This Week With ISCA
Feb. 10, 2015

Pension reform in Illinois: Will teachers retire sooner?
Reboot Illinois
The pension crisis in Illinois is one of the worst in the nation. Teachers who are working in Illinois expect to receive a pension when they retire, and they don’t get Social Security. Teachers, along with other union members including police and firefighters, are waiting for the Illinois Supreme Court ruling in the lawsuit against changing pension benefits.More

Meet the woman behind new school funding plan
Chicago Tribune
When Debbie Chafee discovered that a rewrite of Illinois' school funding formula in Springfield would cut her daughter's school district's budget by $4 million, she launched a one-woman crusade that stopped Senate Bill 16 dead in its tracks.More

US schools turn to new programs to warn teens of drug risks
Yahoo News
The desperate cry of a mother finding her 17-year-old son dead from a painkiller and another prescription drug instantly silences hundreds of Pennsylvania high school students who listen to her 911 call played at an early morning assembly. That recording, played as the roughly 500 students look at an urn holding the dead boy's ashes and photos of dozens of other teens who died of overdoses, is the gut-punch that anchors a new educational program aimed at combating the rising abuse of prescription opioid abuse among U.S. young adults.More

Illinois trailing other states in girls studying science, math
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign via
A new study found Illinois educators and lawmakers have homework to do to figure out why fewer girls at the state's high schools study subjects associated with careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields than their peers in other states. More

Superintendents urge Common Core testing delay: 'How can test data be valid under testing conditions like this?'
The Washington Post
More than 40 superintendents in Illinois school districts are urging state education officials to delay a requirement that students take a Common Core test known as PARCC this spring, saying that they are not confident that they can administer the test properly and questioning whether the data obtained from the test will have any value.More

Illinois officials not enforcing rules on school vaccinations
According to state records, at least 130 Illinois schools report measles vaccination levels of under 90 percent. That is the minimum percentage health officials believe communities must achieve for "herd immunity" — an environment that can prevent a disease from spreading. More

CDC reports growing teen abuse problem
As a parent you worry about your teenager making good grades or being safe behind the wheel and now there is something else to worry about. Your child being abuse by his or her girlfriend or boyfriend. It may be hard to believe but 1 in 10 high school students has been hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.More

Student loans linked to depression and high levels of stress
Digital Journal
In the first national study of its kind, researchers have found that the heavy burden of student loans is causing serious mental health issues in America's young adult population. More

Report: Illinois ranks as 7th worst state in controlling bullying
According to a new study by WalletHub, Illinois ranks as the seventh worst state when it comes to controlling bullying. WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis across nine key metrics, ranging from bullying incident rates online and on school property to the cost of truancy for schools. More

Let's get serious about college readiness
The Hill (commentary)
With 2015 only weeks old, the starting gun has already sounded in the 2016 race for the presidency. But it wasn't fired by potential Republican aspirants heading to Iowa or New Hampshire, nor by Hillary Clinton feeding speculation about her forthcoming announcement, but by the current lame-duck president in his State of the Union address. By making unserious but politically pleasing proposals, he made clear that his focus is already on keeping the White House in Democratic hands — not on governing while he still has the chance. More