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Mom Susan Taylor walks with her daughter, Sophie 16, Thursday, April 16, 2015, as they look over all the art work during the High School Art Invitational held at the Quad-City Arts Gallery in Rock Island.

Thumbs up to Illinois lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner for a meaningful step toward attacking the state's teacher shortage.

Rauner this month signed legislation easing licensing requirements for teachers certified in other states.

Far too many districts, especially in rural areas, struggle to fill vacancies. This should help by drastically increasing the candidate pool. 

Thumbs down to Rock Island County Board Chairman Kenneth “Moose” Maranda, for keeping the public in the dark about the board's search for a new administrator.

Maranda declined to release how many candidates for the key post were interviewed in recent days. His lack of transparency isn't a good sign.

While Maranda's decision to not release names right now might be reasonable, that will all change when the finalists are selected.

There's a way this type of process for a public post is conducted. The public deserves to know the names of the top three finalists and to see their resumes. Maranda could go one further and ask each finalist to address the public of his or her vision for the county.

So far, Maranda's not given any reason to believe that he intends to run an open, transparent selection process for a key public job. 

Thumbs up to winners of this year's High School Art Invitational.

The work of hundreds of budding artist was recognized earlier this month during the 41st annual event, hosted by Quad-City Arts.

With all the talk about high-tech jobs and transforming education into worker mills, the arts tend to get short shrift these days.

And yet, it's the arts — and the humanities more generally — that define a society's identity. Such a role is truly priceless. 

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