WBEZ | students http://www.wbez.org/tags/students Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en School bus cameras catch drivers who pass illegally http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-28/school-bus-cameras-catch-drivers-who-pass-illegally-113544 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Highline school bus driver Rodger Fowler shows off his stop paddle – and (in the lower-right corner) the camera that captures motorists who ignore the paddle.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="attachment_95035"><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Highline school bus driver Rodger Fowler shows off his stop paddle – and (in the lower-right corner) the camera that captures motorists who ignore the paddle. (Ann Dornfield/KUOW)" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/media.wbur.org/wordpress/11/files/2015/10/1027_school-bus-624x424.jpg" style="height: 421px; width: 620px;" title="Highline school bus driver Rodger Fowler shows off his stop paddle – and the camera that captures motorists who ignore the paddle. (Ann Dornfield/KUOW)" /></p><p>If you illegally pass a school bus in the Highline District south of Seattle, you&rsquo;ll likely get a $394 ticket in the mail. The district is one of many around the country rolling out new school bus camera systems that help nab drivers who ignore &ldquo;stop&rdquo; paddles.&nbsp;Ann Dornfeld&nbsp;from<em> Here &amp;&nbsp;Now</em>&nbsp;contributor KUOW reports.</p><p><em><a href="http://kuow.org/post/smile-youre-school-bus-camera-if-you-pass-illegally" target="_blank">Read more via KUOW</a></em></p><p><em>&mdash; <a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/10/27/school-bus-traffic-cameras" target="_blank">via Here &amp; Now</a></em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 28 Oct 2015 16:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-28/school-bus-cameras-catch-drivers-who-pass-illegally-113544 The online college that's helping undocumented students http://www.wbez.org/news/online-college-thats-helping-undocumented-students-113496 <p><div id="res449988979" previewtitle="Laptop computer handing out a diploma"><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Laptop computer handing out a diploma" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/19/online-diploma2_slide-d94cec3a012f6d1de8a50673e694c98dc4b07acd-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 359px; width: 540px;" title="Laptop computer handing out a diploma. (LA Johnson/NPR)" /></div><div><div>Federal law does not prohibit undocumented students from enrolling in college, but it does something nearly as effective, banning them from receiving government aid. In recent years, though, some undocumented students have stumbled upon a little-known, non-profit, online university that doesn&#39;t charge tuition and doesn&#39;t care about students&#39; legal status.</div></div></div><p>University of the People certainly got the attention of Miguel Angel Cruz. The 27-year-old entered the U.S. illegally from Mexico a decade ago. He settled near Tampa, Fla. where he now shares a small trailer with his father. Cruz learned English and earned his GED.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/4661902832_d0e84343dc_b.jpg" style="height: 400px; width: 300px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="(flickr/Dream Activist)" />But his dream of going to college was just that, a dream, because of the high cost. Then, he started searching online.</p><p>&quot;I was Googling, not for free but for cheaper universities, and I found the <a href="http://uopeople.edu/" target="_blank">University of the People</a>,&quot; Cruz says.</p><p>He had never heard of the school but had nothing to lose, except the $50 non-refundable admission fee he paid to enroll in the school&#39;s business administration course. A similar course at the University of South Florida, near his home, would have cost close to $1,100.</p><p>Cruz is precisely the kind of student Shai Reshef says he set out to help when he founded University of the People six years ago.</p><p>&quot;We have students from 170 countries,&quot; Reshef says. &quot;We have refugees, survivors of the earthquake in Haiti, the genocide in Rwanda. But about a quarter of our U.S. students are undocumented.&quot;</p><p>Reshef, an Israeli-born entrepreneur, made millions from several for-profit, online education ventures in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East. He says the idea for creating a tuition-free, online university came to him after spending time in several underdeveloped countries where most people have little or no access to higher education. Today, University of the People has 2500 students enrolled. Half are in the U.S.</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">To our friends in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SouthAfrica?src=hash">#SouthAfrica</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/UoPeople">@UoPeople</a> is the solution! The 1st <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nonprofit?src=hash">#nonprofit</a>, tuiton-free, accredited, online university. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FeesMustFall?src=hash">#FeesMustFall</a></p>&mdash; UoPeople (@UoPeople) <a href="https://twitter.com/UoPeople/status/657171478425792512">October 22, 2015</a></blockquote><p>But what exactly are these students getting? Is this online school a realistic option for students facing so many hardships, poverty, and in the case of undocumented students, deportation? And what about the quality of the school&#39;s courses and instructors?</p><p>These were some of the questions that the Distance Education Accrediting Commission looked into during its three-year review of University of the People. In 2014, DEAC gave the school its &quot;stamp of approval.&quot;</p><p>The school has vowed to remain tuition-free, but students do pay $100 for every end-of-course exam &mdash; to help support its $1 million budget.</p><p>&quot;A four-year bachelor&#39;s degree will cost $4000 in total,&quot; Reshef says. &quot;For those who don&#39;t have the money, we offer scholarships.&quot;</p><p>Reshef says a quarter of the school&#39;s students don&#39;t pay anything at all, thanks to those scholarships, which are funded by companies including Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Intel.</p><p>The school&#39;s academic credibility has also gotten a huge boost from partnerships forged with New York University; University of California, Berkeley; Yale and Oxford.</p><p>Education experts have praised University of the People&#39;s surprisingly high retention rate of 75 percent, but what Jamie Merisotis of the Lumina Foundation says he likes most is that the school was built precisely to serve poor students living in difficult circumstances.</p><p>Merisotis, author of the book&nbsp;America Needs Talent, says many of the undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. are young and talented but have no access to a higher education.</p><p>&quot;Post-secondary education is the key to integrating them into our society and taking them out of the shadows,&quot; Merisotis says.</p><p>&quot;Even if you kick them out of the country,&quot; Reshef says, with a good education &quot;they will be much more desired wherever they go. So it&#39;s a win-win situation for everyone.&quot;</p><p>As for Miguel Angel Cruz, he says he&#39;s on-track to earn a bachelor&#39;s degree in business administration in another year or two. But he&#39;s not waiting to put what he&#39;s learned into practice. He&#39;s now the manager of the tiny trailer park where he lives.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/10/26/449279730/the-online-college-thats-helping-undocumented-students?ft=nprml&amp;f=449279730" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 26 Oct 2015 11:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/online-college-thats-helping-undocumented-students-113496 StoryCorps: Students need to 'know that they are seen' http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-students-need-know-they-are-seen-112007 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Capture_17.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>Sonia Wang&#39;s parents wanted her to become a lawyer or doctor, but instead she became a teacher.</p><p>Wang&rsquo;s parents are Korean immigrants and had a hard time accepting their daughter&#39;s decision.</p><p>This past January, Sonia Wang stopped by the StoryCorps booth with Ji Yoon Noh, a young woman she mentors.</p><p>Wang told Noh that her passion for education grew out of an experience she had when she was nine years old.</p><p><em>StoryCorps&rsquo; mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to share, record and preserve their stories. These excerpts, edited by WBEZ, present some of our favorites from the current visit, as well as from previous trips.</em></p></p> Fri, 08 May 2015 12:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-students-need-know-they-are-seen-112007 StoryCorps: Bilingual pre-school teacher describes the state of education in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-bilingual-pre-school-teacher-describes-state-education-chicago-111267 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/kksc.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>Iveth Romano teaches pre-school in Chicago and many of her students are bilingual. She came by the StoryCorps booth recently to speak with producer Katie Klocksin about the importance of supporting kids who are learning two languages.</p><p>&ldquo;Most of the parents don&rsquo;t speak English,&rdquo; Romano said. &ldquo;But most of our teachers who have a Bachelors&rsquo;, they are American, so they just speak English.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;I remember once a girl she just peed her pants and started crying,&rdquo; she continued. &ldquo;I was in another classroom but I heard the girl say that she wanted to use the bathroom, in Spanish. But [none] of the teachers understood what she said. They (didn&rsquo;t) pay attention to her and she just peed on her pants and started crying and they gave her a timeout.&rdquo;</p><p>Romano says she has a lot of examples like that. She says she sees situations like that once per week or twice a week.</p><p>Romano pushes all her students to learn English and Spanish. In her classroom, they say their ABCs in both languages.</p><p>Sometimes, though, parents are oblivious to what&rsquo;s going on - good or bad - in the classroom.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not because people are bad. Or they don&rsquo;t know how to say &lsquo;thank you.&rsquo; I think it&rsquo;s more that they&rsquo;re tired. Sometimes you don&rsquo;t really know what kind of job they have. Sometimes they have two different jobs in one day. So that [does] not make me feel bad that they don&rsquo;t say &lsquo;thank you.&rsquo; They don&rsquo;t say nothing. They just take the kid and leave. I understand. Sometimes they look really tired.&rdquo;</p><p>Teaching can be stressful, Klocksin said, but &ldquo;there&rsquo;s obviously a lot of rewards to it too. Why did you go into this?&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Cause my son is four years old,&rdquo; Romano said, &ldquo;And he used to attend a Head Start but I just moved him to a Catholic school because here in Chicago. The education in the public schools is really difficult in this moment.&rdquo;</p><p>Romano says two of the neighborhood public schools closed, so classrooms that used to have twenty kids are now thirty-five or forty kids.</p><p>Romano says her son is doing better now.</p><p>&ldquo;His behavior&rsquo;s completely different,&rdquo; Romano said. &ldquo;He looks more happy. He looks more confident.&rdquo;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/6250422&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="888px"></iframe></p></p> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 15:19:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-bilingual-pre-school-teacher-describes-state-education-chicago-111267 CPS tries composting pilot program http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-tries-composting-pilot-program-110277 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/compost.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Still not sure why you should compost your food waste? Just ask a second grader at Blaine Elementary School in Lakeview.</p><p>&ldquo;Because the other food that you throw away that you think you can&rsquo;t compost, has to go to a landfill and that&rsquo;s not good,&rdquo; says 2nd grader Chloe. &ldquo;It makes all these gases that are really bad.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;After we compost this, we take it to this big composting station (and) it will go into this special microwave and then it will turn into this rich soil so we can put it in some places in the environment,&rdquo; adds her classmate Harrison.</p><p>These second graders are pretty much right--except about the microwave part. They learned this as part of an 8-week pilot program that&rsquo;s got Blaine students collecting their lunch scraps every Friday this spring and sending them off to a commercial composter.</p><p>Partners in the program include the Chicago Community Trust, Loyola University, Seven Generations Ahead and Blaine parents. The final partner is CPS&rsquo;s office of sustainability.</p><p>This was surprising, since less than a month ago -- in response to a Freedom of Information Act request -- the district told WBEZ that it neither &ldquo;performs waste audits, nor knows of any schools that do.&rdquo;</p><p>But today, the district acknowledges that there have actually been many such assessments in the district.</p><p>Blaine did theirs before starting the pilot and, according to parent Adam Brent, found huge potential for diverting trash from the landfill. .</p><p>&ldquo;We came up with about an 88 percent diversion of total waste stream that would not go to the landfill &nbsp;if we separated out the food waste and the liquids,&rdquo; Brent explained.</p><p>These numbers match up closely with those from audits across the city that show that roughly half of all milk is discarded while 25 to 30 percent of all food on the tray. One recent Harvard study indicates that 60 to 75 percent of all vegetables served in schools also end up in the trash.</p><p>CPS says it&rsquo;s aware of the problem and encouraging schools to come up with creative solutions. Among these are dozens of on-site composting programs that have sprouted up all over the past decade.</p><p>Jen Nelson has been working on the issue for five years as Seven Generations&rsquo; Zero Waste Program Manager. She calls on-site composting program a good first step, but notes it can only really tackle fruits and vegetables.</p><p>&ldquo;But when you can look at opportunities for commercial composting you can all of the sudden get to the meat and dairy and bones and much larger volume of that food waste,&rdquo; Nelson said.</p><p>For instance, the day we visited Blaine, compost bins were full of half-eaten pizza that would&rsquo;ve otherwise ended up in the landfill. &nbsp;</p><p>Still, the 45 pounds of scraps that Blaine collects each week represent a drop in the bucket. The project&rsquo;s primary goal is to figure out how to expand commercial school composting in Illinois, a state where it&rsquo;s still much cheaper to send scraps to the landfill.</p><p>But if Nelson has her way, that won&rsquo;t be the case for long. She serves on the Illinois Food Scrap Coalition aimed at making composting as attractive in Illinois as it is in states like California. And she says that getting groups like CPS on board, could be key.</p><p>&ldquo;I spoke to a gentleman who owns a compost facility out of state and his comment to me was &lsquo;wow, if Chicago Public Schools were doing commercial composting I would site a facility near Chicago as quickly as I could because it would be worth it. I could make money from that&rsquo;.&rdquo;</p><p>If and when all of the pieces fall into place, Nelson estimates that the district could divert more than 13,000 tons of its CPS cafeteria waste from the landfill each year. &nbsp;</p><p>But the physical matter of waste reduction is just part of the story. This spring, Nelson trained dozens of teachers in a new &ldquo;zero waste&rdquo; curriculum (in alignment with Common Core) that will roll out to CPS classrooms in the fall.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve been having a lot of fun training teachers and giving them really cool hands-on activities like making a model landfill and model compost in a two liter bottle,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;The students can build it and observe the differences between the two systems and see why things can biodegrade in one and not in the other. It&rsquo;s an exciting opportunity to help teachers really bring it into the classroom.&rdquo;</p><p>Finally, Nelson says an even broader goal is to plant the seeds for a new healthy crop of what she calls &ldquo;zero waste ambassadors.&rdquo;</p><p>And from the words of the precocious second graders at Blaine, it sounds like this crop is well on its way to taking root.</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at</em><a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng">&nbsp;<em>@monicaeng</em></a>&nbsp;<em>or write to her at&nbsp;<a href="mailto:meng@wbez.org">meng@wbez.org</a></em></p></p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 10:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-tries-composting-pilot-program-110277 The movie that brought Naperville face to face with its teens' drug use http://www.wbez.org/news/movie-brought-naperville-face-face-its-teens-drug-use-109332 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Jeff%20Cagle.1_0.jpg" title="Kelly McCutcheon and Jack Kapson (Jeff Cagle)" /></div></div><p>During the 2011-2012 school year, three students from one public high school in west suburban Naperville died from drugs. Kelly McCutcheon was a senior at Neuqua Valley High School at the time, and she started asking her classmates questions about their drug use. The project turned into a documentary that stunned the well-to-do, family-focused community.</p><p>Kelly had enlisted a high school junior, Jack Kapson, &nbsp;to help with sound recording, and together they videotaped more than 20 students talking about their experiences using heroin and other drugs.</p><p>Their project was filmed starkly and informally in backyards and bedrooms and cars. The filmmakers kept the footage away from parents, teachers and police. Kelly and Jack declined to be part of this story, but they gave me permission to use any part of their movie and quote from students they interviewed.</p><p><strong>Library agrees to host Naperville&rsquo;s first look&nbsp;</strong></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/95L 400.jpg" style="float: right;" title="Naperville's 95th Street Library hosted the screening (Bill Healy)" /></div><p>Kelly and Jack asked Naperville&rsquo;s 95th Street Public Library to host the first screening of the film, which they called, &ldquo;Neuqua on Drugs.&quot;</p><p>John Spears directed all of Naperville&rsquo;s public libraries at the time. &ldquo;The filmmakers were working on it up till the very end,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;And that was one thing we were nervous about, because we hadn&rsquo;t seen it either. Given all the potential legal ramifications of showing this, we were really putting a lot of trust in two high school students.&rdquo;</p><p>Library officials agreed to two showings on Wednesday evening, May 30, 2012. Advertising went out, and soon after, irate parents started calling..</p><p>Spears, the library director, remembers one phone call in particular. He received it at his desk the day before the scheduled screening. It was a parent on the other end, telling Spears, &ldquo;You cannot show this movie. It&rsquo;s going to be the destruction of my&hellip;. it&rsquo;s just&hellip;. We will sue.&rdquo;</p><p>The library decided to go forward anyway.</p><p><strong>The screening</strong></p><p>The evening of the first screening, adults and teenagers filed into the library auditorium and people waited outside for the second showing.</p><p>&ldquo;There were many, many glitches that night,&rdquo; said Denise Crosby, a longtime columnist with the Sun-Times suburban papers, including the Naperville Sun. &ldquo;There were people gathered outside waiting for the next session and there were people inside for this session and there was a long delay. But [the audience was] there for the long haul&hellip;. They wanted to see it.&rdquo;</p><p>Among the hundreds of people who came to the library that night were the principal from Neuqua Valley High School, a counselor from a nearby middle school, and a reporter from the local television station. Managers from Naperville&rsquo;s other libraries came in to deal with the overflow crowd.</p><p>The young filmmakers had altered the &nbsp;voices of some speakers they videotaped, &nbsp;and a few kids in the film tried to mask their faces. But most participants were fully visible. And, according to accounts from people who were there, &nbsp;many of the participants were seated in the audience.</p><p>&ldquo;When it finally did get started,&rdquo; Denise Crosby said, &ldquo;there wasn&rsquo;t one person that was not glued to that documentary. There wasn&rsquo;t sound being made at all.&rdquo;</p><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Jeff Cagle.5_0.jpg" style="float: left;" title="Jack Kapson waits for video to render during an hour-long delay before the first screening (Jeff Cagle)" /></div></div></div><p><strong>The kind of thing parents heard</strong></p><p>&ldquo;The first time I tried heroin... I&rsquo;d probably say sometime during my sophomore year.&rdquo;</p><div>&ldquo;They were like snorting it and I snorted like some Adderall and they were like if you can snort Adderall you can snort this. It&rsquo;s basically like the same thing&hellip;. You&rsquo;re trying to be like happy and just like not worry about anything but you are like stressing about all these little things, and when you get high that just goes away so you can just like chill.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s gives you a really strange comfortable feeling. A feeling that everything around you is okay. It&rsquo;s kind of like a false sense of security.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Denise Crosby, the newspaper columnist, &nbsp;says that for the two kids who made the film, &nbsp;&ldquo;This really was them screaming at the community: Look. Stop. Putting your head in the sand.&rdquo;</div><div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Jeff Cagle.4_0.jpg" style="float: right;" title="(Jeff Cagle)" /></div></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>One mother&rsquo;s experience</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>For another woman in the audience that night, the film was particularly painful.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Amy Miller&rsquo;s daughter Megan had died four months earlier from heroin. Megan was eighteen and a student at Neuqua when she died. The filmmakers had contacted Amy Miller beforehand to let her know that some of their interviews included stories about Megan.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>And still, Miller says she wasn&rsquo;t prepared for what happened when a girl in the film talked about going to see &ldquo;Alice in Wonderland:&rdquo;&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" jeff="" neuqua="" on="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/2_2_0.jpg" style="float: left;" title="Amy Miller watches the first showing of 'Neuqua on Drugs'." /></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Megan was grounded at the time &ndash; but she convinced her mom to let us go if her mom came too. And so her mom sat on the other side of the movie theater and we were just tripping balls. Like we were sweating so bad and Megan had drawn a giant heart over her eye with eyeliner &lsquo;cause she was the Queen of Hearts and she drew stripes on my face because she was the Cheshire Cat.&rdquo;</div><div>&ldquo;I had no idea,&rdquo; Amy Miller told me when I talked with her recently. &nbsp;&ldquo;And here they were rows behind me in the theater and they took acid to watch the movie. And this is the first I&rsquo;m hearing about this, sitting in the library among hundreds of people, and the girl was in the row behind me and she leaned forward and apologized to me&hellip;. And that was pretty tough, you know? That was really hard. I was angry. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. It was like my daughter, I didn&rsquo;t know her.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Library head John Spears said that feeling of disconnect was common among adults the evening of the screening, and for a long time. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s the one thing &nbsp;I heard over and over and over from everyone is: How could this have been happening and we didn&rsquo;t even know it?&rdquo; Underneath their confusion, he says, was shock. There was a sentiment among some people in Naperville that &ldquo;these kinds of things don&rsquo;t happen here.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>I spoke to dozens of people in Naperville and I asked everyone, &ldquo;Did this harsh film make a difference?&rdquo;</div><div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Dvdsss.jpg" style="float: right;" title="The shelf life of the documentary remains to be seen (Bill Healy)" /></div></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The high school principal pointed to a student-led discussion program, which he says was being created at the same time students were making the documentary. Neuqua&rsquo;s also part of an innovative pilot program specific to heroin--it&rsquo;s a project of &nbsp;the Robert Crown Center for Health Education. That program is in two middle schools that feed into Neuqua, too.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>A parent group recently got money from the city to create parent conversation circles.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Naperville police track where users live and sometimes do surveillance on kids buying drugs on Chicago&rsquo;s West Side.</div><div>Early on in my reporting, Jack Kapson - the young filmmaker who helped create &ldquo;Neuqua on Drugs&rdquo; - said heroin was still a problem in Naperville, though he thought it had gone back underground since the film was released.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In 2013 so far, &nbsp;Naperville has had three confirmed heroin deaths&mdash;down from six in 2011. Police stress, however, that the number of overdoses means kids are still using as much as they did in recent years.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Columnist Denise Crosby says it&rsquo;s a mistake to think &ldquo;Neuqua on Drugs&rdquo; was one high school&rsquo;s story, or even Naperville&rsquo;s story. &ldquo;People started looking at this as &ldquo;Oh, this is Neuqua Valley on drugs. So that&rsquo;s Neuqua&rsquo;s problem.&rdquo; And that&rsquo;s just simply &ndash; again I cannot reiterate that enough &ndash; that is simply not the case. Yeah, Neuqua was the epicenter for this. But this issue is in all of our high schools. It&rsquo;s everywhere. In all of our communities.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The film, she says, should have been titled, &ldquo;Your High School on Drugs.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Bill Healy is an independent producer. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/chicagoan">@chicagoan</a> and on <a href="http://billhealymedia.com">his website</a>.</em></div></p> Tue, 10 Dec 2013 02:33:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/movie-brought-naperville-face-face-its-teens-drug-use-109332 Daley Academy students illustrate effects of gun violence http://www.wbez.org/news/daley-academy-students-illustrate-effects-gun-violence-109013 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Screen Shot 2013-10-25 at 5.29.18 PM.png" alt="" /><p><p>On September 19th, 2013, 13 people were wounded in a shooting at Cornell Square Park in Chicago&#39;s Back of the Yards neighborhood. Directly across from that park is Richard J. Daley Elementary Academy &mdash; a school that&#39;s been affected by gun violence not just in the park, but all over the neighborhood.</p><p>This week, Daley Academy hosted a special art show in partnership with the Illinois Coalition against Handgun Violence. WBEZ Reporter Lauren Chooljian visited the one-day-only exhibit, where a group of 25 seventh graders stood proudly behind their works, done in marker and ink, and all inspired by gun violence.</p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/lchooljian-0">Lauren Chooljian</a> is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a>.</p></p> Fri, 25 Oct 2013 17:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/daley-academy-students-illustrate-effects-gun-violence-109013 Illinois House approves bill on comprehensive sex education http://www.wbez.org/blogs/nico-lang/2013-04/illinois-house-approves-bill-comprehensive-sex-education-106716 <p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: center;"><br /><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/62307h6.jpg" style="width: 510px; height: 290px;" title="(Courtesy of ILHouse.com)" /></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Illinois students: Get ready for more banana condom demonstrations.</p><p dir="ltr">On Wednesday, the Illinois House passed legislation on comprehensive sexual education, a bill supported by the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Illinois Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.</p><p dir="ltr">Sponsored by Rep. Camille Lilly, the bill seeks to reform the state of public education in Illinois, where 2008 statistics show that less than two-thirds of students receive comprehensive sex ed&nbsp;instruction. For advocates, &ldquo;comprehensive&rdquo; education covers four base topics: abstinence education, contraception, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections.</p><p dir="ltr">However, only 42 percent of schools provided instruction on how to obtain and use contraceptives, and less than a third of faculty members have received any kind of formal training on the subject. This leads to a culture where we not only don&rsquo;t talk about sex; we don&rsquo;t even know how to talk about it.</p><p dir="ltr">The proposed legislation, HB 2675, tackles this issue by creating curriculum standards for middle and high school students, providing them with information and resources to prevent STIs and unintended pregancies. The bill&rsquo;s language allows local districts to choose the sexual education curricula that&rsquo;s right for their schools and community and gives parents the option to unenroll their child from any courses they deem objectionable.</p><p dir="ltr">With this legislation, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago hopes to improve our state of sexual education. In a press release Wednesday, government relations director Ramon Gardenhire said, &ldquo;The General Assembly moved closer to providing students in Illinois access to information to make responsible decisions about their sexual health.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The vote passed in the General Assembly of the Illinois House with 66 votes.</p><p dir="ltr">Carole Brite of Planned Parenthood believes this broad support is a great sign of the bill&rsquo;s health. Brite stated,</p><blockquote><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Today we are pleased that...the Illinois House voted to ensure that teens in Illinois have access to medically accurate, age appropriate, comprehensive sex education. This bill is a huge step forward in advancing the health and safety of young people in Illinois&mdash;while they are teenagers and throughout their adult lives&mdash;and we look forward to thoughtful consideration by the Illinois Senate.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">In her statement, Brite noted the importance of educating young students on sexual health, rather than providing abstinence-only education, arguing that sexual health leads to healthy choices. Brite said, &ldquo;Studies show that sex education that covers contraception and disease prevention results in teens who are more likely to delay sexual activity and use protection when sexual activity does occur.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Studies from the American Pediatric Association support Brite&rsquo;s claim. The APA has historically <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/id/8470845/ns/health-childrens_health/t/doctors-denounce-abstinence-only-education/#.UXAX71G7HD0">slammed</a> abstinence-only education, alleging that it leads to a higher risk of teen pregnancy and contraction of STIs. This is especially important at a time when the Center for Disease Control <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6102a1.htm?s_cid=mm6102a1_e">estimates</a> that 50% of American teenagers are sexually active. According to CDC, the United States accounts for the highest teen pregnancy rate among developed nations, leading to lower academic and economic achievement. Teen mothers are more likely to drop out of school and to have children who become teen mothers themselves.</p><p dir="ltr">According to Rep. Lilly, Illinois needs to take action to break these patterns, and the bill&rsquo;s passage is a great step forward for Illinois&rsquo; schools. Rep. Lilly said, &ldquo;As the discussion on the House floor made clear, it was time for us to modernize the basic curricula in Illinois for teaching sexual health education. If this measure becomes law, public school curricula will provide young people with tools and information necessary to grow and mature in a safe and healthy fashion.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Now that the bill has passed the House, comprehensive sexual education heads to the Illinois Senate, where Sen. Heather Steans plans to back it. The Senate passed a similar measure in 2011 that was never voted on by the House, and advocates are hopeful the measure will be ratified.</p><p dir="ltr">Khadine Bennett, the legislative council for the Illinois ACLU, believes the time is now for sexual education reform. Bennett said, &ldquo;We urge the Senate to act as soon as possible to move this important measure forward.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Nico Lang writes about LGBTQ issues in Chicago. You can follow Nico on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/nicorlang">Facebook</a>, <a href="http://www.twitter.com/nico_lang">Twitter</a> or <a href="http://achatwithnicolang.tumblr.com">Tumblr</a>.</p></p> Thu, 18 Apr 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/nico-lang/2013-04/illinois-house-approves-bill-comprehensive-sex-education-106716 Crowds descend on downtown Chicago to protest school closings, 127 ticketed http://www.wbez.org/news/crowds-descend-downtown-chicago-protest-school-closings-127-ticketed-106311 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/8596861162_a734e7f296_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><object height="338" width="601"><param name="flashvars" value="offsite=true&amp;lang=en-us&amp;page_show_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157633103902875%2Fshow%2F&amp;page_show_back_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157633103902875%2F&amp;set_id=72157633103902875&amp;jump_to=" /><param name="movie" value="http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=124984" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><embed allowfullscreen="true" flashvars="offsite=true&amp;lang=en-us&amp;page_show_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157633103902875%2Fshow%2F&amp;page_show_back_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157633103902875%2F&amp;set_id=72157633103902875&amp;jump_to=" height="338" src="http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=124984" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="601"></embed></object></p><p>More than 100 people were cleared away by police at a Wednesday rally protesting Chicago Public Schools&#39;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-proposes-closing-53-elementary-schools-firing-staff-another-6-106202">proposal to close 54 schools</a>.</p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/civil-disobedience-revs-against-school-closings-106353" target="_blank">A group including teacher union officials, parents, janitors, lunch ladies and ministers sat down in front of City Hall. </a>Police asked each individual to leave. When they refused, police led them away.</p><p>The Chicago Police Department says it ticketed 127 people. At the rally, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis called the closings a &quot;land grab and a power grab,&quot; and said they were part of an attempt to privatize the school system. For more on the rally, see WBEZ coverage <a href="http://www.wbez.org/civil-disobedience-revs-against-school-closings-106353" target="_blank">here</a>.</p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel Wednesday stood by the district&#39;s decision to close schools, saying <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-addresses-race-chicago-school-closure-plan-106325" target="_blank">the status quo is not working</a>.</p><p>Prior to the protest, the CTU had been training parents, teachers and community organizations in civil disobedience and had said it planned for 150 people to be arrested . &nbsp;A <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/441102002634744/">Facebook </a>announcement for the rally warned, &ldquo;They want to shut down our schools, we&rsquo;ll shut down the city.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Chicago&rsquo;s pubic schools are out for spring break this week, leaving students and teachers free to join in the rush-hour rally, organized by the teachers union and a coalition of other unions and community groups.&nbsp; Chicago Public Schools erected barricades Monday outside its headquarters in preparation. &nbsp;A spokeswoman said that&rsquo;s common practice in situations where the district gets advance word of a protest.</p><p dir="ltr">Chicago Public Schools is also <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/leaked-memo-tells-principals-keep-eye-school-closings-protesters-106301">preparing principals for acts of civil disobedience</a> at their schools, though not necessarily today. A memo sent to principals at closing schools lists lockdowns, walk-outs, sit-ins and &ldquo;Occupy&rdquo; actions as possibilities. It outlines &ldquo;overall guidelines for the prevention of civil disobedience&rdquo; and suggests principals &ldquo;be approachable and supportive to feelings of unrest, anxiety, or dissatisfaction.&rdquo; It also instructs principals to &ldquo;observe and report all information regarding possible protestors, locations, dates and times,&rdquo; and to note which community organizations or news organizations are present.</p><p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-proposes-closing-53-elementary-schools-firing-staff-another-6-106202">In addition to closing 53 elementary schools</a> and one small high school, the district wants to completely re-staff six additional elementary schools. It is also proposing 23 schools share 11 buildings beginning next fall; some of those are new schools that will just be opening.</p><p dir="ltr">The district says closing the 54 schools will offer students a better education because it will allow scarce resources to be spread across fewer schools. Many of the schools slated for closure have fewer than 300 students. For the first time in more than a decade of school closings, CPS is saying it will put significant money into receiving schools, promising students air conditioning, libraries with new books, &ldquo;learning gardens&rdquo; and iPads, along with social workers and counselors to help students adjust.</p><p dir="ltr">The teachers union has said it wants no schools closed, and parents at the individual schools slated for consolidation have brought up their own concerns, from longer walks to school in winter weather to fear for their children crossing into rival gang territory.</p><p dir="ltr">Earlier this month in Philadelphia, 19 activists were arrested at a meeting where the Philadelphia School Reform Commission voted to close 23 schools; the head of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, was among those arrested. The Chicago Teachers Union says Weingarten, who appeared at rallies here during the teachers strike in September, is not expected to be in Chicago today.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Linda Lutton is an education reporter for WBEZ. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/wbezeducation">@WBEZeducation</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 27 Mar 2013 11:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/crowds-descend-downtown-chicago-protest-school-closings-127-ticketed-106311 Why do college students cheat? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-09/why-do-college-students-cheat-102466 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP612514602326.jpg" title="A cheating investigation at Harvard University calls us to ask why so many students cheat. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)" /></div><p>Harvard University found itself in the news thisweek when <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/sports/ncaabasketball/harvard-cheating-scandal-revives-debate-over-athletics.html?pagewanted=all">125 undergraduates, many of them varsity athletes, were accused of cheating on a take-home exam</a>. But the accused at Harvard are hardly alone: Donald McCabe of Rutgers University, who has been monitoring student cheating since 1990, reported in an article in <em>Time</em>&nbsp;Magazine that in a 2010-2011 survey, 62 percent of undergraduates admitted to cheating on exams or term papers.</p><p>I&rsquo;ve been teaching at the university level for over 40 years and I believe this number &mdash;&nbsp;62 percent of the students cheat or plagiarize &mdash;&nbsp;is somewhat of an exaggeration, and has to be put into context. I know from my years in the classroom that students will and do cheat. But, and this is an important but, it&rsquo;s not the case that 62 percent of all students are cheating all the time. The disappointing fact is that lots of students cut a few corners at least one, sought out inappropriate help, got someone to finish an assignment for them, paraphrased more than is usually allowed or faked a footnote or two. But my experience does not lead me to believe that the majority of students are cheating all the time. Teachers don&#39;t have to be constantly on guard or in an adversarial relationship with their students.</p><p>The &ldquo;exact number&rdquo; of students who cheat is less interesting to me than knowing<em> why</em> students cheat. On one level students cheat for all sorts of pedestrian reasons: not being properly prepared, issues of time management, the raw fear of failure. But there are darker and more alarming reasons as well.</p><p>Unfortunately, a lot of students cheat because they don&rsquo;t take college seriously. They feel that they are there because they have to be &mdash;&nbsp;to get a job and get on with their lives. Too many college students are totally bored with the academic part of the university experience. And, because they are bored, as Donald McCabe suggests, they feel that &ldquo;they can make their own rules.&rdquo; College for too many students is about social contacts, future business contacts or just plain fun, before they are slowed down by the responsibilities of adult life. Consequently, if they are bored and their interests really lie elsewhere, cheating makes sense.</p><p>I think all universities and colleges need to address this issue. When I was an undergraduate, (just after Guttenberg developed moveable type) cheating of any kind meant you were automatically dismissed from the university, end of issue. I know it sounds Draconian, and it is &mdash; I don&rsquo;t think it we should reinitiate this kind of policy. But I do know we have to do something. We need to change the college culture and, perhaps the place to start is to remind our students that no matter how much money their family has, college is a privilege and not an entitlement. Nor should college simply be seen as a job fair. It&rsquo;s about character formation. And do they really want to cheat on that?</p><p><em>Al Gini is a Professor of Business Ethics and Chairman of the Management Department in the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago.</em></p></p> Thu, 20 Sep 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-09/why-do-college-students-cheat-102466