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 »
* "Men" dropped from Democratic group's name
* Union membership rises here, declines in neighboring states
* Question of the day
* *** UPDATED x1 - Assessor: Kennedy screwed up his example *** Assessor claims Kennedy's plan has been prohibited by state courts for 70 years
* Republican with primary opponent wants to kick undocumented kids out of health care program
* Martwick talks possible money-saving ideas for pensions
* Madigan on Kennedy: "He speaks for himself"
* *** UPDATED x2 - Biss, Pritzker respond *** Kennedy asked about Rauner praise
* Andy Shaw to step down from BGA top job
* Donne Trotter's legacy
* Ives calls Rauner property tax EO "pandering, ineffective"
* Illinois is one of the least affected states during federal shutdown
* *** UPDATED x3 - Ruiz responds to Raoul - Raoul responds without addressing the charge - Ruiz claims Raoul bragged about delaying a bill to elect Chicago school board *** CTU backs Raoul, NNU backs Biss
* Mendoza releases first "debt transparency report"
* RGA rips Pritzker over Blagojevich coverage
* Madigan tells audience he rejected a 2015 deal proposed by Rauner
* Today's number: 11 Illinois women in 200 years
* Mark Brown and Eric Zorn on Chris Kennedy
* Citizen Action backs Pritzker, Evanston backs Biss, Kennedy to unveil property tax reform plan
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Campaign updates
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

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

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

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

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


Loading


* State pays $1 billion in late-payment charges -.....
* Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner: Cut taxes, 'wastefu.....
* Rauner: Cut taxes, 'wasteful spending' to curb .....
* Illinois lawmakers plan 2nd Legionnaires' disea.....


* William Cousins, prominent in Illinois law, dead at 90
* Officer who killed 2 charged with misdemeanors for bar fight
* Rauner: Cut taxes, 'wasteful spending' to curb deficit
* Early morning fire in suburban Chicago kills 2
* The Latest: Rauner will 'step-down' tax hike to close gap
* Illinois lawmakers hold hearing on marijuana legalization
* Agency: East Chicago's inaction may have endangered families
* Chicago's south and west sides lack access to pharmacies
* Some Illinois hospitals brace for Medicaid funding cuts
* Helicopter crash near St. Louis; 2 suffer minor injuries

* Legionella bacteria possibly in Capitol Complex water system
* Rauner wants to 'step-down' income tax increase
* Sangamon County should get first dibs on state jobs, lawmaker says
* Report: State agencies holding nearly $2.5 billion in bills
* Illinois lawmakers hold hearing on marijuana legalization
* Illinois hunters harvest 2 percent more deer than last year
* New session will bring new efforts at pension reform
* New report shows state agencies holding nearly $2.5 billion in bills
* Rauner order bars lawmakers from property-tax appeals
* Outdoor sports participants hoping for larger cut in farm bill

* State insurance chief gets new national slot
* Raoul, Biss, Garcia land significant endorsements
* Senate moves to end shutdown, setting up another immigration fight
* Here's some expert advice for Chicago job-seekers
* Lunchmeat maker to add jobs in suburbs


* Police: Man fatally shot in South Chicago
* Person critically injured in Lake Shore Drive crash on South Side
* Man shot in shoulder in Little Village
* Dear Abby: One of my two men definitely loves me back
* Illinois falls to No. 6 Michigan State 87-74, stays winless in Big Ten
* Gronkowski on mend as Patriots begin Super Bowl preparations
* Horoscope for Jan. 23, 2018
* 2 wounded in East Garfield Park shooting
* Bulls’ Nikola Mirotic says he’s better prepared for the ‘storm’ coming his way
* Blackhawks fall seven points out of playoff picture with third straight loss


* At least 16 injured in volcano eruption near Japan ski resort, officials say
* 20 years after committing Kane County murder, man found guilty of armed robbery in ambush beating
* Bulls let 18-point lead slip, fall to Pelicans in double overtime
* Lineup shakeup no help as Blackhawks get shut out for 3rd straight loss
* Illinois coach Brad Underwood 'fighting for culture' after 87-74 loss to Michigan State
* Jury finds ex-Milwaukee Co. Sheriff David Clarke did not violate man's free speech with taunting Facebook posts
* Limited strikes on North Korea would be an unlimited disaster
* Man killed, 3 wounded in city shootings, including attack on Lake Shore Drive
* Shutdown deal paves way for Senate to take up immigration, but will House and Trump follow?
* FBI Director Wray resists pressure from Sessions to replace senior personnel as tensions swell


» State Pays $1 Billion In Late-Payment Charges
» CHA To Add More Mixed-Income Housing In Bronzeville
» National Study Hammers Illinois Budget Practices
» Hundreds Of Thousands Gathered For Women's March In Chicago
» Women's March Chicago Stays on Message - Get to the Polls
» Chicago Schools Chief: Cost A Driver In Special Ed Overhaul
» One Year Later, Women’s March Demands More Than Attendance
» State Week: Education Funding, Pritzker-Blagojevich, Rauner-Duke
» Sheriff Offers To Help Review Police Shootings In Suburban Cook County
» A Prescription For Fruits And Veggies: One Solution To Food Insecurity in Illinois


* Legionella bacteria possibly in Capitol Complex water system
* IBHE: There is a need for bold changes for Illinois' higher education system
* Rauner wants to 'step-down' income tax increase
* Sangamon County should get first dibs on state jobs, lawmaker says
* Report: State agencies holding nearly $2.5 billion in bills
* Illinois lawmakers hold hearing on marijuana legalization
* Illinois hunters harvest 2 percent more deer than last year
* New session will bring new efforts at pension reform
* New report shows state agencies holding nearly $2.5 billion in bills
* Their View: Is civics still taught in our schools?


* Underwood: 'Felt like we could pressure them'
* Notes: Illini defense gives Spartans trouble
* Nichols working on being 'every day guy'
* EICC offers scholarship app help
* Bennett Williams
* Evelyn R. Brockmeyer
* Gary D. “Mick” Jones
* Clarence Royce White
* Edwina Carter
* Maye A. Stout


* Mavs slow recent slide with season sweep of Wizards, 98-75
* As shutdown eases federal workers fear prospect of another
* Cabusao, Schwartz lead Jacobs to win
* Cosby jokes in 1st show since 2015 he 'used to be' comedian
* Waukegan man dies after being shot early Sunday

* Hultgren makes strong mark on nation's new...
* US places Pakistan on special watch list f...
* Dissident artist Ai Weiwei and US Rep. Ran...
* This RSS feed URL is deprecated
* Congressman Randy Hultgren Disagrees with ...
* Bipartisan Illinois criticism follows Trum...
* Shutdown Stalemate As Immigration Negotiat...
* Morning Spin: Stories to watch in Chicago ...
* 'Time' Magazine's Powerful Cover Features ...
* Letter: Talk to tax preparer about GOP tax...

* This RSS feed URL is deprecated...
* The debate over DACA: a guide to the numbe......

* This RSS feed URL is deprecated...

* Join Uptown Arts Center At Opening Reception On Sunday
* Django at 108; or That Toddlin' Town
* The Commuter is the first great movie of 2018
* Illinois's late payment charges on its bills add up to $1 billion, and other Chicago news
* Michael Pfeiffer, Former Crew Server, Missing
* EXTRA: Shutdown ends, GOP at fault
* From the archive: When a Reader staffer dreamed of blue-faced superstardom
* Majority of south- and west-siders feel Chicago media ‘too negative’ about their neighborhoods
* Ives dismisses Rauner's do-nothing Executive Order as political ploy
* Chicago law firm offers pro-bono legal aid for pro-life health workers


* 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

  
* LG G6 has Android 8.0 Oreo update coming in Europe ‘within the first half’ of 2018
* Buy a Moto Z2 Force, get Alexa Moto Mod and Amazon Music Unlimited free
* Connection speed now posted with Wi-Fi network listings on Android 8.1
* Verizon BOGO deal on Galaxy S8, LG V30, Moto Z2 Force, Pixel 2 starts tomorrow
* ZTE to skip Axon 8, go for Axon 9 this year
* Tim Cook Discusses Apple's Partnership With Malala Fund to Support Girls' Education While in Canada
* Latest Netflix earnings exceed forecasts, send market cap above $100 billion

* Burger third among top third-base prospects
* Kopech, Jimenez among White Sox NRIs
* Baseball America top 100, Sox-Brewers rumors, and other reading
* Advocating for retired non-numbers
* Getting ready for Soxfest 2018
* White Sox seeking new flagship radio home
* Engel working to steady barrel in Year 2


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

Archives
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
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