Illinois Unemployment vs. The Media

Good News!!

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Unemployment dropped to 9.8 percent in Illinois in December, state officials said Friday, a second straight monthly decrease that capped a year in which the jobless rate fell almost a full percentage point from 2010.

via Chicago Tribune.

Or, maybe not:

The unemployment rate in the Chicago area rose to 10.2 percent in December from 9.3 percent a year ago, according to seasonally adjusted figures released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

via Chicago Tribune.

Hummm…  So, I can’t tell if this is good news or bad news.  So I did some searching and found a cool link at which led me to a supercool Google tool were one can graph public data.

The unemployment rate for the last 20 years of several mid-western states:

Then check out the same graph for the last 5 years:

Wisconsin and Michigan appear to be heading in the right direction.  Illinois… not so much.

Worst Schools Ever

Six of every 10 Illinois public schools failed to meet federal test targets this year and risk federal sanctions as a result, according to information released Thursday by the Illinois State Board of Education.

High schools fared the worst.

Statewide, 656 of the 666 public high schools fell short of the proficiency standard on math and reading tests that students take every spring. Only eight high schools where students take the exam in 11th grade met federal standards. Two more high schools made it based on participation and student performance on other state exams.

via The Chicago Tribune.

I guess this is why the teacher’s union doesn’t want merit pay for teachers.  It appears most are failing miserably.

I’ve recently had a fairly heated email exchange with a family member, and former public school teacher, about the standard by which teachers should be measured.  Of course, the teachers’ union’s position is that it is completely unfair to measure teacher performance at all.  This is at the root of our problem.


If we keep going down the current path and Illinois will become a wasteland.

But if we make teachers AND PARENTS responsible for the education of their students and things will improve.  I’ve written up a pretty basic plan that I will share with everyone one say soon.