WBEZ | education http://www.wbez.org/tags/education Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Charter supporters rally against bills in Illinois legislature http://www.wbez.org/news/charter-supporters-rally-against-bills-illinois-legislature-109990 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/IMG_3555.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Hundreds of Chicago charter school parents, students and alums rallied in Springfield Tuesday to oppose legislation they say will hurt charter schools.</p><p>The group started its day with a rally outside U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, with more than 20 tour buses lined up to take them to the capitol. Supporters wore yellow scarves and carried printed signs that read &ldquo;I choose charter.&rdquo;</p><p>Illinois Network of Charter Schools President Andrew Broy addressed parents and others before they departed to join up with supporters from other Illinois communities.</p><p>&ldquo;This is a statewide movement,&rdquo; Broy told the group. &ldquo;We face threats in Springfield that we&rsquo;ve never faced before. There are no fewer than twelve different bills in Springfield designed to limit your right to choose the best school for your student. And we&rsquo;re not going to let that happen.&rdquo;</p><p>Charter advocates planned to pack the capitol rotunda. They said they want state lawmakers to see the faces of charter parents and students, students they say would be hurt if those dozen pending bills are passed into law.</p><p>Some of the key bills being considered:</p><p>-SB2627/HB3754 would get rid of a charter school appeals commission that can approve charter schools even if&nbsp; the local school board denies them.</p><p>-SB3303 would prohibit charters from opening in the same zip code as a&nbsp; closed traditional school.</p><p>-HB4655/SB3004 would force charters to follow&nbsp; the same discipline policies that traditional schools follow.</p><p>-SB3030/HB6005 would forbid charter schools from marketing, prohibit charters from subcontracting with Educational Management Organizations and Charter Management Organizations to operate schools and create a compensation cap for school CEOs.</p><p>A number of the bills were introduced by suburban lawmakers. Their interest in charters was piqued last year when a for-profit company, K12, Inc., proposed opening virtual charter schools in more than a dozen suburban school districts. All the districts&nbsp; rejected the plan. As state law is currently written, the Illinois State Charter Commission could overrule those local districts.</p><p>That happened last year when the charter provider that operates Chicago Math and Science Academy tried to open up two new schools in the city. The school district denied the provider&rsquo;s request to expand, but when the organization appealed, the commission gave the go ahead.<br /><br />Charter advocates say a neutral committee needs to examine the merits of charter proposals, because school boards often have a disincentive&mdash;even if district schools are weak&mdash;to approve charters.<br /><br />Many students and parents at the morning Chicago rally said they were there to support individual schools.&nbsp;</p><p>Nahum Alcantar said he supports charter schools because he thinks his charter school has given him a better education than a public school could have. Alcantar, a senior at Chicago Math and Science Academy, went to Kilmer Elementary, a CPS neighborhood school, before enrolling at the charter.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been to a charter school and I&rsquo;ve been to a public school and based on my experience &hellip; charter schools can ... provide the same amount of education that public schools can,&rdquo; Alcantar said. &ldquo;From the schools that I went (to) and compared to the charter school that I go (to)&nbsp; now I&rsquo;ve gotten a really better education.&rdquo;</p><p>Many also said they believe their charter schools are underfunded relative to traditional Chicago Public Schools.&nbsp; But the school district says charters and other schools get exactly equal funding.<br /><br />Although it has been a complaint from charter opponents, many rallying parents said they see no connection between charter schools opening and traditional schools closing</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re not making that school worse, we&rsquo;re not making it a bad school. If they can&rsquo;t get the grades or what they need then they should close,&rdquo; said charter parent Amber Mandley. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not our (fault) it&rsquo;s happening, just because we want to keep our schools running doesn&rsquo;t mean we&rsquo;re trying to close CPS schools.&rdquo;</p><p>Ebony Edwards-Carr, who like Mandley has children at the Chicago International Charter School in Bucktown, said the day &ldquo;is about uniting&rdquo; parents, charter school or otherwise.<br />&nbsp;<br />The Chicago Teachers Union supports many of the bills on the table.</p><p>Its membership is threatened by charter school expansion; as charters expand and traditional schools close, Chicago Teachers Union&rsquo;s membership is dwindling. Charter teachers are not allowed to be represented by the CTU.<br /><br />Stacy Davis Gates, CTU&rsquo;s political director, said suburban districts are looking at Chicago as&nbsp; a &ldquo;cautionary tale&rdquo; where &ldquo;neighborhood schools have been chased out by charters.&rdquo; Gates said the state needs to &ldquo;close some of these loopholes&rdquo;&nbsp; in state charter law.</p><p>She said the bills being considered will bring more transparency and accountability to charter schools.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Patrick Smith is a WBEZ producer and reporter. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/pksmid">@pksmid</a>. Linda Lutton is WBEZ&rsquo;s education reporter, follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZeducation">@WBEZeducation</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 15:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/charter-supporters-rally-against-bills-illinois-legislature-109990 CPS questions students—without parent consent—in ongoing investigation of their teachers http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-questions-students%E2%80%94without-parent-consent%E2%80%94-ongoing-investigation-their-teachers-109897 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/IMG_3486web.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Parents at a Chicago elementary school are irate after their children were questioned at school Thursday by CPS officials investigating their teachers.</p><p>The district is looking into potential &quot;teacher misconduct&quot; around recent boycotts of the Illinois Standards Achievement Test.</p><p>Parents at Drummond Montessori in Chicago&rsquo;s Bucktown neighborhood say they found out through parent e-mails, texts and Facebook messages that Chicago Public Schools Law Department officials were &ldquo;interrogating&rdquo; their children at school. Parents say they had no knowledge the interviews were going to take place, and did not give any prior consent.</p><p>CPS spokesman Joel Hood acknowledged that investigators from the district&rsquo;s law department questioned students &ldquo;about how their teachers had conducted themselves during ISAT testing.&rdquo;</p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/education/teachers-2nd-school-boycott-isat-109797" target="_blank">Drummond is one</a> of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/test-protest-chicago-teachers-say-theyll-refuse-give-isat-109772" target="_blank">two schools</a> where teachers declared publicly that some of them would refuse to administer the ISAT, part of a broader protest against high-stakes standardized testing in schools.&nbsp;</p><p>Activists say more than 125 Drummond students opted out of the exam. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;We went there specifically to talk to kids who had chosen to opt out of the ISAT,&rdquo; says Hood, who said investigators asked kids &ldquo;whether the teacher had actively encouraged them not to take the test,&rdquo; among other questions.</p><p>Mary Zerkel was one of a number of parents who called the school as soon as she heard about the investigation and requested her 11-year-old not be questioned.<br /><br />&ldquo;It is so unconscionable. It&rsquo;s just ethically&mdash;it is so wrong,&rdquo; says Zerkel. &ldquo;You&rsquo;re asking a child to implicate their teacher. They&rsquo;re going to be in a closed-door room with the CPS Law Department where they&rsquo;re going to be intimidated; how can they even think they&rsquo;re getting good information out of the children?&ldquo;</p><p>Hood says the district didn&rsquo;t question kids who refused to be questioned or who asked for a parent&mdash;though he could not say whether children were told they actually had that option. Hood says no discipline can come to students from the investigation. He said he did not know why parents weren&rsquo;t notified.</p><p>The chair of Drummond&rsquo;s local school council, Jonathan Goldman, said he was at the school in the morning and spoke with one of the two investigators he saw there. He said the investigator told him that &ldquo;CPS had authority to do this, acting under the doctrine of in loco parentis, which means that the Board can stand in for the parents,&rdquo; said Goldman. &ldquo;Their moral grounds for doing this is certainly very questionable.&rdquo;</p><p>Drummond teacher Juan Gonzalez, one of the teachers who refused to administer the ISAT when it was given earlier this month, says the district has a right to investigate him. But he says CPS should leave students out of it.</p><p>&ldquo;One of my students at the end of the day was very worried that she was going to be responsible for getting me fired,&rdquo; said Gonzalez.&nbsp;</p><p>Drummond teachers have said they are afraid of losing their jobs, but felt obligated to take a stand.</p><p>&ldquo;I stand strong&nbsp; in my decision. I feel I&rsquo;m on the side of right,&rdquo; Gonzalez says. &ldquo;This boycott of the ISAT is not about the ISAT alone,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;It&#39;s about the incredible amount of testing that we give our kids.&rdquo; Gonzalez says the ISAT protest has opened discussion on the issue.</p></p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 19:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-questions-students%E2%80%94without-parent-consent%E2%80%94-ongoing-investigation-their-teachers-109897 Morning Shift: Learning from the past and looking for the future of Black History Month http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-02-26/morning-shift-learning-past-and-looking-future-black <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/by tartetatin1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We get a glimpse of the man behind African American History Month. And, we celebrate the music of Johnny Cash with music from Chicago actor Kent M. Lewis.</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-learning-from-the-past-and-looking-f/embed?header=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-learning-from-the-past-and-looking-f.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-learning-from-the-past-and-looking-f" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Learning from the past and looking for the future of Black History Month" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 26 Feb 2014 09:05:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-02-26/morning-shift-learning-past-and-looking-future-black Can you persuade kids to ditch soda for water? http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/can-you-persuade-kids-ditch-soda-water-109677 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Water Tasting Photo.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>February is &ldquo;<a href="http://www.rethinkyourdrinknow.com/ryd/Home">Rethink Your Drink</a>&rdquo; month in Illinois, by proclamation of Gov. Pat Quinn. And the drinks that consumers are being asked to rethink are the high-cal beverages that many Illinoisans and other Americans polish off by the liter.</p><p>The campaign to raise awareness about the health effects of sugary beverages coincides with a<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-03/excess-sugar-may-double-heart-disease-risk-researchers-say.html"> new study</a> linking excess sugar consumption to increased risk of heart disease.</p><p>Schools, churches, and state agencies are holding programs as part of the campaign aimed at improving Illinois residents&rsquo; soft drink habits.</p><p>One novel approach was launched last week at Brooks Middle School in the west Chicago suburb of Oak Park, which focused on quenching thirst with water rather than pop.</p><p>Sandy Noel, a retired teacher and co-chairwoman of the Governor&rsquo;s Council on Health and Fitness, told students, &ldquo;When you&rsquo;re dehydrated, your brain kind of goes from a grape to a raisin. It actually shrinks a little bit and you feel a little wilted.&rdquo;</p><p>The 7th and 8th graders then lined up for a taste-off pitting two flavors of infused water, one strawberry-lemon and the other cucumber-lime.</p><p>As the kids filed through the tasting lines, their votes seemed to lean toward the strawberry-infused water. But the tasting process also left them with some new opinions on beverages in general.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;I know our body doesn&rsquo;t really need sugar all the time,&rdquo; said Tate Ferguson, &ldquo;and so if you want something that tastes good and is better for your body, you should drink this.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;I like the cucumber-lime water,&rdquo; said Max Walton. &ldquo;I think I would definitely drink it during sports because it gets you more hydrated than soda.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p>Like their male classmates, many of the girls said they were open to swapping their usual drinks for water in the future.</p><p>&ldquo;Usually before I do martial arts, I am really tired, so I just have an energy drink,&rdquo; said Zoharia Drizin. &ldquo;So if I start drinking this instead, I think I will be energized in a healthier way.&rdquo;</p><p>Her classmate Claire Cooke agreed. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;I would totally choose this over soda because it&rsquo;s much better for you,&rdquo; Cooke said. &ldquo;Soda makes you more thirsty, but water keeps you energized for a long period of time. I&rsquo;m in a lot of musical theater and when I&rsquo;m dancing I need lots of water.&rdquo;</p><p>For Abby Nichol, the contest was a little closer.</p><p>&ldquo;I love soda,&rdquo; she said, &ldquo;but this is very, very close to it. So it&rsquo;s actually a very tough choice. Personally, I like this a little bit more than soda.&rdquo;</p><p>In the case of one student, the presentation -- which included displays of the amounts of sugar in soda and sports drinks -- made her rethink her lunchtime drink.</p><p>&ldquo;I usually have a Gatorade in my lunch,&rdquo; said Cait Egan, a 7th grader. &ldquo;But now I am starting to double guess that, because I saw how much sugar is in a Gatorade. And I think this water tastes better to me.&rdquo;</p><p>Still not all of the students agreed. Alec Fragos was especially outspoken in his opposition.</p><p>&ldquo;It was like drinking out of a faucet,&rdquo; Fragos said. &ldquo;It didn&rsquo;t have any taste. I wouldnt choose it over soda because I don&rsquo;t feel it would help me feel more hydrated &hellip; It&rsquo;s got no pop in the mouth. It&rsquo;s kind of flat.&rdquo;</p><p>Rethink Your Drink organizers say Fragos and other holdouts will have more opportunities for conversion in the future. The Oak Park Middle Schools plan to repeat the tasting monthly with new flavor combinations each time. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the&nbsp;</em><em><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/content/chewing-fat-podcast-louisa-chu-and-monica-eng">Chewing the Fat</a></strong></em><em>&nbsp;podcast. Follow her at&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng">@monicaeng</a> or write to her at&nbsp;</em><em><a href="mailto:meng@wbez.org">meng@wbez.org</a></em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 10 Feb 2014 12:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/can-you-persuade-kids-ditch-soda-water-109677 Hearing attracts charter supporters, some who do not know what they are supporting http://www.wbez.org/news/hearing-attracts-charter-supporters-some-who-do-not-know-what-they-are-supporting-109392 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/charter hearing_131217_LL.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Hundreds of charter school supporters packed a Chicago Public Schools headquarters room for a hearing Monday night that was scheduled to last four and a half hours.</p><p dir="ltr">The district is considering applications for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/notebook/2013/12/13/64669/charter-schools-propose-big-expansion">21 new charter schools</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">Supporters at the hearing included current charter school students and families, and community residents like Jose Garcia, who told a lone hearing officer, &ldquo;I am fed up with the public school system, that they&rsquo;re not improving.&rdquo; Garcia was there to support a proposal by the charter network Concept Schools, which runs three schools in Chicago and is proposing two more, in Chatham and Chicago Lawn.</p><p dir="ltr">Concept runs schools serving 12,000 students in seven states in the Midwest.</p><p dir="ltr">But some of the group&rsquo;s supporters, wearing light blue &ldquo;Concept Schools&rdquo; T-shirts, did not seem to know what they were there for.</p><blockquote><p dir="ltr">LUTTON: Excuse me, are you all from a certain community group or anything?</p><p dir="ltr">WOMAN: It&rsquo;s just ah, the Chattam Company&mdash;what is it, ah&hellip; steam? Steam? [<em>pointing</em>]&nbsp;She should know, right here. She got the piece of paper, right here.</p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">Their confusion made the scene at times reminiscent of the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/paid-protesters-new-force-school-closings-debate-95792">2012 rent-a-protester scandal</a>, where <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-02-13/news/ct-met-emanuel-consulting-firm-20120213_1_education-agenda-consulting-firm-mayor-rahm-emanuel">a political consulting firm with close ties to Mayor Rahm Emanuel funded pastors to support the mayor&rsquo;s schools agenda</a>.The pastors <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/10140605-418/two-say-they-got-paid-to-protest.html">paid protesters</a> to support school closings.</p><p dir="ltr">Supporters Monday night said they came on three buses from the Inner City Youth and Adult Foundation at 45th and Michigan. The charter schools they advocated for were several miles away, in Chatham and West Lawn.</p><p dir="ltr">Michael Vassar works at the Inner City Youth and Adult Foundation. He says his own children are grown, but he says his family has ties to Chatham, and they plan to pull younger nieces and nephews out of their current CPS schools to attend the proposed Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) -focused school Concept is proposing--if it&rsquo;s approved.</p><p dir="ltr">Vassar described the Inner City Youth and Adult Foundation as &ldquo;a grassroots organization that works in Bronzeville. We deal with teenagers and at-risk men and women for homes and jobs&hellip;. We come out and do grassroots work in the community, and the Concept Schools is one of the agencies we&rsquo;re working with now.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">A handful of opponents also turned out for the hearings. They included a CPS assistant principal, who didn&rsquo;t want to give his name.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If a charter school opens, then the funding that would be coming to the schools in the neighborhood will be going to charter schools instead of to the public schools,&rdquo; he said.</p><p dir="ltr">Jack Elsey, the CPS official who oversees the new schools process, says community input at Monday&rsquo;s hearing and others will go into the district&rsquo;s calculus of which charters should open. Originally, the district asked for proposals to help relieve overcrowding on the southwest and northwest sides, but not all the applications stick to those guidelines.</p><p dir="ltr">The board of education is expected to vote on new charter schools in January. Any school applications &nbsp;the district turns down could be appealed to the state&rsquo;s charter authorization commission for approval. The commission approved two Concept Schools last year that the city had rejected.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Linda Lutton is an education reporter at WBEZ. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZeducation">@WBEZeducation</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 17 Dec 2013 10:55:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/hearing-attracts-charter-supporters-some-who-do-not-know-what-they-are-supporting-109392 Logan Square parents target alderman over military school http://www.wbez.org/news/logan-square-parents-target-alderman-over-military-school-109062 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/ames update.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Some Logan Square residents are targeting 26th Ward Alderman Roberto Maldonado over a decision to convert their neighborhood school to a military academy.</p><p dir="ltr">Ames Middle School parent Emma Segura said the decision to affiliate Ames with the Marine Corps took place behind closed doors, but she said parents plan to fight the plan.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Why didn&rsquo;t (the alderman) come inside the school? Why didn&rsquo;t he talk to the parents? Why hasn&rsquo;t he done a meeting for the community to go?&rdquo; asked Segura. She also blasted Maldonado for making his announcement about the future of Ames four miles away, at Marine Math and Science Academy.</p><p dir="ltr">Segura said she and about 50 neighbors plan to go door to door this weekend around the school to survey residents about what they think Ames&rsquo; future should be&mdash;and to make sure they&rsquo;re registered to vote.</p><p dir="ltr">Earlier in the week, the alderman, mayor and school officials announced that Marine Math and Science military academy would move into Ames. But that would have meant a school closing, something Mayor Rahm Emanuel has vowed he wouldn&rsquo;t do anymore.</p><p dir="ltr">Officials now say the current military academy will stay put, and Ames will become Chicago Public Schools&rsquo; seventh military high school. It will serve 7th through 12th-graders.</p><p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/parents-lose-fight-keep-military-school-out-109044">The clarification</a> came after WBEZ began asking questions.</p><p dir="ltr">Maldonado didn&rsquo;t return a phone call or e-mail. On Friday afternoon, his website <a href="http://robertomaldonado.com/">still indicated</a> Marine Math and Science Academy was moving into Ames. &quot;I am proud to bring Marine Math &amp; Science Academy to our community and I am grateful to Mayor Emanuel for making this dream a reality,&rdquo; it said, quoting from Tuesday&rsquo;s press conference.</p><p dir="ltr">Segura, a parent representative on the Ames local school council, said the LSC has called a special meeting for Tuesday morning. They&rsquo;ve invited top CPS officials.</p><p dir="ltr">Logan Square Neighborhood Association organizer Bridget Murphy wondered why a new military academy has to be located in a current school. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s been 50 shuttered schools around the city, why don&rsquo;t they consider one of those?&rdquo; she said. The alderman, mayor and school officials have argued that Ames is under-enrolled and low-performing.</p><p dir="ltr">Murphy said some aldermen may try to bring up Ames school at a meeting of the City Council&rsquo;s Education Committee Monday.</p><p><em>Linda Lutton is WBEZ&rsquo;s education reporter. Follow WBEZ education coverage at <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZeducation">@WBEZEducation</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 01 Nov 2013 19:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/logan-square-parents-target-alderman-over-military-school-109062 Study finds high-achieving minorities shun teaching http://www.wbez.org/news/study-finds-high-achieving-minorities-shun-teaching-108963 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Teacher diversity_131018_oy.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>A <a href="http://www.siue.edu/ierc/">decade-long study of more than 225,000 Illinois public high school graduates</a> finds many reasons that minorities are not becoming teachers. The Illinois Education Research Council at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville&nbsp;tracked the classes of 2002 and 2003 as they moved beyond high school and into their careers. The study sheds light on where students, including African-American and Latino graduates, drop out of that pipeline.</p><p>Illinois education officials have been wrestling with a significant mismatch between the number of minority teachers and the number of minority students in the state&rsquo;s public schools. While almost half of students are non-white, more than 80 percent of their teachers are Caucasian. A <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/push-teacher-quality-illinois-takes-toll-minority-candidates-108601">recent push to increase teacher quality standards </a>threatens to exacerbate the difference.</p><p>The Illinois Education Research Council study, meanwhile, finds that while roughly one-third of Illinois public high school graduates earned a Bachelor&rsquo;s degree, only 3 percent became teachers. Within the pool of 4-year college degree earners, minorities went on to become teachers in Illinois public schools at a noticeably lower rate than their white counterparts.</p><p>&ldquo;The minority numbers were actually surprising to me,&rdquo; said Brad White, lead researcher on the study. &ldquo;I sort of went into the study thinking that a lot of that story could be told simply by looking at different rates of enrollment and graduation from college. And that wasn&rsquo;t the case at all.&rdquo;</p><p>White said minority graduates with Bachelor&rsquo;s degrees, and particularly those who fell into the top third of ACT scores, opted to earn teaching certificates at lower rates than similarly qualified white students. And beyond that, African-Americans who did receive teaching certificates were less likely to get teaching positions in Illinois public schools.</p><p>White suggested that the state could increase its pool of minority teachers by recruiting promising students into the profession as early as high school. He said the state could also focus on improving educational opportunities for minority students before they get to college.</p><p>&ldquo;We might be able to see changes in the number of those students that are interested in pursuing teaching as a career if the career is perceived as more prestigious and more difficult to enter,&rdquo; White added. This is an approach state officials say they are trying to take, by increasing testing standards required to enter the profession.</p><p>A spokesperson for the Illinois State Board of Education noted that the state encourages colleges and universities to partner with local school districts to recruit diverse students into the teaching profession, and that the state has expanded funding for Teach for America recruitment. The study found that alternative certification programs such as TFA appear to be good pathways for academically gifted minorities into the teaching profession.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her at <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a>.</em></p><p>Note: This article incorrectly stated that the Illinois Education Research Council is at Southeastern Illinois University in Edwardsville. It is at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.</p></p> Fri, 18 Oct 2013 10:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/study-finds-high-achieving-minorities-shun-teaching-108963 Education groups help in fight against child abuse http://www.wbez.org/news/education-groups-help-fight-against-child-abuse-108829 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/abuseposter.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>Some key education groups in Illinois are out to help stem child abuse.</p><p>The Illinois Association of School Boards, the Illinois Education Association, the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the Illinois PTA will participate in the state&rsquo;s &ldquo;You are not alone&rdquo; campaign.</p><p>&ldquo;We are all committed to working together to ensure safe, loving homes and brighter futures for children,&rdquo;&nbsp; Roger Eddy, director of IASB, in a press release. &ldquo;School board members across Illinois understand that children can&rsquo;t do their homework if they don&rsquo;t have a safe home to go to at night, or their home is in chaos because of abuse or domestic violence.&rdquo;</p><p>The campaign features posters and social media advertising urging kids to report their abuse.</p><p>The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services started sending out posters to schools last month.</p><p>It carries a simple message: &ldquo;You are not alone.&rdquo;</p><p>DCFS spokesman Dave Clarkin says in addition to getting more reports, the department wants to combat the feeling of isolation that comes when children are abused.</p><p>On the same day that the statewide groups pledged their support, DCFS added a crucial school district to its coalition: Chicago Public Schools and its roughly 400,000 students.</p><p>Clarkin says it&rsquo;s important for kids to report their own abuse, because too many Illinois adults are letting them down.</p><p>&ldquo;One in five kids in Illinois are abused or neglected before they turn 18, and unfortunately children tell an average of seven adults that they&rsquo;re being abused or neglected before an adult calls the hotline,&rdquo; Clarkin said. &ldquo;All nine million adults in Illinois have a shared responsibility to report abuse and neglect. Unfortunately not every adult lives up to that responsibility and when that&rsquo;s the case we want to make sure that children know that helps is available.&rdquo;</p><p>Clarkin says the department already gets more information from children who are siblings of kids being abused than they do from other adult relatives. He said sometimes children as young as 6 call the hotline to report the abuse of their brother or sister.</p><p>The posters - in both English and Spanish - are being sent out to more than 600 Illinois school districts. The department estimates the posters will reach about 1.5 million students.</p><p>&ldquo;If children haven&rsquo;t seen them already they should [soon]. But the folks at our hotline report that we&rsquo;re already seeing an increase in calls to the hotline, so it looks like the campaign is working.&rdquo;</p><p>The campaign urges children who are being abused to call the DCFS hotline at 1-800-252-2873.</p><p><em>Patrick Smith is a WBEZ producer and reporter. Follow him on twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/pksmid" target="_blank">@pksmid</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 02 Oct 2013 16:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/education-groups-help-fight-against-child-abuse-108829 Illinois schools' test scores dip under new scale http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-schools-test-scores-dip-under-new-scale-108649 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/flickr_test.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>SPRINGFIELD, Ill. &mdash; Test scores for Illinois elementary students dipped significantly in 2013 in both reading and math. But the state board of education says the changes are due to tougher scoring criteria, and students are still making gains.</p><p>State education officials announced the results on Tuesday. The overall percentage of students meeting and exceeding standards in 2013 dropped to 61.9 percent in 2013, down from 82.1 percent in 2012.</p><p>The Illinois Standards Achievement Test is given to third through eighth graders in public schools. The board of education last year raised requirements for better alignment with tests given to high school students for college and career readiness.</p><p>The changes also come as Illinois and 44 states across the country prepares adopt Common Core standards in 2014, a more rigorous test for students.</p></p> Tue, 10 Sep 2013 15:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-schools-test-scores-dip-under-new-scale-108649 Iran's attitude toward Syria, education reform in Mexico and supporting rural doctors in Africa http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-09-05/irans-attitude-toward-syria-education-reform-mexico-and-supporting <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP280575660948.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>On Thursday&#39;s edition of Worldview, we discuss how Iran could determine the outcome of U.S. action in Syria. We get an update on education reform in Mexico. Plus, we meet a geneticist is helping expand health care in rural Africa.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F108994869&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-iran-s-attitude-toward-syria-education-r/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-iran-s-attitude-toward-syria-education-r.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-iran-s-attitude-toward-syria-education-r" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Iran's attitude toward Syria, education reform in Mexico and supporting rural doctors in Africa" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Thu, 05 Sep 2013 11:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-09-05/irans-attitude-toward-syria-education-reform-mexico-and-supporting