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It’s just a bill

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

* This is mainly a problem for employees, who touch dozens or even hundreds of these contaminated receipts every day…



* I hated algebra when I was kid, but I did get good grades, even though I don’t remember much of it

Pleasant Plains is a small but prosperous town about 15 minutes northwest of Springfield. Its schools are all rated “commendable,” and their test results outshine state averages in every subject.

And yet, in March, the high school principal, Luke Brooks, asked Illinois lawmakers to stop requiring algebra. […]

[Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville)] negotiated an amendment that keeps the Algebra I requirement, but allows geometry to be taught as a component of an “integrated, applied, interdisciplinary or career and technical course,” such as carpentry.

* More education

State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, D-Shorewood, got a series of bills passed last week to help address the shortage of teachers across Illinois.

She passed H.B. 423, with bipartisan support, which places a hold on requiring educators to take a controversial licensing exam, according to a news release. […]

The bill eliminates the basic skills exam until July 1, 2025, during which time the Illinois State Board of Education is required to reevaluate the methods it uses to score a prospective teacher’s knowledge and preparedness and adopt rules for any changes. […]

Bertino-Tarrant’s legislation, H.B. 1472, would allow retired teachers to return to teach where there are shortages without impairing their status.

* Interesting coalition name…

Excerpt of accompanying press release…

In 2015, the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration named gender neutral single-occupancy restrooms as a best practice in the workplace. SB 556 is also consistent with changes to restroom designation standards initiated by the International Plumbing Code in 2018 and International Building Council in 2019. SB 556 mirrors laws in California (2016), Vermont (2018), and New Mexico (2019).

Businesses support gender neutral single-occupancy restrooms. According to a survey conducted in 2017 by the Chicago Restroom Access Project, 79% of business owners in Chicago found it totally acceptable to update the current law to ensure single-occupancy restrooms are designated as gender neutral. Additionally, 51% thought such changes to law would have a positive impact on their business, and 39% thought it would have no impact.

* One more

Insurers would be required to cover medically necessary epinephrine injectors for minors under a proposal by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) that passed the Senate recently. […]

Epinephrine injectors – commonly known by the specific brand name EpiPen – deliver the life-saving drug epinephrine to individuals experiencing a severe allergic reaction. Epinephrine works by narrowing blood vessels and opening lung airways, reversing the symptoms of an allergic reaction that, if left untreated, can cause death.

Morrison’s proposal, contained in House Bill 3435, requires certain private insurance policies to cover medically necessary epinephrine injectors for those under 18 years of age. […]

House Bill 3435 passed without opposition on May 17 and will now head to the governor’s office for his approval.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

22 Comments
  1. - IllinoisBoi - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 1:37 pm:

    Al-Gebra is a Muslim terrorist plot, like Al-Qaeda.


  2. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 1:39 pm:

    IllinoisBoi, normally a comment like that would be deleted. But since it shows you are a Veep fan, I decided to let it be.


  3. - Montrose - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 1:39 pm:

    CRAP will always get my vote.


  4. - Bourbon Street - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 1:41 pm:

    My jaw literally dropped when I realized that, right now, private insurers do not have to cover medically necessary Epi-Pens for minors. Shocking on so many levels.

    On a more cheerful note, love the CRAP acronym. You have to appreciate it when a group truly owns its objectives.


  5. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 1:46 pm:

    –Al-Gebra is a Muslim terrorist plot, like Al-Qaeda.–

    Don’t forget Al-Capone, Al-Pacino, Al-Lewis…

    Did you know our schools are teaching Arabic numerals? Will someone please think of the children?


  6. - IllinoisBoi - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 1:47 pm:

    Yes… Jonah Ryan promised to ban Al-Gebra and other Sharia math. There are a lot of Jonahs out there…


  7. - Excessively Rabid - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 1:57 pm:

    IIRC, the word algebra is from the Arabic al-jabr. They invented it. On other fronts, I remember a friend working in a commercial real estate office in Chicago in the 80’s, who said she solved an argument about commissions at work using algebra. “Let X equal Dave’s share….” Apparently it was complicated.


  8. - Downstate Illinois - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 1:57 pm:

    I have an urge to call a certain school district an urge them to fire their high school principle. Not sure what is worse, the so-called educator or the lawmaker who fell for the April Fools Day prank.


  9. - muon - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 2:06 pm:

    Not that anyone thinks about it this way, but algebra is about adding or subtracting the same quantity from both sides of an equation. It’s what we do when we hand over $20.43 for a $8.43 bill to get $12 in change, instead of $11.57 and all those coins. Doing algebra in our heads is easier than we were taught to believe.


  10. - NoGifts - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 2:12 pm:

    Stop requiring algebra only if they replace it with teaching statistics, which would benefit everyone.


  11. - Sensible - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 2:17 pm:

    Around the world, single occupant rest rooms are labeled “toilet” or equivalent. This is a no brainer, and it does away with those bizarre and complicated hieroglyphics that show anyone can enter.


  12. - Demoralized - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 2:25 pm:

    There’s no reason why Epinephrine injectors shouldn’t be covered by insurance. It’s sad that we need legislation to mandate insurance companies to do it.


  13. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 2:35 pm:

    –I have an urge to call a certain school district an urge them to fire their high school principle.–

    You post that sentence and then call someone a “so-called educator?”


  14. - The 11th Hour - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 2:49 pm:

    “Pleasant Plains is a small but prosperous town…”. It is indeed small but not particularly prosperous. The PP SCHOOL DISTRICT is prosperous because it includes a large chunk of the prosperous west side of Springfield. /nitpickery


  15. - Steve Rogers - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 2:51 pm:

    This is idiotic. I use algebra daily–at work and at home. We all use the general principles of it. (And yes, that’s the correct of use of “principle”).


  16. - Ok - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 2:53 pm:

    Second graders are doing basic algebra now. How is this something that is so hard?

    Algebra is actually far more useful than learning how to do multiplication or long division by hand.


  17. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 2:58 pm:

    Arabian mathematicians borrowed those numbers from Hindu mathematicians. /pedant


  18. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 3:08 pm:

    “Stop requiring algebra only if they replace it with teaching statistics, which would benefit everyone.”

    Oh people can come up with statistics to prove anything, NoGifts.

    Forfty percent of all people know that.

    – MrJM


  19. - thoughts matter - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 3:12 pm:

    The single occupancy bathrooms are a great idea for new construction- as long as they build enough if them.

    Why shouldn’t we require insurance coverage for EPI-Pens for adults too? It’s not like people magically grow out of life threatening allergies.


  20. - a drop in - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 3:35 pm:

    What happens when the Chicago Restroom Access Project meeting room is full?


  21. - It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 10:35 pm:

    So, coming from the perspective of a high school math and computer science teacher, there’s a little more to the story here:

    This bill (IL HB2165) is not about eliminating Algebra I. The House Amendment filed and passed with this bill actually restores that provision (which is currently in IL school code). The amendment also broadens the scope of what can count as “Geometry”; some high school districts combine Geometry with building construction, for instance, to contextualize a subject that for a long time requires students “to prove” two right angles are congruent. Consider forcing that task upon students under the auspice of “college and career readiness” without any sort of context, and it’s no wonder so many students legitimately hate math.

    No, what didn’t make its way into this story (nor referenced in any of the comments) is the fact that IL HB2165 is about removing the provision that is in current school code allowing for an AP Computer Science course to count toward the requisite three-year mathematics graduation requirement.

    Dig a little deeper into this bill, and take note of the fact that, yeah, freshman State Rep. Mike Murphy (whose District office is his Springfield office) was its author in original filing. Funny thing about this Mike Murphy.. because IL HB 817 was also introduced to expand K-12 Computer Science Education, was “amended” in a way that ought to raise a few eyebrows, and ultimately made its way to the House Floor to receive a supporting vote of 109-1. Who was the lone opposing vote?

    Mike Murphy.

    As of 1 May 2019, the Conference Board and the Bureau of Labor Statistics identified 20,428 unfilled positions in Illinois that were computer science-based jobs, with an av annual salary for currently-filled IL computing jobs at $90,919. Multiply the two numbers together, and you’re looking at over $1.85 billion in jobs that could be filled by students coming out of our K-12 schools.

    (Of course, when Gov Rauner mentioned in his final State of rhe State speech that IL graduated 1 out of 10 CS majors nationally, he neglected to mention that about half of those graduates were immigrant or international students. He also failed to mention how many of these graduates came through our K-12 system. And Gov. Pritzker just happened to drop the same “1 in 10” stat - with precisely the same lack of context - in his inauguration speech.)

    See, while every state sharing a border with IL has taken substantive legislative action over the past three years to ensure kids were learning skills that will become increasingly-relevant in the job market, ISBE has actually fought against preparing our students for being truly future-ready in acquiring even a basic introduction to computer science. Instead, we’re rushing to prepare kids for manufacturing and agricultural jobs that are not necessarily invincible to automation.

    I don’t get why this has been something that has seemingly escaped the eyes of journalists and legislators, but for some reason this escaped the recent discussion on the IL teacher shortage (CS teachers are up toward the top in greatest need), it has been fought against fiercely by ISBE, and of the 852 school districts in IL, less than a third of them (by ISBE’s own data) offer any student exposure to the field.

    At what point do we collectively realize maybe, just maybe, this might be a significant lost opportunity to invest in our own state’s economic future?


  22. - It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way - Tuesday, May 21, 19 @ 10:42 pm:

    Study the bill a little deeper. Look at its evolution, including its House Amendment. IL HB2165 isn’t really about eliminating Alg I or Geometry, it’s about striking the current provision of allowing an AP Computer Science course to count as “math”
    for the purpose of satisfying the three-year grad requirement in IL.

    By the way, fun fact: its author, freshman State Rep Mike Murphy of Springfield (home to ISBE), just happened to be the lone “nay” vote to IL HB 817, which sought to strengthen student exposure to CS Education. 109-1 on the 3rd reading on the House Floor, and only one opposing vote. By the same dude who by sheer coincidence introduce a bill to strike CS from “counting” as legit?

    You do the math.


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