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April , 2019
Tuesday

NE-YO, ERYKAH BADU, RICK ROSS, KEYSHIA COLE, CEE-LO, AND MANY OTHERS WILL TAKE THE STAGE ...
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McALLEN, Texas – A Cuban citizen who was residing in McAllen has been ordered to federal ...
From: The Invisible Institute A decade after Jamie Kalven’s ‘Kicking the Pigeon’ series first detailed Skullcap ...
A settlement has been reached in the class action law suit Vodak v. City of ...
ABC 7's Cheryl Burton, Jim Rose and Hosea Sanders to Co-Host A summer tradition in Chicago ...
By Dr. Charles L. Singleton Nationwide (BlackNews.com) –  Absolutely, overpowering and spiritual thoughts of complete ...
  Casey Abrams to give Special Performance and sign autographs at Live Band Karaoke Event in ...
Op-Ed By Gery Chico, Chairman, Illinois State Board of Education Every child should have an ...
  By Benjamin Todd Jealous President/CEO of the NAACP Remember the March on Washington? August 28, 1963. Tens ...

Archive for January 8th, 2015

World’s Only Museum Devoted to Black Union Movement and A. Philip Randolph to Celebrate 20-Year Anniversary

Posted by Admin On January - 8 - 2015 Comments Off on World’s Only Museum Devoted to Black Union Movement and A. Philip Randolph to Celebrate 20-Year Anniversary
Iconic A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum partnering with UAW to observe milestone

CHICAGO, IL – The year 2015 marks a milestone in the life of the A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter (APRPP) Museum because it celebrates two decades as the premiere guardian of the black union movement and keeper of A. Philip Randolph’s legacy. To commemorate this occasion, the APRPP Museum, United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 551 – Union Solidarity Committee & Human and the Civil Rights Committee – will host a gala celebration at the historic Parkway Ballroom in Chicago, at 4455 S. King Drive on Saturday, February 28 from 5 to 9:30 PM.

The dual purpose of the event is to congratulate the Museum on its milestone and to present the 2015 A. Philip Randolph Gentle Warrior Awards. This coveted honor is presented to deserving Americans who “push gently, yet forcefully, against the boundaries of conventionality with a warrior spirit, in much the same manner as A. Philip Randolph did throughout his career.”  The presentation represents the climactic high point of the evening.

The Museum is located at 10406 S. Maryland in Chicago’s Pullman Community and was founded in 1995 by historian/visionary/author Dr. Lyn Hughes.  Its history is rooted in Dr. Hughes’ resolve to make the cultural institution the foremost chronicler of the black union movement — with emphasis on the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters — and to provide an enduring tribute to A. Philip Randolph.  While the Museum is small in size, it is large in stature because of its unique niche within the pantheon of Museums worldwide. Within its walls are artifacts, memorabilia, interactive displays, exhibits and rare documents. Among the offerings are original porters’ items donated by descendants of the labor pioneers.

Over one million people have visited the Museum since its founding.  This includes researchers, students, union members, history buffs, the curious and those wishing to become acquainted with this era. All have been exposed to the Museum by visiting the site, by coming to one of its many traveling exhibits or by attending one of the many programs the Museum sponsors.

Considered a “crown jewel” among cultural institutions, the A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum is also one of the centerpieces of the National Park Service’s quest to designate the Pullman community as a National Park Service site.
Founder Hughes swells with pride as she reflects on the 20-year journey and this year’s gala.  She is particularly proud to be partnering with the United Auto Workers in hosting this anniversary event.    “It is fitting for the Museum and the UAW Local 551 Union Solidarity Committee & Human and Civil Rights Committee to collaborate on this event because of our shared vision. That is to promote the union movement and to keep the life and legacy of A. Philip Randolph alive and vibrant.
Proceeds from the celebration will allow the Museum to continue and strengthen this mission,” said Hughes.

Principals from the UAW, founder Hughes and Museum President David Peterson invite the public to support the event.
“Those interested in preserving the rich history of the Black labor movement should join us on February 28 for this special anniversary. This celebration will shine a light on the black union movement and will remind us of the power of the movement, the sacrifices made and the ultimate victory by a committed group of men,” declared Peterson.

For more information on the Museum and to purchase tickets to the A. Philip Randolph “Gentle Warrior Awards,” log on to www.aprpullmanportermuseum.org/special-events.html

Photo: Dr. Lyn Hughes

Fioretti to the Mayor: No Public Land for Obama Library

Posted by Admin On January - 8 - 2015 Comments Off on Fioretti to the Mayor: No Public Land for Obama Library

CHICAGO, IL – The following is a statement from mayoral candidate Bob Fioretti on the proposed use of pulic land for the Obama Library:

Chicago should be the home of the Obama Library, but not an inch of public land should go to it.  Period.

The Emanuel Administration should have been working with the two bids that were coming from UIC and U of I, to ensure we had site control.  They did not, and now they want acres of public space for the library.  Washington Park and Jackson Park are not for sale.

Our public spaces are not the playgrounds for museums for billionaires or libraries, no matter how much they mean.  There is no excuse for how this administration has bungled this situation.  The fact that it might cause us to lose the Obama Library should be a reminder of how this Administration works with the community and what it means by “transparency.”

Study Exposes Nursing Home Residents’ Aggression Against Each Other

Posted by Admin On January - 8 - 2015 Comments Off on Study Exposes Nursing Home Residents’ Aggression Against Each Other

Study Exposes Nursing Home Residents’ Aggression Against Each Other

Columbus Dispatch/New America Media

By Encarnacion Pyle

COLUMBUS, Ohio–When people talk about abuse in nursing homes, they generally are referring to staff members victimizing the elderly.

But researchers say an even more pressing, prevalent problem might be the violence that can — and does — erupt between residents.

According to a new study by Cornell University, nearly one in five people living in nursing homes is involved in at least one aggressive encounter each month.

“These altercations are widespread and common in everyday nursing-home life,” said Karl Pillemer, PhD, a professor at Cornell and at the Weill Cornell Medical College and a co-author of the study.

Staff Often Unaware

Resident-to-resident mistreatment is under-reported to the point that, at some long-term-care centers, “staff members seem almost unaware,” Pillemer said.

Nursing homes provide care for about 1.5 million older Americans nationwide, including about 90,000 in Ohio. By 2030, the number of U.S. adults 65 and older will more than double, to about 71 million.

Research has mostly focused on older adults who have been mistreated by their family and caregivers in the community or by staff members in nursing homes, said Dr. Mark Lachs, who is the other author of the report and a professor of medicine at Cornell’s medical college.

But resident-on-resident violence is a much bigger problem, with consequences that can be just as devastating, he said.

In addition to cuts, bruises and broken bones, verbal and psychological violence can lead to depression and feelings of hopelessness — and, in worst-case scenarios, death, said Lachs, a practicing geriatrician.

Last month, for example, a 66-year-old woman strangled her 57-year-old roommate at a Georgia nursing home. Staff members reported hearing arguing late at night.

“There are a number of these murders every year, and it’s not something to be taken lightly,” Lachs said.

As part of the study, the Cornell team examined patient records at 10 nursing homes in New York. The group also interviewed residents and direct-care employees such as aides. Research assistants spent two to six months at the centers recording incidents they saw.

Of the more than 2,000 residents, 16 percent were involved in verbal incidents such as cursing, screaming or yelling; about 6 percent were involved in physical violence, including hitting, kicking or biting; and 1 percent were involved in sexual encounters such as exposing one’s genitals, touching other residents or attempting to gain sexual favors.

Another 11 percent experienced incidents such as residents walking into their rooms uninvited or going through their possessions. All of the events were “unwelcome with a high likelihood of causing physical or psychological distress,” Lachs said.

Residents also commonly take out their aggression on nursing-home employees, which is the subject of another Cornell study, he said.

Younger residents who have dementia or a mood disorder, but are physically healthy enough to move around, are more likely to be involved in aggressive incidents, he said. Depression also seems to be a factor.

Crowded Conditions, Understaffing

Crowded conditions, understaffing and ongoing conflicts between residents can fuel conflicts, he added.

Laura Mosqueda, MD, a practicing physician and director of the National Center on Elder Abuse, said nursing-home residents often have complicated medical and behavioral conditions that can cause personality changes. But Mosqueda cautioned against treating these incidents as typical abuse situations, with clear perpetrators who need to be punished.

“These are some of society’s most-vulnerable citizens, and in many ways, the aggressor and the aggressee are both victims,” said Mosqueda, who also teaches at the University of Southern California’s medical college.

When incidents arise, nursing-home workers should try to trace the warning signs and underlying causes to prevent future altercations, she said.

If, for example, inadequate staffing is part of the problem, then the center should hire more employees and consider paying them more to keep them. If two residents don’t get along, they shouldn’t be living in the same room or eating at the same table.

Beverley Laubert, Ohio’s long-term-care ombudsman, said the state receives relatively few complaints about resident-to-resident violence. But it has caused serious problems for a few nursing homes.

In August, state health officials moved 37 residents from a Gahanna nursing home that had been plagued by resident assaults, including hitting, punching, shoving and kicking.

And in February, a long-troubled nursing home in southwestern Ohio that had more registered sex offenders than any other in the state closed because of repeated violations that included not reporting suspected sexual abuse.

“It’s not always an easy thing to handle,” Laubert said.

Once, she said, she walked up to a nursing-home resident, and he started to yell at her.

“Staff snapped back, ‘Stop it, stop it,’ when a more-proper response would have been to say, ‘ John, this is Bev,’ so he would have known to trust me,” she said.

Mental Illness “No Excuse”

Having high numbers of residents with behavioral problems and mental illnesses can be especially difficult, said Peter Van Runkle, the executive director of the Ohio Health Care Association, a nursing-home industry group. But it’s no excuse, he said.

“We have folks who don’t intentionally do the things they do,” Van Runkle said. “But the reality is, none of it is acceptable, and our goal is for it not to ever happen.”

The keys, he said, are determining any history of aggression before a resident moves in, figuring out what might cause a resident to become violent and having plans in place to prevent future outbursts.

“Facilities are very aware of the problem,” said Jane Straker, a senior researcher at the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University who has studied resident-on-resident abuse.

The questions are, whether nursing homes will do more to find ways to reduce residents’ mistreatment of one another and whether there is enough pressure from state and other officials for them to try, the Cornell researchers said.

Mosqueda of USC agrees. “One of the challenges is, we have a system where it is up to nursing homes to pretty much police themselves,” she said.

The Cornell team recommends that nursing homes train staff members to recognize and report mistreatment, provide guidelines for when incidents occur and use approaches that consider the individual needs and abilities of the residents.

“I think the answer lies with thoughtful behavior interventions that don’t rely on drugs,” Lachs said.

Elders newsbeat reporter Encarnacion Pyle wrote this story for The Columbus Dispatch with support from the Journalists in Aging Fellows Program of the Gerontological Society of America and New America Media, sponsored by the Silver Century Foundation.

Better Business Bureau’s Top Ten Scams of 2014

Posted by Admin On January - 8 - 2015 Comments Off on Better Business Bureau’s Top Ten Scams of 2014

To view the Top 10 Scams of 2014 Infographic online, click here.


CHICAGO, IL -  In 2014, the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois received numerous calls and emails concerning various scams, new and old. The 10 scams having the greatest impact on consumers involved new ways to cheat people out of money and steal personal identity information, or sometimes both. While they may use emails and other digital communications, they focus on deception and people being too busy to first check out the source of the communication.

“This year, scammers found new ways to steal from innocent consumers and businesses, whether it be through multiple data breaches, fake invoice schemes, or even by pretending to be government officials,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the BBB. “Some scams were widespread, getting a lot of people for small amounts. Others were more narrowly focused, taking people for thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.”

In no particular order, the Top Ten scams of 2014 according to the BBB serving Chicago and Northern Illinois were:

  • Data Breaches

Hackers are getting into computer systems that store financial and personal data then using it for fraud. In 2014, financial information was taken from many large retailers and social security numbers from a large hospital chain in the Chicago and Northern Illinois area. Affected companies are obligated by law to notify customers about breaches. Although you cannot avoid a data breach itself, you can prepare yourself for what may follow once your personal information has been stolen.

Scam Protection: Keep track of your finances. Check credit card statements. Sign up for card usage notifications. Check your accounts online. Call your bank or credit card company if something seems suspicious on your statements.

  • IRS Imposters

Calls from scammers claiming to be IRS officials swept the country in 2014. Thousands of calls were made to individuals threatening jail, deportation and loss of property if payment was not made. The Chicago and northern Illinois area had losses of around one million dollars. Consumers were left voicemails saying they need to call the IRS immediately to avoid legal consequences.

Scam Protection: Hang up if you receive one of these calls. Do not provide any personal information. Contact the FCC and the FTC.

  • Click-Bait Schemes

Sensational or provocative content, especially on social media, attracts attention and draws visitors to a particular web page. In 2014, these stories were often used to trick consumers into clicking on links that go to fraudulent websites. When clicked on, malware is installed on your computer or smartphone.

Scam Protection: Don’t click on videos or photos that claim to be “exclusive,” “shocking” or “sensational.” Delete social media messages or emails that raise red flags in your mind. Take a moment to hover over a link to see its true destination.

  • Fake Utility Bills

This summer, scammers targeted individual consumers and businesses with false claims that their utility bills were delinquent and their services were in danger of being disconnected. Many got calls from scammers who demanded that they immediately pay their alleged delinquent accounts.

Scam Protection: If you receive one of these calls, do not provide any personal or financial information. Make sure to call your utility service provider directly and verify if a call was made.

  • Pre-Paid Cards

Pre-paid debit cards such as GreenDot Money Cards, Wal-Mart MoneyCard and Western Union MoneyWise became a risk for consumers in 2014. Scammers, posing as “support reps” for these companies, tell consumers they need a refund for the money on the card, and request a person’s credit and checking account numbers. This information gives scammers access to the prepaid card and your financial accounts.

Scam Protection: Never give out financial information to someone you don’t know. To verify the request, call the card company at the phone number listed on the card, or the company’s general number.

  • Tech Support Scams

This fall, there was a surge in reports of consumers receiving calls from individuals claiming that Microsoft has been notified of errors or viruses on their computers that need removal. The scammer persuades the victim to download a program which allows remote access to their computer. Once access is gained, the scammer shows typical computer errors, which are still enough to convince the owner there is a problem. They then offer to fix the problems for anywhere from $200 – 400.

Scam Protection: Never give control of your computer to a third party unless it is a support team with whom you are a customer and can confirm that they are legitimate. To verify the request, call the company at the business’ general number listed in official documentation.

  • Advance Fee Loans

Advance fee loans-also known as short-term high-rate loans, cash advance loans, check advance loans, payday loans or title loans-are very expensive forms of credit. Consumers are solicited by telemarketers, contacted by email, or see offers in classified sections of newspapers and magazines or on the Internet. Many times consumers never receive their loan, in spite of paying
up-front fees.

Scam Protection: Check on a business beforehand. Read the fine print. Get everything in writing. These are important steps to avoid being taken advantage of with advance fee loans.

  • Fake Lottery & Sweepstakes

Lottery and Sweepstakes scams usually begin with a phone call or an email. The consumers are told they won a large sum of money but they must first pay fees and taxes. Victims wire this money, but never get their “winnings” or get back the money they sent.

Scam Protection: Consumers need to keep in mind that when something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you never entered a contest, you can’t win. And you should never pay to claim a prize.

  • Office Supplies/School Supply Scams

In 2014, a company falsely sent invoices to schools and school districts. Districts were billed for bulk purchase of textbooks that were never requested or received. This technique is also used on businesses for amounts that are a few hundred dollars. Inquiries received no responses; calls to a phone number routes to a series of voice mail boxes or mail drops.

Scam Protection:

Always cross check invoices with purchase orders. Check out new vendors or suppliers with the BBB.
  • Phishing Scams

Scams using email were more common in 2014. Cyber-criminals pose as legitimate businesses to get financial information via emails. Links in the email can put a virus on your computer that hunts for your personal and financial information to use for identity theft or other illegal activities.

Scam Protection: Be cautious of clicking on links in unexpected emails. If you are expecting a confirmation receipt, log into your account and check for confirmation there. Be wary of emails that contain attached files. Don’t respond to unsolicited emails. Don’t click on links in unsolicited emails.

“Before giving any company your personal or financial information, review the business on the BBB website,” said Bernas. “And remember, if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

For more information on scams, visit www.bbb.org, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Dr. Wilson Urges All Candidates to Buy Media Ads From the Black Press

Posted by Admin On January - 8 - 2015 Comments Off on Dr. Wilson Urges All Candidates to Buy Media Ads From the Black Press

By Chinta Strausberg

Mayoral hopeful Dr. Willie Wilson Wednesday held a press conference at his downtown home challenging all candidates to buy media ads from African American for the upcoming February 24, 2015 municipal elections.

Wilson said he wants to be fair with his media buys and that all too often political candidates take the African American vote for granted and spend millions of dollars with non-African American media outlets.

In challenging candidates to support the black press, Dr. Wilson said, “I am going to lead by example.” Wilson then met with several editors of the black press and purchased political ads.

He was asked how would Chicago be a better city. Wilson said he would not be closing any schools, would fire the top cop replacing him with four superintendents “to be closer to the people,” and “get rid of these darn red light” speed traps.

More important, he would sell the 50 shuttered schools for $1 to interested persons who would launch economic development plans such as trades. This, he said, would spur economic growth he says is needed in Chicago. “We will let the community decide how many school will open up,” said Dr. Wilson.

Dr. Wilson said he would reduce the taxes and give incentives to companies as opposed to higher gas taxes that force people to drive to Indiana just to purchase cheaper gas. That, he said, is “bad business.”

Dr. Wilson wants a more integrated city of Chicago and one where people would get to know one another thereby breaking down the walls of segregation and racism.

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

NAACP Statement on the Quitman 10

Posted by Admin On January - 8 - 2015 Comments Off on NAACP Statement on the Quitman 10

ATLANTA, Ga. — After four years, three trials, two mistrials, Lula Smart has been exonerated on all counts. Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s voter fraud cases against Smart and other citizens known as the Quitman 10 has failed. Prosecutors announced a dismissal of all charges in September against the remaining defendants after Lula Smart was acquitted by a Brooks County Jury of 19 charges of voter fraud.

The issue of voter fraud was front and center during the past election cycle as the Georgia NAACP stood with civil rights and faith leaders from across Georgia in solidarity with the New Georgia Project.  The New Georgia Project and the Georgia NAACP delivered more than 51,000 unprocessed voter registration applications to Secretary of State’s Office.  After multiple arrests, protests, sit-ins, and a civil case; Secretary Kemp still has not addressed questions raised regarding the lack of processing of more than 51,000 voter registration applications.

“The witch hunt is over and the Quitman 10 story reaffirms that Davids can still have victories over Goliath,” said Francys Johnson, Georgia NAACP President and Civil Rights Attorney from Statesboro, Georgia responding to the recent news. “This is a total victory against the forces of retrogression that tried to intimidate and suppress democracy in South Georgia” said Johnson.

Why Are So Many Black Girls Suspended?

Posted by Admin On January - 8 - 2015 Comments Off on Why Are So Many Black Girls Suspended?

By Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu

* A Black girl was suspended because she saw a parallel between Frederick Douglass
trying to read in 1850 and her class today.

* A kindergarten girl was handcuffed and placed in a police car by herself and driven to
the station because she was disruptive.

* A girl was suspended because someone sneezed and she said God bless you.

* Girls are suspended because they wear their hair in braids, puffs, and twists.

* 2 girls are suspended and placed in alternative school for fighting. The white girl stays 90
days and returns to the regular school. The Black girl remains at the alternative
school for the entire year and returns the following year 12 months academically behind
her classmates.

* A girl is suspended and expelled and is given a felony because her science project blew
up in class. She was called a terrorist.

* Many Black girls are suspended because they are considered too loud and too much
attitude.

* A school wanted to catch a boy sexually abusing girls in the classroom. They used a Black
girl as bait. She was raped and the school denies their involvement.

DR. JAWANZA KUNJUFU is available for radio interviews on the various topics above. Please contact us for additional information. aarcher@africanamericanimages.com

Photo: Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu

Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate

Posted by Admin On January - 8 - 2015 Comments Off on Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate

President Barack Obama sent the following Nominations to the Senate:

Ashton B. Carter, of Massachusetts, to be Secretary of Defense, vice Charles Timothy Hagel.

Allan R. Landon, of Utah, to be a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for the unexpired term of fourteen years from February 1, 2002, vice Sarah Bloom Raskin, resigned.

Allan R. Landon, of Utah, to be a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for the term of fourteen years from February 1, 2016.  (Reappointment)

Loretta E. Lynch, of New York, to be Attorney General, vice Eric H. Holder, Jr.

Other Nominations Sent to the Senate:

Alfred H. Bennett, of Texas, to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Texas, vice Kenneth M. Hoyt, retired.

Armando Omar Bonilla, of the District of Columbia, to be a Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims for a term of fifteen years, vice Edward J. Damich, term expired.

Jeanne E. Davidson, of Maryland, to be a Judge of the United States Court of International Trade, vice Donald C. Pogue, retired.

Ann Donnelly, of New York, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York, vice Sandra L. Townes, retiring.

Dale A. Drozd, of California, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of California, vice Anthony W. Ishii, retired.

Nancy B. Firestone, of Virginia, to be a Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims for a term of fifteen years.  (Reappointment)

Michael Greco, of New York, to be United States Marshal for the Southern District of New York for the term of four years, vice Joseph R. Guccione, term expired.

Thomas L. Halkowski, of Pennsylvania, to be a Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims for a term of fifteen years, vice Lynn Jeanne Bush, term expired.

LaShann Moutique DeArcy Hall, of New York, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York, vice Nicholas G. Garaufis, retired.

George C. Hanks, Jr., of Texas, to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Texas, vice Nancy Friedman Atlas, retired.

Roseann A. Ketchmark, of Missouri, to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Missouri, vice Gary A. Fenner, retiring.

Patricia M. McCarthy, of Maryland, to be a Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims for a term of fifteen years, vice Emily Clark Hewitt, retired.

Travis Randall McDonough, of Tennessee, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee, vice Curtis L. Collier, retired.

Ronald Lee Miller, of Kansas, to be United States Marshal for the District of Kansas for the term of four years, vice Walter Robert Bradley, retired.

Jose Rolando Olvera, Jr., of Texas, to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Texas, vice Hilda G. Tagle, retired.

Jill N. Parrish, of Utah, to be United States District Judge for the District of Utah, vice Dee V. Benson, retired.

Luis Felipe Restrepo, of Pennsylvania, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit, vice Anthony J. Scirica, retired.

Jeri Kaylene Somers, of Virginia, to be a Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims for a term of fifteen years, vice George W. Miller, retired.

Kara Farnandez Stoll, of Virginia, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Federal Circuit, vice Randall R. Rader, retired.

ISBE-Developed Guidance Helps Schools and Teachers Implement New Math Standards

Posted by Admin On January - 8 - 2015 Comments Off on ISBE-Developed Guidance Helps Schools and Teachers Implement New Math Standards

Math models receive positive feedback and accolades


SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois districts are piloting state-developed model math units to help students master concepts at each grade level as schools implement internationally-benchmarked learning standards that emphasize depth of knowledge, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The nationally-recognized units are the first of their kind, developed by a statewide team of educators following legislation that called for more math resources and support.

“As a nation and a state, we have to do better in math,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “We have already received feedback from teachers who say these math models are inspiring them to dig deeper into the content and create better lessons. With a strong, deep foundation in math, students are more likely to master this subject early on and continue to `get it’ as the concepts grow tougher in high school and college.”

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) established the Mathematics Model Curriculum Project following the passage in 2012 of legislation requiring the agency to work with math experts and statewide education organizations to develop middle and high school mathematics curriculum models. The state-designed math models help educators as they develop lesson plans that meet the new internationally benchmarked Illinois Learning Standards in English language arts and math.

The curriculum models’ units and lessons were submitted in July to the EQuIP Quality Review Jury, a national team that evaluates how lessons and units are aligned to the Common Core standards. Three of the four units that ISBE submitted for review received the highest “exemplary” rating.

“Mathematics is one of the most vital skills we can teach our children to help prepare them for an ever-changing, global job market,” said state Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia who was among the bill’s primary sponsors. “I am hopeful that the models developed by the stakeholders and experts in this working group will assist teachers in classroom instructions, leading to greater success for students in college and in their careers.”

Model Math Unit Pilot Districts
2013-2014 District City
Bushnell-Prairie City CUSD 170 Bushnell
Joliet Public Schools District 86 Joliet
Mundelein School District 75 Mundelein
Murphysboro CUSD 186 Murphysboro
Community Consolidated School District 15 Palatine
Community Unit School District 2 Serena
Urbana School District 116 Urbana
2014-2015 Beach Park School District 3 Beach Park
Collinsville CUSD 10 Collinsville
Tremont CUSD 702 Tremont
Community CSD 168 Sauk Village

CUSD 205

Galesburg

Frankfort School District 157-C

Frankfort

Georgetown-Ridge Farm CUSD 4

Georgetown

Hutsonville CUSD 1

Hutsonville

Joliet Public Schools District 86

Joliet
Monticello CUSD 25 Monticello

Murphysboro CUSD 186

Murphysboro
Payson CUSD 1 Payson

Prairie Hill Central CSD 133

South Beloit
Thomasboro Central CSD 130 Thomasboro

Urbana School District 116

Urbana
Villa Grove CUSD 302 Villa Grove

West Carroll District 314

Mt. Carroll
Wethersfield District 230 Kewanee

Project members, representing administrators, teachers and curriculum experts from all parts of the state and kindergarten through college, worked for the past two years and expanded their charge to also develop math models for elementary students. The models are not a complete curriculum but instead a blueprint for instruction, lesson planning and assessments.  Districts may choose to adopt or adapt the models as they develop their full curricula. Educators may access the models on ISBE’s website at http://www.isbe.net/common_core/htmls/math-model-units.htm.

The team developed a total of 88 units, 72 lessons and 516 assessments for

kindergarten through eighth grade and integrated math high school courses. The units and assessments are all aligned to the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams, which students in Illinois are taking for the first time this school year.

The more rigorous standards and these models and assessments help address a longstanding concern of college admission counselors and employers regarding students’ and workers’ entry-level skills. At least one in five students in Illinois must take remedial courses once they get to college and that number goes up – by some estimates to about 50 percent – when just looking at community college students. In 2014, 21 percent of Illinois graduates met the ACT’s College Readiness Benchmark in math. The ACT’s benchmark score indicates a student’s chance of obtaining a “C” or higher in college algebra. Meanwhile, Illinois’ composite 2014 ACT score of 20.7 is near the national average of 21.

Fifteen districts are piloting the math models this school year and seven school districts, including Joliet Public Schools District 86, piloted the models during the 2013-14 school year. Jan Taylor, Joliet’s mathematics program coordinator, credits the models with helping the district make gains on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) and post a 2014 student growth score in math of 105, above the state’s math student growth score of 103.

“The sample unit lessons helped our teachers structure lesson planning by using a multi-day approach that builds up to rigorous classroom instruction,” said Taylor, who oversees 10 instructional coaches in the district. “As a result, teachers now plan in-depth lessons for the next day based upon what happened during class today.”

Taylor said she and her team found the curriculum models’ assessments to be a good representation of the types of questions students will encounter on the PARCC tests.

“The (assessment) questions have given our students the opportunity to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others, which were not a component of the previous state tests,” Taylor said. “As a result, more classroom discussions take place on a daily basis where the teacher becomes a facilitator of learning, rather than an information giver.”

The math model curriculum project will continue to evolve to respond to the needs of the state’s educators, and team members will continue to seek input from teachers, instructional coaches, administrators, higher education faculty and national experts through the process.

Senator Raoul: Let the People Pick a Comptroller, Then Merge Offices

Posted by Admin On January - 8 - 2015 Comments Off on Senator Raoul: Let the People Pick a Comptroller, Then Merge Offices

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) voiced his strong support for letting voters choose a new comptroller in 2016. Legislation calling for special elections to fill long-term vacancies of constitutional offices will be taken up by lawmakers in tomorrow’s special session.

“Making the electoral process fairer and more accessible has been the touchstone of my public service, so it’s self-evident to me that people, not politicians, need to decide who fills this four-year, elected position,” Raoul said. “We also need to move toward consolidation to improve government efficiency and save the taxpayers money. But first, we should do the right thing and let voters choose a comptroller when they go to the polls in 2016.”

Raoul pledged to seek approval of a constitutional amendment aimed at merging the statewide fiscal offices of treasurer and comptroller. His previous effort won Senate approval in 2011.

Illinois was left without a comptroller or comptroller-elect when Judy Baar Topinka died last month. With no provision in state law for a special election, an unelected appointee picked by the incoming governor would serve as comptroller unless legislators act to give voters a say.

Tomorrow, legislators will consider putting the comptroller position back on the statewide ballot in 2016 so voters can pick who should serve out the final two years of Topinka’s term. An appointee would serve the first two years. The same legislation would close a loophole in state law by requiring a special election to fill any future vacancy in the statewide executive offices of attorney general, secretary of state, comptroller or treasurer if more than 28 months remain in the term.

“Next week, I’ll file a proposed constitutional amendment merging the comptroller and treasurer positions. We can fully discuss and debate this advance in good government, and the people can vote on the amendment at the same time they choose someone to serve out the rest of the comptroller’s four-year term,” Raoul said. “In 2018, we can start realizing the benefits of consolidation for greater efficiency and savings to taxpayers.”

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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