help respond to an admissions scandal at the school.

University Counsel Thomas Bearrows said in a statement today that the largest bill — for $392,120

Law firms paid $440,000 by U. of I. to respond to scandal :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Education

Today's drug du jour | Daily Chronicle

 

Some teens have been known to abuse the drug not for a buzz, but to boost academic performance, believing the drugs would heighten their concentration and lessen their need for sleep.

Today's drug du jour | Daily Chronicle

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Seven of 10 parents: I'd like my child to become a teacher. | csmonitor.com

Very interesting, that parents want their children to be teachers.

Americans show a high regard for teachers: Seven out of 10 say they'd like their child to become a public-school teacher, the highest proportion in 30 years. And they believe that beginning teachers in their community should earn about $10,000 more

Click on the following for more of the details:  Seven of 10 parents: I'd like my child to become a teacher. | csmonitor.com

James D. Metz receives $45,000 for Part-time Job from his former employer—School District 100

Former school board member and District 100 administrator since 2003, Mr. Metz  recently retired from his position as Special Advisor to the Superintendent.  Mr. Metz will receive $45,000 for the 2009-2010 school year from the school district  for consulting and acting as the School’s Treasurer. This part time position is for 600 hours per year.   The Treasurer’s position was previously held by James P. Biesiadecki, the administrator which Mr. Metz replaced in 2004.

Unlike other new hires at the District, Mr. Metz’s salary was not disclosed by the school board in its minutes or in its informational packet.  The information was made available only through a Freedom of Information Request.  The school district appointed Mr. Metz to the Treasurer’s position for two years.  Mr. Metz’s salary for the second year has not been negotiated.  (See the attached letters for more details on the Freedom of Information Request.)

Mr. Metz is also a Director for Blackhawk Bancorp, the parent company of Blackhawk Bank.  (See vita sheet from Blackhawk’s website)  School District 100 is a major depositor at Blackhawk Bank.  Some of the information from that website  is incorrect—Mr. Metz held the title of “Assistant Superintendent of Operations” for only one year.  That title requires special certification from the State of Illinois  as a “business manager”.  Unlike his predecessor Mr. Metz did not hold that certification and apparently never pursued the requirement.  District 100 did not have a formal business manager during Mr. Metz’s 2004-2009 employment;  those duties and responsibilities were held by Superintendent Houselog.

 

Click on the photocopies to enlarge:

Metz 1 metz 2 Metz 3

Metz 4

Quinn in Joliet, tabs a Kennedy to U of I board :: Herald News :: Local News

 

 

Gov. Pat Quinn will name Merchandise Mart CEO Chris Kennedy to the University of Illinois board later Wednesday.

Click on the following for more details:   Quinn in Joliet, tabs a Kennedy to U of I board :: Herald News :: Local News

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Genoa to consider cutting fees | Daily Chronicle

Genoa Park District and School District consider lowering impact fees to jump start new construction 

the park board is willing to reduce its fees by 50 percent through the end of 2010

Our need for EAV outweighs our need for impact fees," Wakeley said. "The temporary loss of impact fees is not as great because it's not a housing boom that will require buying land and building new schools."

Lots in the Oak Creek Estates subdivision are selling for half the price they were two years ago, Hoffman said, and he estimated building costs are down 25 percent. He's hoping the reduction in impact fees might be the nudge someone considering building a new home needs to build it sooner rather than later. When the agreement expires at the end of next year, hopefully building will have resumed a more normal pace, he said.

Click on the following for more details of the story:  Genoa to consider cutting fees | Daily Chronicle

Northwest Herald | Students flock to MCC in record numbers

 

This fall, 6,480 students have enrolled in classes at MCC.

That’s a nearly 21 percent increase from the 5,374 students enrolled last fall.

Of those, 1,890 are new students.

Northwest Herald | Students flock to MCC in record numbers

Monday, August 24, 2009

‘Despondent’ man prompts Belvidere lockdown - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

After learning the man was in possession of firearms and had threatened to commit suicide, police evacuated residents within two blocks of the Sawyer Road home and locked down all District 100 schools within a quarter-mile of the house.

‘Despondent’ man prompts Belvidere lockdown - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Harlem’s freshman campus opens - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

 

The building is being reopened as a freshman campus as part of the district’s state-mandated restructuring plans.
The board approved $1.6 million in renovations for the building, 1102 Evans Ave., to prepare it for today’s opening.

Smart Boards, which are like an interactive, digital whiteboard, in each classroom, updated science labs and other technological upgrades.

Harlem’s freshman campus opens - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

St. Charles schools ready all-day kindergarten programs :: Beacon News :: Local News

 

parents of all-day kindergarten students will pay $250 a month.

"The community wanted to include all-day kindergarten but they didn't want it to impact the School District's budget," Blaney said.

Students will attend from 8:40 a.m. to 3 p.m. Regular kindergarten classes run from 8:40 to 11:15 a.m. and 12:25 to 3 p.m.

Two grade schools -- Lincoln and Richmond -- did not have extra rooms to house the all-day kindergartners. All-day kindergartners from Lincoln will go to Fox Ridge. Students from Richmond will attend Munhall. As of Friday, 358 students had enrolled in all-day kindergarten, Blaney said.

SC schools ready all-day kindergarten programs :: Beacon News :: Local News

Northwest Herald | PR firm has referendum track record

UNICOM-ARC is the company that Dr. Schlomann used to sell District 100 its new high school.

Speculation that the college might be looking to the ballot for additional funding started in January when the board hired UNICOM-ARC to conduct a 14-month community engagement campaign.

The St. Louis-based public relations firm has been associated with helping school districts get support from voters for tax increases.

The college plans to spend about $180,000 on its MAP community engagement process, including $137,500 for services from UNICOM-ARC. College officials signed two contracts with the company. One is for conducting informal focus groups and surveys and presenting and analyzing the results. The other contract is for “program planning, media advertising, direct mail, grass-roots program and other creative writing and planning services necessary to bring about public awareness.”

Northwest Herald | PR firm has referendum track record

Saturday, August 22, 2009

'Sexting' can be a crime :: Herald News :: Local News

Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow and the Will County Juvenile Probation Department have launched an initiative to warn parents, teachers and teen-agers about the dangers associated with "sexting."

According to a survey conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen & Unwanted Pregnancy, one in five teenagers has admitted to sexting.

Click on the following for more of the story:  'Sexting' can be a crime :: Herald News :: Local News

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Twitter from Superintendent Houselog

supt100Today 47 juniors from BHS and North High School started full time college in the Running Start Program at Rock Valley College.11:57 AM Aug 17th from web

Illinois high schools' scores drop on state achievement exam -- chicagotribune.com

 

Elementary students posted modest gains on the 2009 exams, continuing an upward trend. But high school scores tumbled, according to data released Wednesday.
Last year's junior class posted the lowest pass rate -- 51.6 percent -- ever recorded on the math portion of the Prairie State Achievement Exam, given this past spring. Barely half of the students got over the bar in science, a slight drop from the previous year.
Reading was the bright spot. Nearly 57 percent of 11th graders passed, up from 53.3 percent last year.

Also troubling: 720 elementary and high schools ran afoul of the federal No Child Left Behind regulations, up from 558 last year.

Read the article in its entirety by clicking:  Illinois high schools' scores drop on state achievement exam -- chicagotribune.com

Daily Herald | St. Charles ACT scores on the rise

Scores up in many schools in Kane, Dupage and Cook counties. 

Daily Herald | St. Charles ACT scores on the rise

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Northwest Herald | FOIA reform signed

A souped-up Illinois Freedom of Information Act was one of several reform bills signed into law Monday by Gov. Pat Quinn.

The new FOIA shortens the time that governments have to respond to records requests. It also empowers the attorney general’s public access counselor with binding authority to enforce the act, and for the first time imposes civil penalties for governments that willfully violate it.

Northwest Herald | FOIA reform signed

Elgin School District U46 $43 million in the hole :: The Courier News :: Local News

 

it's mainly due to "revenue stream problems."

Among them are a state funding lag of about $11 million; a significant decline in the amount of interest earned on investments; bankruptcies rising by 46 percent since 2007 in the Chicago collar counties, including the portions of Cook, DuPage and Kane counties that U46 serves; steady growth of home foreclosures in Kane County, from 2,002 in 2007 to 2,944 in 2008; and foreclosures jumping in DuPage County from 3,141 in 2007 to 4,704 in 2008. The foreclosures and bankruptcies affect payment of property taxes

U46 $43 million in the hole :: The Courier News :: Local News

Monday, August 17, 2009

Huntley OKs high school cop pact :: The Courier News :: Local News

 

the school district will reimburse the village for half of the officer's salary and benefits for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010.

Huntley OKs high school cop pact :: The Courier News :: Local News

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Quinn and U. of I. trustees appear on collision course -- chicagotribune.com

 

The state constitution allows the governor to terminate the trustees for "incompetence, neglect of duty, or malfeasance," but it does not outline any recourse for challenging the removal. In 1975, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that fired appointees can fight dismissals in court.

Quinn and U. of I. trustees appear on collision course -- chicagotribune.com

Saturday, August 15, 2009

NIU official: School did cooperate with federal study | Daily Chronicle

 

The report relied on information provided by the DeKalb Fire Department, the DeKalb County Coroner’s Office, the NIU Public Affairs Office and Kishwaukee Community Hospital but no “direct information” from the NIU Department of Public Safety.
Any information about NIU’s police department operations was derived from hospital, fire, EMS and after-action reports that included facts about the police response, as well as from the NIU Web site, annual mandated crime reports and newspaper articles, according to the report’s author, Hollis Stambaugh.

NIU’s Public Safety Department plans to release a final report on the shooting once the “full investigation is completed.”

NIU official: School did cooperate with federal study | Daily Chronicle

Friday, August 14, 2009

Kids wired for pain? :: The Courier News :: Local News

Video games, iPods among causes for increase in migraines among children

About 1 out of every 20 kids, or about 8 million children in the United States, gets migraines, according to KidsHealth, a popular Web site run by the Nemours Foundation

." Triggers include stress, a family history of migraines, menstruation, lack of sleep, skipping meals, not staying hydrated and too much caffeine.

octors say migraines are more than your usual headache. "Kids feel nauseous, so they're not" able to participate in school and activities, Santiago said. And prior to migraines, "they sometimes have visual auras, meaning they see little spots on the front of their eyes."

Kids wired for pain? :: The Courier News :: Local News

Daily Herald | High-performance suits banned in Illinois

 

The National Federation of State High School Associations Swimming and Diving Rules Committee approved changes that will make the high-tech swimsuit no longer a legal suit for swimmers at the high school level.

In the boys swimming state meet last season at New Trier High School, state records were broken in 8 of the 11 swimming events, an unprecedented number in the sport's modern era

Click on the following for the rest of the story:  Daily Herald | High-performance suits banned in Illinois

Thursday, August 13, 2009

D300 Carpentersville OKs 'wind power' push :: The Courier News :: Local News

The board of education approved an intergovernmental agreement to formalize a School Wind Consortium with Keeneyville Elementary School District 20 in DuPage County and Prospect Heights School District 23 in Cook County.

state law does allow school districts to sell the power generated by an off-site wind farm to a utility company to offset the school district's energy use — about $2.9 million each year for District 300. A 10-turbine, 20-megawatt farm such as what the consortium is considering could bring $3 million to District 300 after operating and maintenance costs are paid and 10 percent is paid out to the other districts. This would cover "most or all of our District's electric expenses," Strupeck said.

Click on the following for the rest of the storyD300 OKs 'wind power' push :: The Courier News :: Local News

State board certifies Galapagos Rockford Charter School - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

St. Patrick School Rockford IL picture

— Galapagos Rockford Charter School has earned certification from the Illinois State Board of Education.

The State Board certified Legacy Academy of Excellence on July 29, and the third approved charter school for Rockford, CICS Rockford Charter School, is awaiting state certification.

Galapagos school opens its doors Sept. 8 as a kindergartners through third-grade school at the former St. Patrick School, 2605 School St.

Click on the following for the rest of the story:  State board certifies Galapagos Rockford Charter School - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

The Belvidere Daily Republican. - Coaching Clinic required by IHSA

 

ROCKFORD – An ASEP Coaching Clinic will be held in Rockford on Sunday, Aug. 30 at the Quality Suites for anyone interested in becoming certified to coach middle or high school athletics.

The successful completion of the ASEP program is required by the Illinois High School Association for all non-faculty coaches.

To register, or for more information about this or future clinics contact Jeff Kyle at 217-586-4799 or thekyles@mchsi.com.

The Belvidere Daily Republican. - Coaching Clinic required by IHSA

Classroom-starved ECC buys building for $1.9M :: The Courier News :: Local News

A 2,000 (28.6%) student increase—could it be the economy?

Elgin.jpg

In 2008, ECC had more than 7,000 students for its fall semester. It now has more than 9,000 students, and even that could go higher by the time classes begin in two weeks.

CLICK ON:  Classroom-starved ECC buys building for $1.9M :: The Courier News :: Local News

All-out blitz for student athlete drug testing :: The Courier News :: Local News

 

The law states that any high school athlete in Illinois can be tested randomly during their respective season of competition. Penalties for a positive test could include a one-year suspension from the activity.

The testing is to be done by a third party that is independent of the IHSA and the schools. It will be funded through an added $50 court fee for persons charged with drug-related offenses.

All-out blitz for student athlete drug testing :: The Courier News :: Local News

Monday, August 10, 2009

U46 names its new CFO :: The Courier News :: Local News

 

U46 names its new CFO :: The Courier News :: Local News

Sheffield may expel police from schools - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

 

the new administration is raising questions: Are police the most cost-effective way to provide security? Is it the most student-centered approach? What security options would produce the nurturing atmosphere Sheffield wants in district schools?

Rockford School District is believed to have first contracted with the city for police services sometime around 2000.

 

Sheffield may expel police from schools - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Northwest Herald | Schools in dark over state funding

The Illinois State Board of Education approved a budget last month that cut funding for early childhood education programs by roughly one-third. Gov. Pat Quinn now has reallocated $85 million in funding for early childhood education, leaving it funded at 90 percent of last year’s level.

Northwest Herald | Schools in dark over state funding

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Superintendent of Elgin District U-46 Rejects Salary Increase

Dr._Jose_M._Torres.JPG

The superintendent of Illinois’ second largest school district informed administrators and non-union staff members that he will not be accepting the 3.7 percent salary increase that is called for in his contract for the 2009/2010 school year.

In a message to U-46 administrators and non-union employees, Torres wrote, “Due to the difficult finances that we find ourselves in as a country and as a state, I have informed the Board of Education that I will not be accepting the salary increase for the 2009/2010 school year that I had negotiated with the Board when I was hired last year.”

In the same message, Torres announced that he will also not be recommending salary increases for administrators and non-union employees for the upcoming school year.

“The decision regarding salary increases for employees who do not have negotiated salary increases has been very difficult to make. I think we can all agree, though, that foregoing our salary increases at a time when so many families in our communities and across the country are struggling is the right thing to do,” Torres wrote.

The savings from not providing salary increases for administrators and non-union employees is estimated at $1.5 million next school year. “While this savings will not fix our fundamental revenue problems, it will help,” says Torres.

In his e-mail, Torres emphasizes that he, and the U-46 Board of Education, value the commitment of all staff members to the district, its students, and communities. He further notes that he and the Board will remember that administrators and other non-union employees sacrificed a salary increase.

Under the terms of his original contract, Torres is to receive an annual pay increase equal to the average annual percentage received by teachers. Had the raise been accepted, Torres’ annual salary would have increased from $220,000 to $228,140 next school year.

Redeeming the U. of I. [An editorial by the Chicago Tribune]

 

 

 

University brass leaned on their subordinates to admit clouted applicants, allowed trustees and lobbyists to second-guess admissions decisions and sometimes overruled those decisions to appease VIP outsiders. There's plenty of evidence that deans and admissions staffers pushed back, to no avail.
Their bosses were part of the problem.

White is a renowned academic and administrator. Herman is an unparalleled fundraiser, adept at recruiting and retaining top-shelf faculty. But if the university is to move past this scandal, it must do so without them. They have to go.

herman.jpgjosephwhite.jpg

Read the entire article by clicking on the following:  Redeeming the U. of I. -- chicagotribune.com

The Chronicle | Parents choose between full, half-day

Currently St. Charles only has half day kindergarten and is proposing full day at parents’ expense.  So District 100 taxpayers , Dr. Schlomann who proposed (and received) “free” kindergarten for District 100, wants $250 a month for St. Charles.  For District 100, the equivalent of an entire new grade school had to built to accommodate full time kindergarten.

Schlomann said Summit 303 supported the concept of all-day kindergarten, but given the district’s current budget situation, Summit 303 participants didn’t want to put the burden of backing an all-day program on the district.
"And so with that in mind, [Summit 303] supported ... having an all-day kindergarten program that was paid for by the parents,” he said.
All-day kindergarten will cost a family $250 per month, per student for nine months. Tuition will be pro-rated for families eligible for the free and reduced lunch program

Click on the following for the rest of the story:  The Chronicle | Parents choose between full, half-day

The Chronicle | Super salaries? Big incentives for superintendents

Salary summaries for  School superintendents in Kane County. 

 

Superintendent contracts obtained from each school district

Click on the following for more details:  The Chronicle | Super salaries? Big incentives for superintendents

Thrifty is the latest back-to-school trend :: The Courier News :: Business

 

Families are expected to spend 8 percent less on back-to-school, including everything from new shoes to dorm room gear, the National Retail Federation forecasts. It expects total spending of $47.5 billion.

“I am going to buy more staples, things that aren't incredibly trendy or a little bit big and will last the whole year and maybe into the next year," she said. "I'm waiting for things to go on sale

Thrifty is the latest back-to-school trend :: The Courier News :: Business

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Panel votes to ask U. of I. board urged to resign over admissions -- chicagotribune.com

 

joewhite.jpg

In a 6-1 vote, the Illinois Admissions Review Commission elected to ask all governor-appointed trustees to resign

A state panel investigating admissions abuses at the University of Illinois decided Friday not to seek resignations from the school's president and chancellor in the wake of the scandal, but the two top administrators nevertheless will face sharp criticism when the commission releases its final report next week.

report must be worded strongly so White, Herman and other top university employees are held publicly accountable for actions that the panel agreed has tarnished the reputation of the state's most prestigious public campus.

Panel votes to ask U. of I. board urged to resign over admissions -- chicagotribune.com