Schools surprise / 'I was there, you were there' / Uh, Governor …

SCHOOLS SURPRISE. New research from Stanford University concludes that, for all the challenges confronting them, Chicago Public Schools students are learning faster than those in almost every other school system in the country.

Even as enrollment shrinks, Chicago’s getting two new “classical model” schools, and three new magnet schools.
As the city’s neighborhood schools wither, so do their football teams.

‘WE SCREWED UP AND WE KNOW IT.’ After a burst of outrage—and a civil rights investigation launched by Attorney General Lisa Madigan—triggered by a racist email ad, a Champaign-based bus company has apologized.
But the U. of I. is considering kicking the company off campus.

‘I WAS THERE. YOU WERE THERE.’ On Stephen Colbert’s show last night, Access Hollywood anchor Billy Bush dismissed President Trump’s suggestion that that “pussy” audio was fake.
Developing story: Dogged by harassment accusations and poor health, Detroit Congressman John Conyers is quitting.
Even among the so-called “alt-right,” women are speaking up about harassment.

‘PEOPLE NEED TO REALLY CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY THAT THIS MIGHT BE IT.’ A U.S. attorney fired by Trump is skeptical former Trump adviser Michael Flynn’s guilty plea means “Flynn is singing like a bird” to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Trump’s biggest lender has (link updated, corrected) reportedly given Mueller the president’s personal financial info records pertaining to people affiliated with the president.
The Atlantic: A small group of billionaires last year considered paying Trump $800 million to drop out of the race.

TRUMP’S ATTACKS ON JOURNALISTS. Columbia Journalism Review’s Pete Vernon says, “We shouldn’t lose sight of the damage his words do” to reporters in other countries.
But a New York Times journalist is the latest to cash in with a Trump book.
Twitter lists the top tweeters at major news organizations.

UH, GOVERNOR … Asked last night about federal tax reform, Bruce Rauner told reporters, “The Senate hasn’t passed anything”—even though it has, and it stands to hit many Illinois voters hard.
Rauner has a Republican challenger from even further to the right.
Eleven candidates have lined up to replace Luis Gutierrez as congressman from Chicago.

ITEM CORRECTED:
GUESS WHICH ADMINISTRATION REALLY IS COMING AFTER YOUR GUNS? A USA Today review finds the FBI under Trump last year issued the largest number of requests in 10 years for Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives agents to retrieve guns from prohibited buyers.
Mexico border arrests have fallen to their lowest level in almost 50 years.
President Obama speaks in Chicago this afternoon, addressing mayors at a summit on climate change.

UNRELATED DEVELOPMENTS.
If disgraced candidate Roy Moore wins election to the Senate from Alabama and is later expelled, he’d be the first in at least 155 years.
We’re close to learning whether a giant hole in Chicago’s southwest suburbs will deliver on a four-decade plan to limit area flooding and Lake Michigan pollution.

HAVE AN ICE DAY. A new outdoor skating arena takes a bow in Wicker Park.