Obama Admin Is About To Get Shaken Up After The Resignation That Was Just Announced

One of the longest serving cabinet members in the Obama administration, Arne Duncan, is stepping down.

Duncan, who was appointed by President Obama in 2009 as the Secretary of Education, was previously the CEO of Chicago Public Schools.

In 2007, when Duncan was the CEO of the school system with some of the highest paid teachers, the Chicago Public School system could hardly brag about district achievements. Only 21 percent of the district’s 8th graders were proficient in reading, and only 13 percent were on grade level in math.

Those dismal statistics, many felt, disqualified Duncan as Secretary of the Department of Education. Nevertheless, the president appointed his long-time friend to the position.

The school children in the US, under Duncan’s leadership, have not fared much better; and some believe his policies have actually harmed the nation’s schoolchildren.

“The record will show these policies brought about minimum improvement…They also did considerable harm,” said Jack Jennings, founder of the nonpartisan Center on Education Policy

In typical administration fashion where, perceivably, the rules don’t seem to apply, Duncan began excusing US states from the requirements of the No Child Left Behind law of 2001. States were given exemptions, called “waivers,” from the requirements of the law.

One attempt by Duncan to use student test scores to identify poor teachers was rejected in some states. This created mistrust of the administration.  For states to get their waiver from the NCLB Act, they would have to comply with Duncan’s demands, in a sort of strong arm fashion.

While the Obama administration and Arne Duncan could not take direct responsibility for the Common Core Curriculum Standards, they were seen as using the standards to lord it over the states. Those demands and others resulted in a pushback by states seeing the CCCS as “Obamacore.”

“I’ve never seen both Democrats and Republicans want to curb the authority of the federal Department of Education the way they want to now,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.

While many state education leaders, districts, teachers and parents are likely glad to see Arne Duncan go, many more may be wondering how he got the job in the first place.

Do you think a CEO of a school system whose students cannot read and do math on grade-level should have ever gotten the nation’s highest position in education?

A TV Station’s Attempt To Wish Jews A Happy Yom Kippur Just Went Horribly Wrong

Choosing an appropriate image to relate news stories is a major part of television journalism. Mistakes do happen, however, as a Chicago station proved Wednesday.

Commemorating the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, WGN complemented its report with a stock image of the yellow stars Jewish prisoners were forced to wear during the Holocaust. When screenshots of the offending visual connection began spreading via social media, the network was quick to recognize its mistake and issue an apology.

Chicago Tribune blogger Carrie Goldman echoed the concerns of many social media users in an editorial published Wednesday.

She scolded those who would write off such an image as merely offensive, going on to explain what wearing the Nazi emblem meant to Jewish prisoners.

“The Star marked Jews as different,” she wrote, “as Other, as lesser. In this particular image used by WGN, the Star is overlaid on a black and white striped background, which was the prison uniform worn by Jews in the concentration camps.”

While she applauded the station’s apology, Goldman asserted that the situation warrants further attention.

“For example,” she wrote, “WGN could do a piece that provides some education about the Holocaust. Or WGN could bring its employees to visit the Holocaust Museum in Skokie, IL for a training session.”

Donald Trump Just Got A Big Boost From An All-Time NFL Legend (It’s Not Tom Brady)

One of the toughest guys to ever play for and later coach one of the toughest teams in the National Football League likes what he sees in Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump

“I do like Donald Trump. I think he, sometimes he’s gotta think a little bit more before he says things, but I think he’s on the right track,” Chicago Bears legend Mike Ditka said in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times published Tuesday. “I think that he has the fire in his belly to make America great again and probably do it the right way. I do like him, yes. I do like him.”

Ditka, ranked by ESPN among the Top 10 toughest Bears, was a tight end with Chicago before becoming their Super Bowl-inning head coach and carving out a reputation for toughness.

In the past, Ditka has surveyed the political field with a jaundiced eye.

“I look at politics today, and I don’t get too enthused about it. I think you’ve scared a lot of good people out of politics,” Ditka said in a 2008 interview.

For his part, Trump was gleeful at the praise from Ditka, who he called “a total winner.”

“I have always loved Mike Ditka,” Trump said. “He is what toughness is all about. When he was coach there was total respect. Nobody messed with Mike,” Trump said. “I am a big fan of his toughness and we need more of that in our country!”

“Our country needs smartness and toughness. Other countries don’t respect us any longer. If I win, that will change very quickly. Mike’s kind of attitude and personality is what our country needs as its representative,” said Trump

“I’d love to have Mike involved in some capacity. Why? Because Mike knows how to win and our politicians don’t,” Trump added.

h/t: Politico

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Breaking: Officer Shot And Killed Near Major U.S. City – Manhunt Under Way

According to developing reports, an Illinois police officer was fatally shot Tuesday morning during a traffic stop.

Shortly before 8 a.m., the Lake County officer pulled over three individuals for what he deemed “suspicious activity,” a department source revealed. According to the latest reports available, authorities are looking for one black male and two white males in the area, using both ground and air surveillance. Police arrived on the scene following an interruption in radio communication. They found him with a gunshot wound and, according to multiple sources, he has since died from the injury.

As for the suspects, at least six law enforcement agencies are involved in the search. Local residents are being asked to stay inside until the manhunt has concluded.

Police dogs have reportedly been deployed in one area already densely populated by heavily armed officers.

The shooting came just days after Texas Deputy Darren Goforth was fatally shot at a gas station.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Trump Shuts Down Gun Grabbers Who Want More Gun Control After Va. Shooting

It didn’t take long for the gun control lobbyists, including the White House, to call for more gun control after two journalists were shot and killed on live TV Wednesday in Roanoke, Virginia.

“It breaks my heart every time you read about or hear about these kinds of incidents,” President Obama said. “What we know is that, uhm, the number of people who die from, uhh, gun-related, uhh, incidents around this country dwarfs any deaths that happen through terrorism.”

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump took a different route and suggested that more gun control wouldn’t have stopped the shooting.

“This is a really sick person. This isn’t a gun problem, this is a mental problem,” Trump said to CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “If you tried to do it, the bad guys would have them… and the good folks would abide by the law – they’d be hopeless, and it would just be hopeless situation for them.”

Mr. Trump later took note of Chicago’s strict gun laws and argued that even with tough legislation, Chicago has “people getting killed all the time.”

Trump: “And they have by far the toughest gun laws in the country, so it’s not just a question of the laws…”

Cuomo: “So..”

Trump: “It’s really the people.”

Do you agree with Mr. Trump? Share and comment below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth