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Morning shorts

Wednesday, Sep 26, 2007

* Daley’s top contract officer resigns - Lumpkin not satisfied with African-American share

* How Illinois kids did on test scores

Test results from the nation’s only uniform way to compare students across state lines put Illinois in the middle of the pack nationally, with Illinois grade school students making significant gains in math but sliding back or making modest gains in reading since 2003.

* Illinois students failing to keep pace

U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings went out of her way to put Illinois’ scores in the best light during a conference call with reporters, saying it was one of only four states that had made notable progress toward closing the achievement gap among pupils of different races and income levels.

But that measure, too, carries mixed messages.

While Illinois’ minority and poor pupils made important gains on the tests, the gap also narrowed because the progress of white and more affluent pupils was minimal.

* Museuem ‘in a cave’ might be OK with Ald. Reilly

* Reilly welcomes, waits for Daley sit-down

* Editorial: State can’t rewrite federal worker law

* Rep. Acevedo loses suit against fellow officer again

* AG Madigan urges new cribs or refunds in recal

* ComEd customers get October surprise

* Cox to be U.S . Attorney for Southern IL

Benton attorney Courtney Cox — controversial in Springfield for representing a group of black police officers in a racial discrimination lawsuit against the city — has been appointed the top federal prosecutor for the Southern District of Illinois.

* Hastert won’t quit soon

Congressman Dennis Hastert said Tuesday he still hasn’t decided whether he’ll vacate his seat before his term ends in January 2009, but scoffed at speculation he might quit soon to force a special election before the Feb. 5 primary. “I don’t see a primary before the primary,” the Plano Republican told The Associated Press. The Illinois lawmaker announced last month that he would not run again for the 14th District seat he’s held since 1986. His decision came about eight months after he lost his post as longest-serving speaker of the House, with eight years at the helm.

* Hastert undecided about vacating seat before the end of term

* Hopefuls emerge as Weller’s replacement

* Clout Street: Ex-AG Jim Ryan backs Giuliani

* Aldermen: End Burge saga; more here

* City’s violent crime shows a drop

* Chicago by the numbers

The good news for Chicagoans is that, while we fell as hard as any of the big cities on McDonald’s list during the ’60s and ’70s, we turned it around during the late 1980s and mounted the most dramatic comeback of all.

But we had a long way to come back. Chicago lost 17 percent of its population between 1970 and 1990. During that time, the poverty rate jumped to 21.6 percent from 14.4 percent. The average annual family income, measured in 2005 dollars, dove to $48,500 from $54,300. The murder rate jumped by 30 percent and the percentage of single-parent households nearly doubled to 41 percent from 22 percent.

- Posted by Paul Richardson        

  1. - Truthful James - Wednesday, Sep 26, 07 @ 9:21 am:

    Two reasons why Illinois schools are abysmal — small gains in certain test scores aside. First, parental input to teach and motivate the child student is important. But there is a not insignificant number of parents who, having gotten a lousy education themselves no longer believe that education is an economic and a social good.

    Second, the schools have too many bad teachers without either subject matter mastery or even a communicable loving rspect of both the material and their class. They get automatic longevity raises and raises for taking addional education course work. What more do they need?

    Lower class size? A bloody joke, for if the present teachers are the cream of the crop, the additional rooms can only be filled by less qualified instructors.

    As long as the schools of education have a monopoly on input specifications, as long as major funding is provided to compliant legislators, as long as seniority rules the assignment of teachers and enables them to avoid tough schools no significant improvement can be expected.

  2. - Pro-Gunner - Wednesday, Sep 26, 07 @ 9:38 am:

    It makes perfect sense that Jim Ryan would support Rudy Giuliani because they are both anti-gun.

  3. - Jay - Wednesday, Sep 26, 07 @ 9:38 am:

    Good grief, more pimping for Reilly…hey, how’s the new Alderman enjoying those Cubs tickets the rest of us had to wait online for?

  4. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 26, 07 @ 9:45 am:

    Jay, two quick links to stories without excerpts is “pimping” for Reilly? Also, Paul compiles MS, not me.

  5. - Independent - Wednesday, Sep 26, 07 @ 10:11 am:

    Jay, this is excerpted from today’s Sun-Times:

    Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) was among the few aldermen interviewed Tuesday with no immediate plans to take advantage of the Cubs’ offer.

    “I’m a season-ticket holder. I’ve already got my tickets,” he said.

  6. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 26, 07 @ 10:11 am:

    Strike two, Jay. Care for three?

  7. - Jay - Wednesday, Sep 26, 07 @ 10:44 am:

    Wow, you guys got me…bravo!! Way to rally around your boy.

  8. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 26, 07 @ 10:49 am:

    That would be three.

  9. - plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Sep 26, 07 @ 11:12 am:

    Seems like continued coverage of the relocation of the Children’s Museum is warranted as we all do not get each and every puvlication out there.

    My head swims at the thought that there are 40 million dollars to build what appears to be a private museum which duplicates the services that other public museums provide. If the climing wall is such a big deal, I’m sure the Nature museum could take one as a donation……

    I would like to honor any politician who does not accept the genrerous offer from the Cubs for access to the post season games.

  10. - Cub Fever - Wednesday, Sep 26, 07 @ 12:23 pm:

    The Cubs are a private entity and can give free tickets to whoever they want. I cannot understand a front-page story with color pictures of all 50 aldermen…like they did something wrong.

    This is a non-story.

  11. - Jay - Wednesday, Sep 26, 07 @ 12:27 pm:

    Why are comments turned off on the “random thoughts” posting on the top of the blog? Are those people immune to our comments?

  12. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 26, 07 @ 12:34 pm:

    Strike four.

  13. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Sep 26, 07 @ 12:39 pm:

    Ms. Lumpkin’s frustration with the percentage of minority contractors may have affected her sudden decision to depart but I suspect those “several fraud cases pending” had something to do with it.

    When you work for Da Mare these days, what with
    the Chicago Olympic bid and all, “several fraud cases pending” is not good for job security. Contractors are just going to have to learn how to rip off the taxpayers without getting caught.

  14. - HV in HP - Wednesday, Sep 26, 07 @ 5:20 pm:

    Acevedo just doesn’t get it. He’s the worst kind of bully and street thug: one with a badge and a “State Rep” in front of his name. This isn’t the first time he gets in trouble, and won’t be the last. The Florida issue last year is yet another in a string.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Tribune asked 16 mayoral candidates to release tax returns, 6 complied
* A rough idea of what they're looking at
* Question of the day: Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Rauner was wrong about "record levels" of unionization
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: Stava-Murray updates
* Pritzker's inauguration ball tix will benefit Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic and Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation
* Rauner claims he's been too busy to reflect on his term
* Pritzker's day in DC
* *** UPDATED x3 - Morrison wants emergency meeting of ILGOP - McConnaughay explains - Schneider responds *** Rauner says he tried to drop out of race after primary
* Feds re-raid Ald. Burke's office
* Yesterday's stories

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