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PI Original
by Bob Skolnik
1:33pm
Wed Mar 19, 2014

Boykin Wins Crowded Democratic Race For Cook County Board's 1st District Seat

Fueled by more than $100,000 of his own money and the backing of Congressman Danny Davis (D-Chicago), Richard Boykin won the hotly contested race for the Cook County Board's Democratic nomination in the 1st District.  We provide a closer look at the race and Boykin's victory.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
5:41pm
Wed Feb 26, 2014

Taxi Drivers Call For A Fare Increase, Higher Wages In Chicago

Taxicab drivers — who are essential to the city’s economy, tourism and transportation — make far less than the minimum wage, according to a group of cabdrivers who took their message to City Hall on Wednesday and called on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to raise cab fares.

“The city sets all of these regulations as if they are our employer, but when it comes to what an employer would provide, they get away without having to provide any of those things, like minimum wage, like benefits, like health insurance, because they call us independent contractors,” said Melissa Callahan, leader of the advocacy group Cab Drivers for Justice. “They’re skirting a lot of their responsibilities.”

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
9:58am
Tue Dec 10, 2013

Chicagoans Deliver Coal, Candy Canes To Politicians Based On Public Education Votes (VIDEO)

A few hundred public education activists took to City Hall and the Thompson Center Monday evening to deliver their holiday list of demands as well as lumps of coal and candy canes to the offices of naughty and nice elected officials. Progress Illinois was there for the protest.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:11pm
Wed Nov 13, 2013

Chicago Aldermen Fail To Discharge TIF Surplus, Elected School Board Proposals From Rules Committee

The Chicago City Council's Progressive Reform Caucus made an effort Wednesday to bring up for a full vote two pieces of legislation that have been stuck in the Rules Committee for months, but their efforts were thwarted. Progress Illinois was at Wednesday's city council meeting and details how the attempt flatlined.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:25pm
Mon Nov 11, 2013

High Schoolers Critical Of New CPS Student Advisory Council, Say It's 'Just For Show'

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced the creation of a new Student Advisory Council last Friday. The initiative is meant to provide students the opportunity to discuss important issues with district officials.

Some Chicago student leaders called the new advisory council an important first step in opening the dialogue between students and CPS. But they also said the new advisory council is "just for show," because students wouldn't have a direct vote when it comes to deciding CPS policy.

"We do view this advisory committee as a good base step," said Ross Floyd, a junior at Jones College Prep and a Chicago Student Union (CSU) leader. "We think there's a lot of work to do, but it’s better than before. Before, there was no student voice. The more student voice in educational policy, the better that policy is going to be."

Floyd, however, went on to say that the new council seems like a "puppet show." CPS says a goal of the council is to empower students' voices in district policy decisions, but "in reality they're giving the students no power at all," he stressed.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
3:32pm
Mon Nov 4, 2013

CPS Students Dress Like Zombies, Protest The 'Death Of Public Education' (VIDEO)

Excessive testing is taking the life out of education, according to a group of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students who dressed like zombies and marched from the district’s headquarters in Chicago to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office at city hall Friday evening.

Calling themselves “the learning dead,” the students, organized by the Chicago Student Union (CSO), protested the “death of Chicago’s public education system.”

While proponents of standardized testing say it helps to close the achievement gap, roughly a dozen students claimed on Friday that high-stakes testing takes up valuable instruction time and negatively impacts student learning.

“I love to learn, but because education officials put so much emphasis on standardized testing — they use it to measure school success, measure teacher success, measure student success — teachers are forced to teach to the test and that really limits what we can do in the classroom,” said Charlie Murphy, 16, a junior at Lane Technical College Prep High School and member of the CSO.

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