* Feds urge quick decision on EJ&E rail purchase
* More problems for ethanol plant investors
* State Releases School-by-School Test Scores
* Only 3% who barely pass math reach 20 on ACT
* Lack of IMAGE test hurts local districts
* CPS plans more ‘turnaround’ schools
Many suburban educators say that there should be an asterisk next to this year’s No Child Left Behind results.
The state eliminated the Illinois Measure of Annual Growth in English from this year’s tests, which forced students new to the English language to take the same standardized tests as everyone else.
As a result, suburban schools that serve many English-language learners saw their test scores take a hit, especially in reading.
* New students offer schools new challenges
* Group to introduce fund to assist low-income homeowners
* Gambling foes rally opposition to Southland casino
* New Illinois Tollway chief named
* Tollway authority picks new chief as former CEO fights to get new job
* Daley doesn’t remember receiving Gutierrez’s letter that lobbies for developer, aide says
* High rate of no-shows leads to garbage cuts
Mayor Daley is shrinking 80 more garbage crews from two laborers on a truck to one to solve a vexing absenteeism problem that sidelines nearly one-third of all laborers every day, a top mayoral aide disclosed Thursday.
“Thirty percent of my laborer work force doesn’t come to work. It’s either [on] duty-disability, restricted duty [or] absent no pay,” Michael Picardi told aldermen during City Council budget hearings.
* Aldermen gripe louder about Daley budget cuts
The mayor’s budgets often have passed with the support of all 50 aldermen, but this year nobody is happy with plans to lay off almost 1,000 city workers. Daley said the cuts are necessary to erase a $469 million budget shortfall.
“This budget is becoming to me more and more unacceptable,” Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th) said as she questioned Picardi.
Added Ald. George Cardenas, among Daley’s most loyal allies in the council: “I cannot support this budget as it stands. There is a lot of fat in that budget, there’s no doubt.”
Council members worried about the effect of budget cuts on garbage pick-up and other services provided by Streets and Sanitation, the largest City Hall department.
* Friday Beer Blogging: Halloween Edition