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Morning shorts

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2007

* Reports says state’s juvenile defense system stretched too far

* Study finds lack of justice for juveniles

* Recieiver hikes hotel profits

In the first six months after Hostmark Hospitality Group began running it, the hotel showed a profit of more than $927,000.

During the same six-month period in 2006, the hotel showed a profit of only about $126,000, said Scott Burnham, spokesman for Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.

Profit margins are important because the hotel was built with the help of a state-backed loan. Under a refinancing deal, the hotel’s owners had to make payments on the state loan only when the facility showed a profit. Giannoulias’ office said the hotel had made only two payments on the loan since 1998 and none in the past four years.

* Whistleblower accused of leaking report fights to keep state job

* Don’t extend Ryan’s bail, says Fitzgerald

* Editorial: Ryan has avoided prison for far too long

* Did Illinois students do too well on tests?

“That has to make you ask questions,” said Jack Jennings, head of the Washington-based Center on Education Policy. “It could be the schools are just highly focused — and that can be a problem if all they’re doing is preparing kids for the test. Another possible explanation is the test is too easy.”

Illinois education officials deny that’s the case, saying coursework closely tracks the concepts tested, giving teachers a clear roadmap — and better results.

* Girls outpace boys on state tests

* Nearly a tenth of Illinois schools are ‘dropout factories’

* State test scores plunge at high school level

* Student test scores: some up, some down

* School report on time this year

* Chicago’s student achievement gap

For students shut out of the selective college preps like Payton, it can be like a “death sentence,” one activist said.

“Either you get into those schools or you’re in schools where you’re more likely to end up in prison than in college,” said Madeline Talbott, head organizer for Illinois ACORN.

The news of the growing achievement gap comes six years after passage of the federal No Child Left Behind law, which explicitly aims to narrow this gap. The law is up for re-authorization

* Chicago Public Radio: City plans to expand its surveillance system

* Illinoize: No the Christian right doesn’t drive up the abortion rate, but thanks for asking

* More ‘quality hiring’ by county

Stroger can fill about 500 jobs at will, and spokesman Ibis Antongiorgi said he’s left dozens vacant and can fire anyone from those jobs at any time.

He did that this month when the Sun-Times revealed he had hired Patty Young, girlfriend to his ally, Commissioner William Beavers. Stroger called that hiring “a red herring” that didn’t reflect actual hiring patterns.

* Carol Marin: Why is city hiding scandals?

* Sen. Brady decries inaction on health board

* State set to review bids for $27 million military center

* CPR: Chicago pushes for more expensive beers

When you crack open and pour a beer you’ve already paid the city 9 cents for your six pack. If the mayor has his way, you’ll pay 17. The city wants to raise its taxes on beer more then 80 percent. The tax on wine and liquor would jump 50 percent. The city hopes to bring in an additional 13 million dollars.

* DuPage Co. likely to see flooding because of budget cutbacks

- Posted by Paul Richardson        


8 Comments
  1. - Ghost - Wednesday, Oct 31, 07 @ 9:02 am:

    In sum, we have bad schools; but thats ok because if our poorly educated kids get arrested they won’t be properly represented in court anyway.


  2. - Truthful James - Wednesday, Oct 31, 07 @ 9:18 am:

    The Cellini fraud at the Springfield Ramada, now shown by the profitable operation by the Receiver, is a blot upon the escutcheon of St. Jim Edgar.


  3. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Oct 31, 07 @ 9:20 am:

    If Cook County is representative, the Juvenile Court systems across the state may well not be doing a very good job of ensuring advocacy for juvenile alleged offenders, or for parents accused of maltreating their children for that matter. Both the child abuse/neglect arm and the juvenile justice arm of Cook County’s juvenile court serve to funnel thousands of mostly African American kids into foster homes and juvenile jails. The disproportionality of the foster care and juvenile jail populations in themselves should be sounding an alarm. But there have been few complaints from the African American community whose kids are most likely to be affected by these dysfunctional and very expensive systems.

    And it’s not like these are great places for kids to remake their lives. For decades, children were routinely mistreated at Cook County’s Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, formerly known as the
    Audy Home, right under the noses of the Democratic
    powers like Daley, Stroger, etc. Lawsuits were filed and resisted mightily. Lately, we’ve heard there are more reforms.Taxpayers should be skeptical.

    So, what’s up. Or rather, cui bono? It’s all about the money, I suspect. Both the state-run child welfare system (DCFS) and the juvenile justice system provide thousands of patronage jobs for people who probably would have extreme difficulty earning the same compensation elsewhere. And those hundreds of millions in contracts for appropriately connected providers certainly provide an incentive for even
    child welfare advocates to keep their mouths shut.
    And for our feckless legislators, contracts equal contributions to the “campaign” coffers after all.

    With all those jobs and all that money at stake, the kids don[t have a chance.


  4. - Healthcare Worker - Wednesday, Oct 31, 07 @ 10:22 am:

    Not bad schools.

    My son is a Junior in High School. They where INSTRUCTED to only concentrate on the material for the first day of the Prairie test, and that the second day of testing was “not that important”.

    About 1/3 of his group did not even bother with the second day of testing.

    According to the Principal, this is “no big deal”.

    Do, not bad schools, bad school administration/boards!


  5. - Atticus - Wednesday, Oct 31, 07 @ 12:14 pm:

    I have to comment that if where Healthcare Worker’s son goes to school is anything like Springfield dist 186, the board probably doesn’t even know what the administrators are doing. Heck, the superintendent probably doesn’t even know!


  6. - Ferris - Wednesday, Oct 31, 07 @ 12:34 pm:

    Save Magalis!


  7. - One_Mcmad - Wednesday, Oct 31, 07 @ 2:05 pm:

    * More ‘quality hiring’ by county

    Stroger can fill about 500 jobs at will, and spokesman Ibis Antongiorgi said he’s left dozens vacant and can fire anyone from those jobs at any time. He did that this month when the Sun-Times revealed he had hired Patty Young, girlfriend to his ally, Commissioner William Beavers. Stroger called that hiring “a red herring” that didn’t reflect actual hiring patterns.

    WHAT HAPPENED TO THE HIRING FREEZE IN COOK COUNTY? IF STROGER IS ATTEMPTING TO RAISE TAXES TO BALANCE NEXT YEARS BUDGET, WHY IS HE HIRING INSTEAD OF “STREAMLINING” COUNTY GOVERNMENT.

    NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE!


  8. - Disgusted - Wednesday, Oct 31, 07 @ 11:14 pm:

    Regarding the former Renaissance Hotel in Springfield, the managing of this property is how the rich get richer - call it a loser, take the tax breaks and not pay your mortgage. Bill Clinton is not the only politico that should have the moniker “Slick” in front of his name.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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* Starting to gear up a bit
* Yesterday's blog posts

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