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Swing Districts Create Problems for Quinn PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Monday, 06 October 2014 09:09

I’m going to discuss some congressional races that you might not care about to talk about the governor’s race – which you probably do care about because you’re reading this column.

First, let’s look at freshman Democratic U.S. Representative Brad Schneider, who is leading former one-term Republican U.S. Representative Bob Dold 46-44 with 9 percent undecided, according to a Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll taken September 30.

Millions have already been spent in that north-suburban district, and Schneider barely beat Dold last time in a big Democratic year, so it’s little surprise that this race is so tight. The poll of 919 likely voters has a margin of error of 3.2 percent, and 23 percent were mobile-phone contacts.

Governor Pat Quinn is getting slaughtered in that district by Bruce Rauner 51-39, with another 5 percent going for Libertarian Chad Grimm and 5 percent undecided. That can’t be helping Schneider. There are a ton of anti-gun, pro-choice women in that district, and yet Quinn is losing to Rauner among females 45-42.

 
America’s Dirty Little Secret: Sex-Trafficking Is Big Business PDF Print E-mail
Guest Commentaries
Written by John W. Whitehead   
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 05:10

America is in the grip of a highly profitable, highly organized, and highly sophisticated sex-trafficking business that operates in towns large and small, raking in upwards of $9.5 billion a year in the U.S. alone by abducting and selling young girls for sex.

It is estimated that there are 100,000 to 150,000 under-aged sex workers in the U.S. The average age of girls who enter into street prostitution is between 12 and 14 years old, with some as young as nine years old. This doesn’t include those who entered the “trade” as minors and have since come of age. Rarely do these girls enter into prostitution voluntarily. As one rescue organization estimated, an under-aged prostitute might be raped by 6,000 men during a five-year period of servitude.

This is America’s dirty little secret.

 
Off His Talking Points, Rauner Struggles PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 28 September 2014 05:31

A quick note to Bruce Rauner: The next time you try to claim that Governor Pat Quinn is “personally” under federal investigation – an allegation that, as far as anyone can tell, is not true – it’s probably best not to say it while standing next to a different governor who actually is “personally” under federal investigation.

Rauner held a relatively brief press conference last week to talk about Chicago’s violence problem, with New Jersey Goveror Chris Christie at his side. Rauner attempted to claim that Quinn was somehow responsible for the murder of a nine-year-old boy by a convict on probation – even though it appears right now that all state laws and procedures were followed. And not mentioned, of course, is that Newark, New Jersey, has a murder rate almost twice that of Chicago, which undercut Christie’s contention that Quinn had “failed” to protect Illinois’ public safety.

 
Rauner’s Week of Ills PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 21 September 2014 17:41

Bruce Rauner reportedly had one of those bugs that were going around last week.

Rauner didn’t take any time off, and it showed. For the first time at his press conferences, he read his statements right off the page, painfully stumbling over his words.

He and his campaign also seemed grumpier last week. “Pat Quinn is not the folksy, bumbling fool he’d like us to think he is,” Rauner growled on Monday. On Tuesday, Rauner’s campaign barred some college journalism students from his press conference, and Rauner refused to even have a word with them afterward. On Wednesday, he turned his head and pointedly ignored a follow-up question from a Chicago TV reporter about the NFL scandals. More on that in a moment.

Maybe the recent Chicago Tribune poll that showed him trailing Governor Pat Quinn by 11 added to his physical misery. But it was Rauner’s personal decision to not flood the airwaves with TV ads during the spring and summer, when Quinn didn’t have the money to adequately respond. Rauner cheaped out, and now it’s gonna cost him a lot more money to win this thing. So he has nobody to blame but himself.

 
Common Core Curricula Have Core Problems PDF Print E-mail
Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 09:09

The next generation of top-down central planning for a federal K-12 education curriculum, Common Core, is now in full swing in Iowa and Illinois public and private school systems. Despite the rhetoric that claims otherwise, the Common Core standards are not (1) internationally benchmarked, (2) based upon scientific research that is documented and peer-reviewed, (3) created by the nation’s governors, state school officials, and legislatures with full transparency, or (4) owned by American taxpayers.

The Common Core curriculum is entirely experimental, with no evidence or history of efficacy whatsoever. Nearly all the supporting data for Common Core comes from reports written by its sponsors – the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officials (CCSSO) – and lacks any true objectivity. This is of particular note considering that all the K-12 education models previously used in American education not only adhered to best practices supported by decades of proven scientific research but also underwent continual refinement based upon the latest scientific revelations in learning processes. In other words, it evolved under great scrutiny.

The three primary authors are David Coleman, Susan Pimental, and Jason Zimba, founders of Student Achievement Partners. None of these authors has a background in any of the academic disciplines they wrote standards for. In a speech before the Learning Institute in 2011, Coleman admitted: “We were a collection of unqualified people who were involved in developing the common standards” (RCReader.com/y/core1). He likened their collaboration to a group at a bar with a napkin.

The result is that Common Core is turning nearly every classroom in America into one gigantic experiment. The teachers themselves are unprepared to teach the new Common Core curriculum and must undergo extensive retraining at enormous taxpayer expense. Because Common Core is being implemented in 45 states, an entire generation is in jeopardy if the system proves the failure many predict it will be. For a well-rounded critique based on scholastic studies (versus pure rhetoric claiming rigorous standards) that informs the debate about the deficiencies abundant in Common Core, read Common Core State Standards: An Example of Data-Less Decision Making by Christopher H. Tienken (RCReader.com/y/core2).

 
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