Archive for the ‘Deception’ Category


“At the Nov. 21 Barrington 220 Board of Education meeting, the Board heard an update from district leaders about Barrington 220’s annual report card, which is assembled by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). The report card reflects data from the 2022-23 school year in areas of student achievement, growth, attendance, indicators of college and career readiness, as well as school climate and culture. During the 2022-23 school year, Barrington 220 students performed better than more than 90% of students across the state.

Illinois has five summative designations for schools: Exemplary, Commendable, Targeted, Comprehensive, and Intensive. All Barrington 220 schools received either exemplary or commendable status, and it is important to note that the schools that received commendable designations are very close to earning exemplary.

One area of focus for the district is improving student attendance, which weighs heavily on a school’s summative designation status. Chronic absenteeism has increased in Barrington 220 and across the state since the pandemic. In addition, the district is focusing on how it can accelerate growth for all students through rigorous academic opportunities. Click here to listen to the presentation.”

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Chicago Schools Strike

The Illinois State Board of Education failed to publish diagnostic reports required by the Invest in Kids Act to track scholarship recipients’ progress starting in 2019. State lawmakers are letting the program expire without seeing a single report.

By Patrick Andriesen | Illinois Policy

The Illinois State Board of Education routinely failed to publish annual reports mandated by the Invest in Kids Act tracking scholarship recipients’ educational gains against public school students’ since 2019.

Those reports were intended to tell state lawmakers whether the experiment was working. The program is ending without that information.

When asked why the reports had not been published to the Illinois State Board of Education website, a spokesperson for the department provided this response: first year, not required; second year, pandemic; third year, low participation; fourth and fifth years, being compiled.

Lawmakers adjourned Nov. 9 and won’t return to Springfield until mid-January, allowing the program to expire at the end of this year. State lawmakers took no action and Gov. J.B. Pritzker invested no political capital in saving the program that gave a choice of schools to over 9,600 low-income students.

Section 45 of the Invest in Kids Act required ISBE to publish annual reports on their website tracking program participants’ educational improvements starting in the 2019-2020 academic year. There are no reports.

These diagnostic reports were supposed to include, to the extent possible, annual comparisons of how Invest in Kids scholarship recipients’ standardized test scores measured against Illinois public school students of similar socioeconomic means.

Read more here.

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AI Elections

The OpenAI logo is seen on a mobile phone in front of a computer screen displaying output from ChatGPT, March 21, 2023. |Michael Dwyer / AP Photo

By Kevin Bessler | The Center Square

A University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy professor is waving a red flag on the impact that artificial intelligence could have on next year’s elections.

Ethan Bueno de Mesquita has written a white paper which he said provides an overview of the potential impact of generative AI on the electoral process. The paper offers specific recommendations for voters, journalists, civil society, tech leaders and other stakeholders to help manage the risks and capitalize on the promise of AI for electoral democracy in the hope of fostering a more productive public discussion of these issues.

“The No. 1 issue that we need to be thinking about are the ways in which AI is going to matter for elections and the ways it poses risks of degrading the information environment for voters,” Bueno de Mesquita said.

The Federal Election Commission has been investigating the possibility of regulating AI-generated images known as “deepfakes” in political ads ahead of next year’s elections.

The Biden administration recently issued an executive order on AI that “will develop effective labeling and content provenance mechanisms, so that Americans are able to determine when content is generated using AI and when it is not.”

Bueno de Mesquita said that misinformation or a “deepfake” close to election day could be damaging “if such a thing gets released and gets released widely on social media or traditional media very close to the election when there is not enough time for responsible actors to figure out what’s true and what’s false and help voters sort through that information.”

More here.

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220 Survey

“In June 2023 the Barrington 220 Board of Education approved the district’s new strategic plan, Framework 220. The plan consists of six strategic priorities. One of the priorities is Community Partnerships & Communication.

Please take our 3-minute external communications survey.”

Their survey link can be found here.

Editorial note: When completing the survey, it appeared many of the questions are crafted to assist District 220 in preparing for their November, 2024 Referendum campaign strategies.

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Plan B

By Elizabeth Owens-Schiele | Pioneer Press

A referendum advisory committee is being formed by Barrington School District 220 to explore a potential $50 million referendum, money to help pay for a new fine arts center at Barrington High School.

At the Nov. 7 board meeting, school board members discussed options they plan to charge the committee with as committee members meet with community stakeholders. Details of options for new fine, visual and performing arts spaces are expected to be fine-tuned by board members at the Nov. 21 board meetings and ones in December.

The committee is expected to begin outreach in January and make recommendations to the board in March, as the district plans for a Nov. 5, 2024 referendum on the ballot, officials explained.

The ultimate hope is to create new spaces for high school students in the fine, visual and performing arts.

“We see the benefits of having those spaces, educationally and for extra curriculars. There’s a lot of value,” BHS Principal Steve McWilliams said to the board during the a presentation at the Nov. 7 meeting. “It’s their niche, it’s what makes high school special.”

Board member Leah Collister-Lazzari suggested the district conduct more research on the timing of the referendum and the landscape for referendum support.

More here.

Related: “220 Board plans to form referendum advisory committee to gain fine, visual & performing arts feedback,” “District 220 Board plans to seek community feedback about new fine, visual & performing arts spaces at BHS.”

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Keegan Lupa, 5, gets into a Radio Flyer children’s Tesla electric car with the help of Anne Goodman in the race track room at the company’s new store inside Woodfield Mall, Nov. 8, 2023, in Schaumburg. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune)

By Talia Soglin | Chicago Tribune

Radio Flyer is banking on bricks-and-mortar in Schaumburg, where the little red wagon maker will open the first retail location of its 106-year history.

Radio Flyer will sell stroller wagons, tricycles, scooters, go-karts and bikes from the 15,000-square-foot location on the first floor of Woodfield Mall, which is set to open Friday. The store will also feature a racetrack and a bike shop where shoppers can test ride products.

“We feel like it’s a great time for people to reconnect with us in a different way, in a physical store where they can touch and see the products,” said Robert Pasin, chief wagon officer.

Pasin, who has run the company since 1997, is the grandson of Antonio Pasin, a carpenter who launched the company under the name Liberty Coaster on Chicago’s West Side in 1917, three years after he immigrated from Italy.

The company is still based on Grand Avenue in Belmont Cragin, where workers at its prototype shop develop new products. Radio Flyer does not manufacture its own toys, which are made mostly in China but also in the U.S., Pasin said. The company completed a renovation of its headquarters in 2017.

The original steel red wagon is no longer a bestseller.

Read more here.

Editorial note: The Tesla Model 2 pictured above starts at $499.99. It comes in 4 colors and has options including a customized parking sign ($25)!

The weight capacity is listed at 81 lbs., so as enticing as it might be, it’s impractical for use by Cecola or Riff. However, we’re told the parking signs can be purchased separately, and we’ve no doubt that will be of interest to them. If so, we suggest they order at least five (5) of these to start.

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MM Spring

Illinois state Rep. Martin McLaughlin, R-Barrington Hills | BlueRoomStream

By Kevin Bessler | The Center Square

An Illinois legislator says the way the state conducts business is unethical and equivalent to fiscal malpractice.

State Rep. Martin McLaughlin, R-Barrington Hills, is calling for more transparency of the state’s spending. During a Wednesday news conference he highlighted the executive assistant at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency billing the state nearly $50,000 a month for her salary.

“The people in charge of this great state have no understanding of what it means to respect taxpayers’ money when they allow this to happen, and what do we expect from a governor who’s spending his time jetting off to Miami running for the White House,” McLaughlin said.

Illinois has been criticized by several nonpartisan organizations on its budgeting, including Truth in Accounting. The think tank that promotes fiscal transparency gave Illinois a failing grade of “F” for its financial situation.

Fitch Ratings recently elevated Illinois’ rating for general obligation bonds. The rating of a state’s bonds is a measure of their credit quality. A higher bond rating generally means the state can borrow at a lower interest rate.

“We are continuing to right the past fiscal wrongs in our state with disciplined fiscal leadership, and credit rating agencies and businesses alike are taking notice of Illinois’ remarkable progress,” said Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

McLaughlin said Illinois taxpayers are on the hook for some enormous salaries of workers taking care of migrants.

“Two hundred, eleven thousand dollars per year for housekeeping per worker, security $312,000 per year per worker, and an astonishing $865,000 per year per nurse,” McLaughlin said.

Read more here.

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220 Auditorium

“At the Nov. 7 Board meeting, the Board continued its discussion about possibilities for new fine, visual, and performing arts spaces at Barrington High School. The design work for these new spaces was an identified project within the $147 million dollar referendum that Barrington area voters approved in 2020. The cost to build these new spaces was not included in the referendum.

The Board is planning to form a referendum advisory committee in order to gain feedback from the community about projects that should be included on a potential referendum question during the 2024-25 school year. The committee will meet during the second half of this school year. More information will be provided after the Board finalizes the committee’s charge at its next meeting on Nov. 21.

Related: District 220 Board plans to seek community feedback about new fine, visual & performing arts spaces at BHS

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RCBH-logo-4-830x455The Barrington Hills Park District Board will hold their monthly meeting this evening in person and via Zoom at 7:00 PM. The only item of note on their agenda is a, “Truth in Taxation Ordinance,” and, of course, no further information is provided. Truth without transparency is worthless.

A copy of their agenda can be viewed here. Instructions for accessing the meeting remotely can be found here.

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Urban Architecture In Chicago

Chicago is the most corrupt metropolitan area in America for the fourth consecutive year and Illinois is the second-most corrupt state, according to a new report from the University of Illinois-Chicago. Corruption can cost Illinois taxpayers up to $550 million per year.

By Dylan Sharkey | Illinois Policy

A new report found Chicago is the nation’s most corrupt metropolitan area and Illinois is the nation’s second-most corrupt state.

Chicago led the nation with 41 corruption convictions per year, or 1,824 total, from 1976 to 2021, according to an analysis by the University of Illinois-Chicago using U.S. Justice Department data on federal public corruption convictions.

Illinois was second of the states for per-capita convictions, with 1.75 for every 10,000 residents. Louisiana was on top with 2.85 per 10,000.

Total Illinois convictions hit 2,224 from 1976 to 2021, or an average of nearly 50 per year. About 4 in 5 of those were out of the Chicago area.

From 2000 to 2018, corruption cost Illinois $550 million per year in lost economic activity and investment. Political science professor Marco Rosaire Rossi noted Illinois corruption was down slightly in 2021 compared to other years, but far from where the state should be.

“However, just because corruption is becoming less frequent does not mean it is still not shamefully prevalent, nor that its impact on the state is less pernicious in terms of tax dollars wasted and lost in public trust,” he wrote.

Read more here.

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