HITTING LEFT #21 with Pidgeon Pagonis

Friday, November 8, 2013

Racing to the Top?

Socrates: "We're all mortal", even Diane. 
AMAZING DIANE RAVITCH, still blogging from her hospital bed. But she has to cancel her Chicago talk. First Free Church would have been packed to the rafters.
This week I realized that Socrates was right: All men are mortal. So are all women. I am going to take some time off and rest: Doctor’s order. And I will take better care of my health. I’m regretful about the reminder of my age and mortality, but I will be back. And we won’t give up.
Here's wishing her a speedy and complete recovery. I'm sending her some chicken soup.

CAN IT BE? -- Common Core implementation is worse than ObamaCare launch, says Weingarten.

#RACINGTOTHETOP -- Hey, have you heard the exciting news? NAEP math scores have rising almost 1% since 2011. Reading scores, not at all. Arne Duncan says, he "encouraged." At what?

LET US TEACH -- CTU Pres. Karen Lewis is calling on teachers and parents to take a stand against the testing mania.
“Why must our public school children be subjected to this battery of pointless standardized testing throughout the year, every year?,” asks Lewis. 
 “Year after year, I have watched my child stress over testing,” said mom Nellie Cotton, who has a special education student at Grimes Elementary School. “Year after year, the stakes have only gotten higher and the intense pressure to attain the magic score continue to grow.”
RAHM'S LATEST FIASCO is called Ventra. It will get you "coming and going" says the Transit Union. Reminds me of the old joke about mixing Viagra and Exlax.

According to the Sun-Times' Fran Spielman, Chicago's finances are in worse shape than all but two major cities, Boston and bankrupt Detroit since coming out of the 2008 depression.
The reasons are simple. The mountain of debt got higher. Unfunded pension liabilities are $19 billion and rising. And taxes are not growing as fast as city spending, according to the Civic Federation.
Rahm's approach (like Daley's before him) has been to engage in wild borrowing for short-term political gain while mortgaging the city's future. All this has led Tribune columnist John Kass to apologize for comparing Chicago's political machine to the old mob bosses -- apologize to the gangsters, that is. The gangsters ripped of millions. Rahm, Daley and the Chicago boys -- billions.
That's billions with a B, almost $10 billion, and that doesn't count other mountains of debt that the same bosses have put on the taxpayers through other agencies under their control, including Chicago Public Schools, parks and pension obligations, adding billions more.

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