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Turnaround for  struggling schools worth the upheaval

EDITORIAL: The Chicago Board of Education on Wednesday will decide whether to apply a radical treatment to three struggling schools. If approved, everything will change for students at the schools in North Lawndale, South Austin and Gresham.

The proper response to Kansas atrocity: solidarity

EDITORIAL: After the horrific shootings in Kansas on Sunday, we were moved by the comments of the mother of one victim, who begged that something “good” will come out of this. “We don’t know what that’s going to be,” said Mindy Corporon, who lost both her son and her father. “So we want people to let us know if they think something good has come of it.”

Follow facts,  not pressure, in criminal cases

EDITORIAL: Every criminal case should be based on facts, not political winds. That’s worth keeping in mind for the intertwined murder cases of Anthony Porter and Alstory Simon, now under re-examination by Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s Conviction integrity Unit. Simon, who was convicted in 1999 and is scheduled to be paroled in August 2017, for the last decade has said he was tricked into confessing and wants his conviction thrown out.

Realistic options for more revenue

EDITORIAL: There is no honest argument for no property tax hike. A sober look at the city’s finances points in no other direction.

Preserving our sacred right to vote

EDITORIAL: Requiring photo IDs, reducing the number of voting days and discouraging voter registration drives mostly impact voters who lean Democratic.

Will the force be with us?

EDITORIAL: So what exactly would this thing be? Sounds to us like the George Lucas museum might be some kind of cross between the Art Institute of Chicago and one of those blockbuster exhibits at the Museum of Science and Industry. Lots of art, leaning toward pop. Lots of digital pizzazz. Lots of stuff to play with. Think Hollywood on the Lake. Think light sabers.

CPS budget math just doesn’t add up

EDITORIAL: The leadership at the Chicago Public Schools on Wednesday sought to spread the good news. Too bad it’s pretty flimsy.

Getting Metra on the right track

EDITORIAL: Metra wants to stop being the kind of place where a politically connected applicant can act “inappropriately” during a job interview, wear a hat that displays a four-letter word — and get hired.

Fix state’s school funding system

EDITORIAL: Gov. Pat Quinn hopes to make the state’s temporary income tax permanent so he can boost the state’s investment in its under-funded schools. That’s an idea worthy of debate — but first things first. Before pouring more state money into schools, the state Legislature should fix the broken system it now uses to divvy up state money for schools across Illinois.

Put cameras in Cook County courtrooms

EDITORIAL: For two years, the Illinois Supreme Court has been overseeing a “pilot” program to gauge the impact of allowing cameras in courtrooms. It’s time to declare the program a success and bring it to Cook County. Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans applied back on Jan. 24, 2012, for the right to allow video and audio recordings. But that request is still on hold, and it shouldn’t be. The wheels of justice are known to grind slowly, but in this case they don’t seem to be grinding at all.

Ousting Mozilla exec was wrong

EDITORIAL: Trying to get somebody fired just because he doesn’t think like you is a terrific idea in a fascist state. But it has no place in a free society, where we prefer to change people’s minds than ride them out of town on a rail. And it can come back to bite. You may one day find yourself on the other end of that philosophy of intolerance.

City, state need pension bill to pass

EDITORIAL: Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s push to get a bill passed in Springfield to shore up two of Chicago’s grossly under-funded pension systems hit a snag last week. But feel free to ignore all the teeth-gnashing and dire predictions about the bill’s fate.

County should join effort to  cage puppy mills

EDITORIAL: Last month, the Chicago City Council wisely voted 49-1 to ban pet store sales of dogs, cats and rabbits from large-scale commercial breeders, often called puppy mills. Instead, pet stores would be required to get their animals from shelters, rescue organizations and humane agencies. A similar proposal is now before the Cook County Board, and the commissioners should approve it.

You can’t save everything, but great progress being made in preservation

EDITORIAL: Historic preservation has become so mainstream that many of Chicago and Illinois’ greatest structures are well protected. And when an exceptional building or site does get bulldozed, as happened recently with Bertrand Goldberg’s old Prentice Women’s Hospital, it is almost never before a vigorous public debate.

Sharing the pain will save pensions

EDITORIAL: Under the mayor’s proposal, taxpayers will shell out $250 million more in property taxes over five years and potentially other, smaller yet-to-be-determined new fees or taxes, while workers will pay more toward their pensions and get less in retirement. In return, the pension systems will not go belly up, the city’s credit rating (the worst in the nation save Detroit) will surely improve and city services likely won’t take a hit.