Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » 2005 » December » 08
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
This just in… Watson out

Thursday, Dec 8, 2005

From WLDS Radio:

State Representative Jim Watson cleared up any confusion about his immediate political plans by formally announcing he will run for another term in the Illinois House. Watson said in October that State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka approached him about possibly running for lieutenant governor.

Hat tip to a commenter.

What do you think Topinka does now?

- Posted by Rich Miller   64 Comments      


Question of the day

Thursday, Dec 8, 2005

Combine the poll numbers of Ron Gidwitz and Steve Rauschenberger and you get about 9.5 percent. Hardcore pro-life Rauschenberger supporters may have a tough time voting for the pro-choice Gidwitz for governor. Quite a few people may find it difficult to vote for Rauschenberger knowing that he will resign the ticket if Topinka wins the nomination.

But like I wrote in yesterday’s Capitol Fax, the two men are hoping that the synergy created by their new “all reform, all the time” team will result in a sum greater than its parts.

Is “reform” enough of an issue to win a Republican primary in Illinois? Are these the guys to do it, even if Gidwitz spends millions on TV ads?

- Posted by Rich Miller   71 Comments      


Marion team strikes out with commission

Thursday, Dec 8, 2005

The $3 million the state has spent on a baseball stadium for Marion doesn’t seem to be working out yet.

The press release on the Midwest League baseball Web site was brief, but packed quite a wallop.

It stated that a resolution was recently passed by the league’s board of directors, disallowing Marion as a “territory” for the league.

While this news is most certainly troubling to Southern Illinoisans who love baseball, it’s not necessarily the death knell for professional baseball in Southern Illinois.

The resolution was passed after discussion among league members and consultation with the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the governing body of Minor League Baseball, which supported the Midwest League’s resolution.

The Southern Illinoisan has also learned that Midwest League owners have at least temporarily rejected John Simmons’ bid to purchase the South Bend, Ind., Silver Hawks. It is possible that Simmons might later be able to reapply to league officials in an effort to purchase the team.

They can spin this all they like, but this is not a positive development by any means.

- Posted by Rich Miller   26 Comments      


And back again…

Thursday, Dec 8, 2005

Scott Reeder, the author of the Small Newspaper Group’s The Hidden Cost of Tenure series asked to respond to the Illinois Federation of Teacher’s response. I figured what the heck. Just means I don’t have to come up with my own stuff.

When I began gathering information for this series, I interviewed a union leader and asked, “Why do tenured teachers so seldom get fired?”

The response I received went like this: Show me the data that says that.

Of course there is a good chance this leader knew no one tracked that information. But it was a well taken point none-the-less.

So during the next six months I:
• Filed 1,500 Freedom of Information Requests with all 876 school districts to get data on evaluations and teacher remediations.
• Waded through every dismissal case involving any Illinois tenured staff member in the last 18 years.
• Conducted one of the largest media document reviews in the history of Cook County Courts.

A 100 percent response rate was achieved from every Illinois school district contacted.

I am going to respond to Mr. Comerford’s comments one at a time.

Sixty-five percent of school districts have successfully dismissed a tenured teacher. The tenure process simply gives teachers due process rights when there is a dispute.

This statement is false. Only 7 percent of Illinois school districts have even sought to fire a tenured teacher and of those cases the school district has succeeded in having a state hearing officer approve the dismissal only 65 percent of the time.

In many cases, tenured teachers resign before a dismissal hearing is held. That data is not tracked by the ISBE, giving a misleading picture of the number of teachers actually removed from the classroom.

The focal point of the series is whether the 1985 Illinois school reforms have brought greater accountability into the classroom. Teachers have always been able to quit their jobs. Is Mr. Comerford’s point that more ineffective teachers are quitting now than before the 1985 school reforms? If so, show us the data.

School administrators are required by law to be trained in proper evaluation procedures. There is no reason for an administrator not to give a bad evaluation to an employee who deserves one.

Only 1 out of 930 evaluations of tenured teachers resulted in an unsatisfactory evaluation, and only 50 percent those who receive unsatisfactory marks leave the profession. If a teacher gave nothing but A’s to all of her students for 10 years straight one could either decide:

• She is teaching nothing but brilliant, hard-working pupils.
• Something is terribly amiss with her standards.

I’ll let commonsense dictate which option is correct.

The four-year probationary period for teachers allows ample time for administrators to decide which employees to retain. Nearly half of teachers leave the profession in the first five years of employment.

This is perhaps the most disingenuous comment of all. Both major teacher unions are lobbying aggressively to cut the probationary period in half. If it is a good thing, why do want it shorter?

The IFT does not support keeping bad teachers in the classroom but believes strongly every teacher has a right to a fair hearing.

I don’t doubt that both teacher unions are concerned about children. But they have an obligation to their memberships to provide vigorous, competent defenses to their members in trouble.

Legal fees for most dismissal cases are less than half of the $100,000 figure used in the newspaper article. Dismissal hearings usually last 2-3 days. Well documented cases take even less time for an attorney and the cost is even lower.

According to whom? If one were to average the costs experienced by school districts who have hired outside legal counsel, it may well exceed that. Geneseo school district has spent more than $400,000 on cases involving a teacher who was dismissed. An informal survey of education law firms put the average in the neighborhood of $100,000. And that does not count the salary of the replacement teacher while the case is pending or the back pay awarded in the cases the school districts lose. Monticello education labor lawyer T.J. Wilson tells his clients to expect to spend at least $70,000 in a dismissal case. Attorneys in the Chicago area charge significantly more.

In 1997, the IFT supported legislation that reduced the remediation period from 1 year to 90 days. The IFT also supported legislation requiring continuing professional development for teachers that is mandatory for them to keep their certification.

Both of these things strike me as accurate. But the series never said otherwise.

The Cicero case that the reporter cites involved a school employee, not a classroom teacher, who worked in multiple classrooms and was not supervised adequately. The article implies that the dismissal process for the employee stretched out over seven years. This is not true. As soon as the district attempted to dismiss the employee, she resigned. The case did not go to hearing. Tenure played no role in this case.

The story correctly identified the person as a tenured staff member. The superintendent quoted said this employee had a long-term absence problem – off and on for seven years. The superintendent indicated that the situation reflected a pervasive problem – a lack of accountability.

The reporter attempts to bury the fact that the assistant principal in East St. Louis was acquitted. Later, when DNA testing proved the allegations, the district fired the employee. Again, tenure was not the reason for the assistant principal remaining on the job; his acquittal by a jury was.

Actually, the fact that he was acquitted is in the top half of the story. When the case went before a hearing officer for dismissal the arbitrator said there was insufficient evidence even though a blood test showed a greater than 99 percent chance that he was the father of his former student’s child. Nine years later a DNA test showed an even greater likelihood. The Teacher Certification Board chose to suspend – but not revoke – his certificate. The majority of members of the board belong to one of the two major teacher unions.

Once again, it’s your turn.

- Posted by Rich Miller   15 Comments      


PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* One of the better descriptions of the new state budget I've heard
* Question of the day
* *** UPDATED x1 - Meeks explains his silence *** Meeks goes silent as SB 1 fight cranks up
* Federal judge issues preliminary injunction on state "right of conscience" amendment
* Rauner calls for "insurrection" and "revolution" against Madigan, says state suffers from "Stockholm Syndrome"
* Cullerton to Rauner: Call a leaders meeting instead of a special session
* Rauner can't say who came up with his school funding numbers, gets history totally wrong on CPS
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Rauner professes ignorance, shifts blame for one-day body man to staff
* Rauner sets Monday noon deadline, says he'll call special session if SB 1 not sent to his desk
* Rep. Martwick's paperwork issues
* *** UPDATED x1 *** "Nazi" abortion story to kick back up
* Kennedy campaign says story was "irresponsibly reported"
* Way over the top rhetoric by Rauner and Preckwinkle
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............
<


Loading


* Susana Mendoza letter: Governor should sign sch.....
* Illinois plays more of the same game with educa.....
* Special session slated if Rauner doesn't get sc.....
* Rauner threatens to call a special session over.....
* Special session slated if Rauner doesn't get sc.....
* Gov. Rauner to call special session if he's not.....
* A Closer Look At The Group That Could Inform Ra.....
* Spotlight: No budget would have meant Illinois .....
* Special session slated if Rauner doesn't get sc.....


* Special session slated if Rauner doesn't get school bill
* University of Chicago receives 500 Vivian Maier photographs
* Illinois county board committee supports tablets for jail
* Police officer shot in confrontation with armed suspect
* Restraining order on Cook County soda tax extended a week
* The Latest: Senate presidents seeks school meeting with gov
* Illinois steel company proposes to move plant to Indiana
* Ground broken on US subatomic particle experiment sites
* University of Chicago receives 500 Vivian Maier photographs
* Illinois flooding victims qualify for tax penalty waivers

* Rauner sets deadline for SB1, says he'll call special session
* Illinois steel company hopes to move plant to Indiana
* Illinois' first 2017 case of West Nile reported in Will County
* Chicago schools CEO vows classes will start on time
* Rasmussen was registered lobbyist before becoming Rauner staffer
* Milhiser gets report on powdery substance incident at Capitol
* Rasmussen was registered lobbyist before going to administration
* Under the Dome Podcast: Will schools get state funding before summer is over?
* Foundation gets legal OK to sell naming rights at state fair
* Private foundation gets legal go-ahead for naming-right sales

* Why Rauner's indispensable man had to quit ​
* Newsmax Media asks feds to delay Sinclair-Trib Media deal
* Newsmax asks feds to delay Sinclair-Trib Media deal
* Alderman calls for hearings in wake of Navy Pier TIF investigation
* Alderman calls for hearings in wake of Navy Pier TIF revelations


* Driver of BMW sued over West Town crash that killed motorcyclist
* Man shot in Portage Park
* Report: Russian Kislyak told Kremlin he and Sessions talked campaign
* New voices hope to inject new life into Blackhawks coaching staff
* EDITORIAL: How best to wish Sen. McCain and other cancer patients well
* White House statements on Spicer, Scaramucci and Huckabee Sanders
* 62-year-old man with bipolar disorder missing from Belmont Central
* EDITORIAL: Envisioning a Chicago future without massive flood damage
* Jonathan Toews on Marian Hossa: ‘He’s got a ton left on the table’
* Cubs notebook: Arrieta, fellow starting pitchers feed off one another


* Don't get so excited. "As the Trump World Turns" is just getting started.
* Glenview mansion once owned by vanished Brach candy heiress listed for $1.8M
* Still no bad ideas: Barrel of Monkeys celebrates 20 years of schoolkids' stories on stage
* White Sox plan well underway; now it's up to young players to make it work
* Disabato: Pat Dunne's resignation as Marist football coach a real stunner
* Yoan Moncada's 4 RBIs boost White Sox to 5-4 lead against Royals
* Prosecutors: Boy, 16, accused fatal shooting over Facebook post
* 'This is where my heart is': For some homeowners, the fight against flooding has raged for years
* Trump Jr., Manafort in talks with Senate panel to be privately interviewed
* Judge sentences man to 100 years following sexual assault, kidnapping conviction


» A Closer Look At The Group That Could Inform Rauner’s Agenda
» Restraining Order On Cook County Soda Tax Extended A Week
» Illinois Steel Company Proposes To Move Plant To Indiana
» State Week: Despite Budget Veto, Rauner Presses For School Money
» Special Session Slated If Rauner Doesn't Get School Bill
» Spicer Resigns As White House Press Secretary
» WATCH-LISTEN: Peoria State Budget Forum
» Taxpayers On Hook For $500,000 Settlement After Cop Tasers Pregnant Woman
» Apollo 11 Bag Laced With Moon Dust Sells For $1.8 Million
» Chicago Red-Light Camera Settlement Worth $38.75 Million


* Guest Column: Elder visitation rights shouldn’t end at the front door
* Charles Krauthammer: What to do for little Charlie Gard
* Rauner sets deadline for SB1, says he'll call special session
* Illinois steel company hopes to move plant to Indiana
* Thumbs Up: To donors helping to beautify Lincoln Memorial Garden
* Y Block Proposal: Create public plaza while preserving potential for future development
* Y Block Proposal: Destination park would be 'landmark of optimism'
* Y Block Proposal: Changing what it means to be Springfield can start with this
* Y Block Proposal: Project should be about housing, green space
* Y Block Proposal: Destination park would be 'landmark of optimism' for downtown Springfield


* Tornado warning issued for northern Iroquois County
* Tornado warning expires for northern Iroquois County
* Video: Relay For Life of Macon County
* PHOTOS: 2017 Relay For Life of Macon County
* 'An outpour of generosity'
* Special session slated if Rauner doesn't get school bill
* Keeping animals cool on an excessively hot summer day
* He was biking cross-country to raise money for a children’s center. Then he was hit by a semi.
* SIUC grapples with housing problem
* PHOTOS: McElroy Memorial golf outing at Hickory Point Golf Course in Decatur


* Jurors questioned, neuropathologists testify in Daniel Rak murder trial
* Storms create a mess in Itasca
* Wheaton memorial ensures soldier 'will not be forgotten'
* With Sharp, Saad returning there's no more excuses for Toews or Blackhawks
* State's attorney: Round Lake officer who shot and killed man used 'reasonable force'

* Hultgren seeking applicants for STEM Schol...
* Editorial: We need answers on Trump and Ru...
* Two US lawmakers slam Duterte in drug war ...
* Chamber Exchanger: St. Charles Chamber Gol...
* Letter: Proposed health care reforms turn ...
* Randy Hultgren: US should remain on UN cou...
* Rep. Randy Hultgren constituents decry sec...
* Hultgren, Helsinki panel call on Trump to ...
* Hultgren praises teamwork in fighting rece...
* Hultgren meets five Yorkville workers who ...

* Local lawmakers weigh in on next steps for......
* Ruben Navarrette: Little hope for new drea......
* Sen. Durbin comments on efforts to repeal ......
* Health professionals urge no vote on ACA r......

* Public Knowledge Applauds Sen. Duckworth f......

* Rauner's prolife communications staffer gets support from prolife group
* “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective
* A Tribe Called Quest paid tribute to Phife Dawg at Pitchfork with their first full show since his death
* Thanks to Chicago Cinema Society, a rare print of Dario Argento’s Suspiria is touring the nation
* Ives warns: Suburban taxpayers teed up to bail out Chicago's $17B school debt
* Chicago Agent’s Who’s Who lists Illinois REALTORS®
* Foreign investment in U.S. real estate surges 49 percent; Illinois in top 10
* Thorner & O'Neil: Keep America the nation our forefathers gave us (Part 1)
* Stand for Children pushes for Rauner to sign education funding bill
* PJ Harvey played the set of a lifetime at Pitchfork


* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

  
* Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Unpacked, Razer gaming phone & more – Pocketnow Daily
* LG V30 marketing campaign taking shape with Joseph Gordon-Levitt once again
* Amazon finally integrating Alexa into its main shopping app for Android
* T-Mobile LG V10 hits the promised land of Android Nougat
* [TA Deals] Get the Beginner Web Development Bundle for just $32
* TouchArcade iOS Gaming Roundup: RuneScape, Layton's Mystery Journey, Full Throttle Remastered, and More
* Verizon admits to “optimizing” amid accusations of Netflix throttling

* Moncada's triple clears bases for 1st Sox hit
* Mariners deal Lowe, Machi to White Sox
* Rutherford, Clarkin happy to join White Sox
* White Sox craft plan for sustained success
* White Sox vs. Royals: Watch live on Facebook
* Moncada, Shields face KC, free on Facebook
* Terrerobytes: It’s the day after Opening Day all over again


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller