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Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
5:49pm
Wed Feb 13, 2013

EPI Blasts ALEC's Economic Recommendations Saying They Are Bad For The Public Good

Researchers on a conference call today questioned the American Legislative Exchange Council's economic and fiscal policy agenda.

Hosted by the Economic Policy Institute, a non-profit think tank that often presents the liberal viewpoint on economic issues, the conference call exposed what some researchers called the “counterproductive policies” of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a state legislator organization that promotes free-market and conservative ideas.

The American Legislative Exchange Council, which is made up of more than 2,000 state legislators, came under fire last year for its promotion of the “Stand Your Ground” gun policy, but today’s conference call centered on state tax and budget policy prescriptions and privatization plans.

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
3:37pm
Wed Feb 13, 2013

Obama Calls For Congress To Act On Progressive Issues In SOTU Address

With a promise to fuel economic growth but not add “a single dime” to America’s deficit, President Obama’s State of the Union address focused on creating middle-class jobs and encouraged bipartisan support for initiatives such as raising the minimum wage.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
5:13pm
Tue Feb 12, 2013

Logan Square Community Fights To Keep Neighborhood Schools Open At CPS Hearing (VIDEO)

Carrying signs and chanting about the need to save neighborhood schools, hundreds gathered at Armitage Baptist Church Monday night for a Chicago Public Schools (CPS) meeting to discuss potential school closings on the Northwest side.

Five representatives from CPS listened to testimonies from concerned parties at the Logan Square church during the meeting with local representatives, parents and teachers who pleaded their schools’ cases.

“This neighborhood is full of kids, and those parents are going to send their kids to our neighborhood schools — you’re here for a community hearing, so listen to us,” said Seth Lavin, a six-year resident of Logan Square who wishes to send his two-year-old son to Lorenz Brentano Math & Science Academy. Lavin’s wife serves on Brentano’s local school council.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
7:58pm
Wed Feb 6, 2013

Quinn's State Of The State Speech Misses The Mark On Pension Reform

Gov. Pat Quinn led today’s State of the State address by saying Illinois is “at a critical juncture.”

He renewed a call for banning military-style assault weapons, spoke in support of marriage equality legislation, moving voter registration online, and urged a 20 percent increase in the hourly minimum wage, to $10.

Quinn also boasted of workers’ compensation reform, clean water and infrastructure improvements, a Medicaid overhaul, veteran employment initiatives and Illinois becoming the fifth state in the Union to legalize driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
11:36am
Wed Feb 6, 2013

CTU Pushes Back Against High-Stakes Standardized Testing With New Report

As a part of the “Pencils Down” campaign against high-stakes testing in schools, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) released a position report yesterday afternoon discussing the history and advancement of the standardized testing movement, aiming to provide evidence against its effectiveness.

The report, titled “Debunking the Myths of Standardized Testing,” attempts to expose shortcomings in the high-stakes testing model. The CTU claims standardized testing contributes to a growing achievement gap, takes up valuable instruction time and negatively impacts student learning.

“Overreliance on standardized tests has led to reduced graduation rates among students of color, narrowed the curriculum in all subjects and grade levels and ill prepared our students for fulfilling the careers and civic engagement,” the report reads. “The reforms of the accountability era are harmful policies that lead to neither short-term successes nor long-term prosperity for students.”

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