Thumbs-down: To too much trash. In 2017, other communities shipped so much waste to the DeKalb County landfill that Waste Management, which operates the landfill, had to send some of it even farther west to a landfill in Whiteside County. Although county government collects revenue by charging “tipping fees” at the landfill south of Interstate 88 near Cortland, most of the waste does not come from our community. The county is counting on the revenue, but the idea that there’s so much waste being shipped here that it can’t be accommodated is alarming. Perhaps if more people had to live near their own refuse, they would be more judicious about what they throw away. As it stands, Waste Management officials estimate the local landfill has about 40 years of life in it – but it would be OK with us if there was a little less trash for them to bury.
Thumbs-down: To President Donald Trump. It defies belief that someone who repeatedly dodged the military draft during the Vietnam War would suggest that teachers should arm themselves and be responsible for protecting their classrooms against deranged gunmen armed with assault weapons. The president’s hypocrisy might be considered ironic, were it not so pathetic and dangerous.
Thumbs-up: To a good showing at the state wrestling meet. Fabian Lopez, a sophomore at DeKalb High School, won the Class 3A wrestling state championship in the 126-pound division with a 7-2 decision at the IHSA individual wrestling state meet Feb. 18 in Champaign. Lopez improved on his runner-up finish in the 120-pound division as a freshman, and said the experience of winning the title was surreal. Lopez’s teammate, Blah Dahnweih, finished third in the 195-pound division, and Sycamore’s Joey Beaudoin was third at 285 pounds. Congratulations to all for finishing the season on winning notes and representing their schools well.
Thumbs-up: To the Illinois State Board of Education for starting the process to redesign the standardized Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test. While some local school districts have said there still are unknowns at this point about what the test would include, we think ISBE’s goals to improve the test are worth pursuing. ISBE’s hope for the new test, which is given to students in third through eighth grade, is to return results faster, include native language options and eventually to lead to a computer-adaptive test structure. All of these changes would be positive for students and teachers. Teachers should be able to use test results to better understand their students’ learning progress and, thus, help shape curriculum. We hope the new test can deliver.