Pencils down / ‘I’m cold. I’m tired. And I’m worried’ / ‘Stupid son of a …’

Pencils down. In a concession to the 21st century, the College Board—facing growing irrelevancy in the admissions process—will let U.S. students take the SAT exam on computers beginning in 2024, but they’ll still have to go to a monitored location.
The board says the change will make cheating harder because each student will get a unique set of questions.

‘Our schools are not OK.’ A Chicago Public Schools principal writes in the Sun-Times: “We knew this year would be hard, but we didn’t know it would be this tough.”
The district’s losing its top education and health leaders.
A civil war’s shaping up within the teachers union.
Gov. Pritzker’s rejecting a bill that would have required paid leaves for school district and college workers affected by COVID, but he promises similar perks—just for vaccinated staff.
Tribune columnist Rex Huppke sarcastically channels Chicago schools’ discredited COVID-19 dashboard: “It’s possible we made a small change to the way we report the COVID-19 numbers because we strongly believe lower numbers make us look better. And in our defense, we did it very quietly and really didn’t think anyone would notice.”

‘The year of the thought police.’ Popular Information updates Republicans’ nationwide push to limit what teachers can say in their classrooms.
A Florida school district canceled a college professor’s civil rights presentation to teachers—citing concerns over “critical race theory,” even though that wasn’t his topic.
Telling Hinsdale’s The Doings newspaper, “I felt violated,” an anti-racism consultant has revoked a proposal to train Hinsdale High School District faculty after residents began sending her hate messages.

Red alert. The CTA’s begun demolishing century-old Red and Purple Line tracks between Belmont and Cornelia, promising speed improvements ahead.
CTA labor leaders have so far been silent in response to a request that their members shut down the city’s transit system for 16 days to protest ex-Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke’s early release from prison for the 16-shot murder of Laquan McDonald in 2014.

‘I’m cold. I’m tired. And I’m worried.’ Patch’s Mark Konkol wrestles with pandemic depression, with a survey asking how you’re doing.
On the upside, Illinois reports fewer people hospitalized with the coronavirus than at any time since Christmas Day.
Also: Unvaccinated ex-VP candidate Sarah Palin has it—again.

Who should shovel Chicago’s sidewalks? A push is on to have the city do it—as others do.
Need help? My Block My Hood My City is connecting volunteer shovelers with those in need.
Tonight could bring Chicago’s lowest temperatures of this winter so far.
Chicago seen from space sure looks cold.

‘Stupid son of a …’ President Biden’s apologized to a Fox News reporter for a remark caught on an open mic.
Mocking Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for contending that Holocaust victim Anne Frank was better off hiding in an attic than facing today’s vaccine mandates, The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah wryly observes, “No one ever talks about how good Anne Frank had it: Free room and board, all the time in the world to write. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.”
An AP investigation last month detailed how Kennedy has fixated on the belief that vaccines are not safe.

Newsletter news. One of Chicago Public Square’s fellow pioneers in the independent newsletter biz, Kevin Kaduk of the sports-centric Midway Minute, has “accepted a full-time position with a larger media outlet—and I’m bringing Midway Minute along for the ride.”
Minute and Square are both contenders for Best Email Newsletter in the Chicago Reader’s Best of Chicago poll. So … tough call?

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