EDITORIAL: The frustration here — and a saving grace for Quinn — is that anti-crime efforts aimed at the grass roots, such as the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, are commendable, even essential, when done well. They are an important complement to the work of the police, schools, families and employers.
EDITORIAL: The commissioners on the forest preserve board are the same as the commissioners on the County Board, and so the forest preserves get short shrift. That can be rectified by creating an independent, appointed, forest preserve board, much as the county successfully has done to manage its health care system.
The County Jail has been bedeviled by crowding problems for years. Since 1982, the jail, the sheriff, the County Board and the County Board president have been tied up in a federal lawsuit that started out about overcrowding.
Much as we love the legend of Eliot Ness, the federal agent who made life miserable for Al Capone, we can’t image why anybody would want to name a building for the real Eliot Ness, who just annoyed Capone.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel last fall began installing speed cameras near schools and parks, prompting critics to dismiss the effort as a money grab. If Emanuel wants to keep critics at bay (some of them, anyway), it’s worth listening to Ald. Leslie Hairston and a dozen of her City Council colleagues who say the speed camera signs aren’t prominent and distinctive enough.
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.