A movement is afoot to kill a state commission that hears appeals from groups that want to open charter schools but are denied by local school districts. Given the hostility toward charters, it’s a wonder this commission, not even three years old, has made it this far. But killing it would be a mistake, even if we support changing it to better protect CPS — which has been especially welcoming to charter schools — from having more charters forced on it.
EDITORIAL: Last summer, piles of petcoke along the Calumet River on Chicago’s Southeast Side suddenly grew into mountains several stories high, alarming area residents. Now, a flurry of proposed solutions seems likely to grow into a mountain as well. That could be a problem if the result is a hurried set of rules that don’t work well.
EDITORIAL: Whether you support the boycott of the state-mandated tests or think it’s a dumb idea, it’s worth pausing to consider the bigger picture: Is the greater focus on testing in recent years — and the push to use the results to rate teachers, schools and children — doing more harm than good? Is the greater emphasis on testing meant to improve teaching and learning inadvertently undermining it?
Herein lies a key challenge for the United States as it responds to the Russian military incursion in Ukraine: To remain fully on the same page with its European allies, for whom the Russian threat is closer and greater.
Now, legislators, who set the rules on pensions, also must cut benefits for Chicago teachers, firefighters, police officers, laborers and municipal workers. Painful? Of course. Necessary? Absolutely.
EDITORIAL: The issue of whether Americans are getting sufficiently thorough news coverage in a rapidly changing media market is an important one. People need quality news coverage if they are to fulfill their duties as citizens in a democracy. But deciding what news is published or aired otherwise transmitted can’t be left to a government, which has its own strong interest in what people are told about what really is going on
Too often, in too many courtrooms, people entrusted with assuring justice instead shade the facts to strengthen cases against people they believe to be guilty. Or maybe they’re just covering up for each other. Either way, innocent people caught up in such machinations never know what hit them. The David Koschman investigation is a case in point, a sad truth that we hope the FBI and Justice Department, having been made privy to key information by special prosecutor Dan Webb, now will vigorously investigate.
Why did Gov. Pat Quinn appoint a questionably qualified candidate, Arthur D. Bishop, to head the state agency most crucial to protecting abused and neglected children in Illinois, the Department of Children and Family Services?
One pernicious, long-held suspicion about Chicago public charter schools turns out to be true. Chicago charter schools on average expel students at a significantly higher rate than traditional public schools, new data released by the school system shows. But in part that’s because many of the city’s charter schools have strict discipline policies, allowing them to take quick action to stamp out misbehavior.
EDITORIAL: Prevention is a better way to reduce crime than pursuing perps after a crime already has been committed. That’s the commendable theory behind the Chicago Police Department’s evolving effort to knock on the doors of warring gang members and their families and warn them to stop the shooting.
EDITORIAL: More cabs on a cold night are a good thing. Or, as Ald. Joe Moreno put it: This is a battle “between the Flintstones and the Jetsons.” When all is said and done, that’s the whole story of why innovative app-driven “ride-share” companies such Uber and Lyft have moved into the Chicago area in the last three years, why they will continue to undermine the privileged position of the old-style cab companies, and why they will not go away anytime soon. Nor should they go away.
EDITORIAL: The hidden scourge of heroin addiction has been sneaking up on Illinois, and we need to find better answers before more people die needlessly. As state Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) says, “What we are doing now is failing.”
When we feel besieged by high-tech attempts to steal our personal data, it’s nice to see that same technology producing an amazing benefit. Thursday’s Amber Alert was an example of things going right.
The Sun-Times got on the right side of history in 2003, when we first called for legalizing same-sex marriage. But the credit really goes to the army of gay rights activists who wouldn’t give up. And there is still a long way to go.
Sometimes, when the Legislature is of two minds about a topic the result is a law that isn’t thought through. Chicago Ald. Edward Burke thinks that’s what happened with Illinois’ new law on medical marijuana. As the state finalizes its rules, it should make it possible for Chicago to open the dispensaries envisioned in the law while preserving the protections lawmakers had in mind