WBEZ | education http://www.wbez.org/tags/education Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Obama Administration Releases Budget Plan, but it’s Dead on Arrival http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2016-02-09/obama-administration-releases-budget-plan-it%E2%80%99s-dead-arrival-114778 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/0209_presidential-budget-624x429.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Although President Obama is ready to release his budget for the 2017 fiscal year, Congress has the final say on how the country&rsquo;s money can be spent.</p><p>While the legislature can allocate more or less money to certain suggestions in the $4 trillion plan, Republicans in control of the Senate and the House have already said they&rsquo;re not even considering the president&rsquo;s proposal. One sign of this: the White House budget director was not invited to present the proposal for the first time in 40 years.</p><p>The president&rsquo;s initiatives include a huge oil tax, Vice President Joe Biden&rsquo;s &ldquo;moonshot&rdquo; to cure cancer, education and employment, and Medicaid expansion.&nbsp;NPR White House correspondent&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/HorsleyScott?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">Scott Horsley</a>&nbsp;speaks with&nbsp;<a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2016/02/09/budget-plan-obama"><em>Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s </em></a>Jeremy Hobson to discuss what&rsquo;s next for the budget.</p></p> Tue, 09 Feb 2016 15:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2016-02-09/obama-administration-releases-budget-plan-it%E2%80%99s-dead-arrival-114778 Emanuel: CPS Bankruptcy Could Ruin Educational Gains http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-cps-bankruptcy-could-ruin-educational-gains-114766 <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/RahmReading_LChooljian.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Mayor Rahm Emanuel reads to students in Pilsen Monday. Emanuel announced he’d be expanding full-day pre-kindergarten to 1,000 more students. (WBEZ/Lauren Chooljian)" /></div><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel says if Chicago Public Schools files for bankruptcy, it could undo the progress he&rsquo;s made on education.</p><p>Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/rauners-vision-chicago-public-schools-future-114545">pushed bankruptcy, and a state takeover of CPS</a>, as a way for the cash-strapped district to restructure its debt. Emanuel has publicly blasted Rauner for that idea many times, but in an interview with WBEZ, he offered a new argument: That it could ruin some of the achievements he frequently touts.&nbsp;</p><p>Usually, when the mayor talks about education, he finds a way to fit in his extension of the longer school day or year. But he says if court appointed administrators or accountants came in to manage a bankrupt CPS, who knows how much of that progress would stick?</p><p>&ldquo;They could recommend a four-day school week. They could recommend a shorter school day. They could recommend eliminating kindergarten. They could recommend getting rid of high school and arts programs as a way to balance the budget. Now, what have we done?&nbsp; We&rsquo;ve made a fiscal set of changes all on the backs of our kids&rsquo; future,&rdquo; Emanuel said.</p><p>Emanuel repeated his charge that declaring bankruptcy wouldn&rsquo;t fix the unequal funding CPS gets from the state, which, in his mind, is the core of CPS&rsquo; financial problems.</p><p>Emanuel pitched his latest argument against Rauner&rsquo;s plan while in Pilsen for an announcement about early childhood education. Emanuel announced Monday that his administration has come up with a creative way to <a href="https://soundcloud.com/wbez/emanuel-expanding-full-day-pre-kindergarten">expand pre-kindergarten</a> for low-income families.</p><p>The mayor says through restructuring and reinvesting savings from central office cuts, the city can offer around 1,000 more students full-day pre-kindergarten by the 2017-18 school year, bringing the total of full day spots up to 17,000.</p><p>&ldquo;If you&rsquo;re not reading at third-grade level, if you&rsquo;re not doing math at a third-grade level, it&rsquo;s not like fourth grade is a success,&rdquo; Emanuel told WBEZ.&nbsp; &ldquo;And if you want a child to succeed at third grade, you have to do things at three weeks old and three years old.&rdquo;</p><p>To expand part-time spots to full-time, Emanuel said he would take $1 million dollars in savings from cuts to the early childhood division in the district&rsquo;s central office. His administration will also move all community-based pre-k programs from CPS to the department of Family and Support Services (DFSS).</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s our strength, that&rsquo;s the way DFSS goes to market now, if you will,&rdquo; <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mayor/press_room/press_releases/2015/june/mayor-rahm-emanuel-nominates-lisa-morrison-butler-to-be-commissi.html">Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler said.</a> &ldquo;This is a model that&rsquo;s already in place at DFSS and it made sense therefore for us to just continue to do what we&rsquo;ve already done.&rdquo;</p><p>The mayor&rsquo;s office says they expect about $6 million in savings by eliminating redundancies, but Morrison Butler says they&rsquo;re still figuring out all the details.</p><p>In other school news, Emanuel said that calls for his resignation by the Chicago Teachers&rsquo; Union has not changed the tenor at the bargaining table.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;You know, my view is, I&rsquo;ve been in public life a long time. I kinda basically block out the noise and focus on what&rsquo;s essential,&rdquo; Emanuel said.</p><p>In the past, Emanuel has had a rocky relationship with Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis. But now, the mayor says he respects her &ldquo;toughness and grit,&rdquo;&nbsp; and he likes that she says what she thinks.</p><p>CPS and CTU are back at the negotiating table after the union last week rejected the city&rsquo;s most recent offer. Union members said they didn&rsquo;t trust Emanuel&rsquo;s schools team would deliver on its promises.</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian covers Chicago politics for WBEZ. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian.</a></em></p></p> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 21:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-cps-bankruptcy-could-ruin-educational-gains-114766 Geography Of Genius http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-02-02/geography-genius-114671 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/geography of genius-ericweinerbooks.jpg" alt="" /><p><div><p>What makes a genius? Author Eric Weiner argues that while natural aptitude is important, place, and the culture of that place, is one of the most important elements in creating a fertile breeding ground for genius to blossom.</p></div><div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><div><div><div>&nbsp;</div></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Mon, 01 Feb 2016 10:51:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-02-02/geography-genius-114671 Fifth Anniversary of Tahrir Square Protests http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2016-01-29/fifth-anniversary-tahrir-square-protests-114640 <p><p dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:20px;"><strong>Egypt: Protester Reflects on Five Years since Tahrir Square Protests</strong></span></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Egypt2.jpg" style="height: 829px; width: 620px;" title="An Egyptian man walks past an old graffiti in Mohammed Mahmoud street near Tahrir Square, related to the Arab spring and the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak, Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Jan. 25, 2016. The run-up to the anniversary has seen stepped-up security measures in Cairo, a new wave of arrests and security checks in the city's downtown, an area popular with young, pro-democracy activists. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)." /></div><p><strong><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/244440813&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="719px"></iframe></strong></p><p dir="ltr">This week marks the 5th anniversary of the beginning of protests in Egypt, which eventually became known as the &nbsp;&ldquo;Arab Spring.&rdquo; Five years ago hundreds &nbsp;of thousands of people across Egypt, especially in Cairo&rsquo;s Tarir Square, assembled to demand the ouster of longtime dictator, Hosni Mubarak. We&rsquo;ll talk with Salma Hussein, a 26 year-old Egyptian woman, who came of age during the protests. Hussein writes and reports extensively on human rights and democracy issues in Egypt. She&rsquo;s also under constant threat for criticizing the country&rsquo;s government and military. Hussein is in Chicago to spread awareness of what she says has been happening in Egypt since the Tarir protests began five years ago. She&rsquo;ll also talk about the plight of many of her friends, who she says are now imprisoned for speaking out against the government.</p><p dir="ltr">Guest: Salma Hussein is an Egyptian activist and blogger for the January 25th Movement.</p><hr /><p dir="ltr"><strong><span style="font-size:20px;">WHO To Determine Whether Zika Virus is &ldquo;Public Health Emergency&rdquo;</span></strong></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/Zika1.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title=" A municipal worker gestures during an operation to combat the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that transmits the Zika virus in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. Brazil's health minister Marcelo Castro says the country is sending some 220,000 troops to battle the mosquito blamed for spreading a virus suspected of causing birth defects, but he also says the war is already being lost. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)." /></div><p><strong><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/244440966&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="719px"></iframe></strong></p><p dir="ltr">The World Health Organization is creating an &quot;emergency team&quot; to combat the Zika virus. The WHO has called the virus&rsquo;s spread &quot;explosive,&quot; and going &ldquo;from a mild threat to one of alarming proportions&quot;. The WHO also predicts three to four million cases of the virus and will meet next week to decide if the Zika crisis should be called a global emergency. We&rsquo;ll take a look at the &nbsp;potential public health emergency with Laura Rodrigues, professor of Infectious Disease and Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She&rsquo;s currently in Brazil, one of the virus epicenters.</p><p dir="ltr">Guest: Laura Rodrigues is a professor of Infectious Disease and Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.</p><hr /><p dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:20px;"><strong>Global Activism: Light and Leadership Initiative</strong></span></p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/LandL.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Members of the Light and Leadership Initiative include volunteers from Peru, the United States, Finland, France and Australia (Courtesy of Light and Leadership Intiative)." /></p><p dir="ltr"><strong><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/244441159&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></strong></p><p dir="ltr">For Global Activism, we catch up with Global Activist, Lara DeVries. She left her childhood town of Tinley Park, Illinois and moved to Peru&rsquo;s Huaycan community to help impoverished families. DeVries is founder and executive director of Light and Leadership Initiative. Her group assists mothers and children in their struggle out of extreme poverty by improving access to quality education. DeVries updates us on her work in Peru.</p><p dir="ltr">Guest: Laura DeVries is the founder and executive director of Light and Leadership Initiative.</p></p> Thu, 28 Jan 2016 12:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2016-01-29/fifth-anniversary-tahrir-square-protests-114640 Political Crisis In Moldova http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2016-01-25/political-crisis-moldova-114610 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Healing%20earth%20%281%29.png" style="height: 245px; width: 620px;" title="" /></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/243764758&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:24px;">&ldquo;Healing Earth&rdquo; Environmental Science textbook adds spirituality to curriculum.</span><br />Science and faith are sometimes in harmony with each other, but often there have been bitter disputes. Pope John Paul II finally settled the Catholic Church&rsquo;s famous dispute with Galileo by formally acquitting him in 1992. But with challenges like Climate Change and mass extinctions, faith leaders from the indigenous to Islam, from Buddhist to Baha&rsquo;i have called for urgent action to heal our Earth, which Pope Francis calls &ldquo;the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor&rdquo;. &nbsp;&nbsp;A new era calls for new tools. &nbsp;Loyola University-Chicago&rsquo;s International Jesuit Ecology Project has created a new environmental science e-textbook and multimedia project called &ldquo;Healing Earth&rdquo;. &nbsp;The project goes beyond science to add the perspectives of ethics, spirituality, and action. &nbsp;We talk with three people behind the project, Nancy Tuchman, &nbsp;professor of Biology and founding director of the Institute of Environmental Sustainability at Loyola University-Chicago, Michael Schuck, associate professor of Theology at Loyola University-Chicago and Father Michael Garanzini, chancellor secretary and president emeritus of Loyola University Chicago.</p><p><strong>Guests:</strong> Nancy Tuchman, &nbsp;professor of Biology and founding director of the Institute of Environmental Sustainability at Loyola University-Chicago.</p><p>Michael Schuck, associate professor of Theology at Loyola University-Chicago.</p><p>Father Michael Garanzini, chancellor secretary and president emeritus of Loyola University Chicago.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Moldova1.jpg" style="height: 404px; width: 620px;" title="A Moldovan army general watches demonstrators during a large protest in Chisinau, Moldova, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016. More than 15,000 people gathered to protest against the government, demanding early elections in the impoverished East European nation, an action that comes after demonstrators stormed Parliament last week as lawmakers approved a new pro-European government.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/243764751&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="font-size:24px;">Growing Political and Social Unrest in Moldova</span><br />Last week a group of protesters broke into the Moldovan Parliament, demanding the country hold new elections. The event took place amidst larger protests in the capital, Chisinau. The protests began when the government secretly swore in a new head of government. We&rsquo;ll take a look at what&rsquo;s behind the growing unrest with Matthew Rojansky, director of the Kennan Institute at the Wilson Center.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong> Matthew Rojansky, director of the Kennan Institute at the Wilson Center.</p></p> Mon, 25 Jan 2016 15:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2016-01-25/political-crisis-moldova-114610 Teaching Kids About Slavery: Picture Books Struggle with the Task http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2016-01-25/teaching-kids-about-slavery-picture-books-struggle-task <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/9780375868320_custom-cf00cbbd1229995eac509848e751fe9ea5ad5b63-s400-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The shelves and desks at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.teachingforchange.org/">Teaching for Change</a>&nbsp;in Washington, D.C., are full of picture books. For years, the nonprofit, which advocates for a more inclusive curriculum in public schools, has been keeping track of what it considers to be some of the best &mdash; and worst &mdash; multicultural children&#39;s books out there.</p><p>Allyson Criner Brown, Teaching for Change&#39;s associate director, says they keep the bad ones because &quot;there&#39;s so much to learn from them.&quot;</p><p><em>A Birthday Cake for George Washington</em>&nbsp;was just put on the bad shelf.</p><p>Over the weekend, the publisher&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/01/18/463488364/amid-controversy-scholastic-pulls-picture-book-about-washingtons-slave">Scholastic announced it would stop distributing the children&#39;s picture book</a>&nbsp;after public outcry.</p><p>Even though it was created by a multicultural team, the book came under heavy criticism for whitewashing the history of slavery. Just a few months ago, another children&#39;s book,&nbsp;<em>A Fine Dessert,</em>&nbsp;drew similar criticism.</p><div id="con463985245" previewtitle="Book Edition Information"><div id="res463985287" previewtitle="A Fine Dessert"><div data-crop-type=""><a href="http://www.npr.org/books/titles/463985215/a-fine-dessert-four-centuries-four-families-one-delicious-treat"><img alt="A Fine Dessert" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/bakertaylor/covers/a/a-fine-dessert/9780375868320_custom-cf00cbbd1229995eac509848e751fe9ea5ad5b63-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 257px; width: 310px; float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat by Emily Jenkins and Sophie Blackall" /></a></div></div></div><p>It also raised questions about the diversity of the publishing industry and especially about the struggle parents, teachers and authors face when presenting such sensitive topics to young children.</p><p><em>A Birthday Cake for George Washington</em>&nbsp;tells the story of Hercules, a slave Washington used as a chef. It&#39;s a book full of smiles, as Hercules and his daughter, Delia, take pride in baking for the president.</p><p>But the story glosses over the fact that Hercules and Delia are in bondage. And it&#39;s only in a note following the story that the author writes that Hercules escaped, leaving his daughter behind.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s almost as if the book presents that because he had moments of happiness and because he took pride and joy in his work that outweighs the fact that he was enslaved,&quot; Brown said. &quot;And that cannot ever be a part of telling any story about somebody who was held in bondage.&quot;</p><p>Brown said that kind of simplistic, idealized narrative in a picture book is just a reflection of the adult world.</p><p>This is a country, she said, that wants to believe that the United States started as the land of the free and the home of the brave.</p><p>&quot;The nation didn&#39;t start like that for everyone,&quot; she said. &quot;So, as much as we struggle with it, how to then have these difficult conversations with our children with things that we&#39;re wrestling with ourselves, I think is very tough for a lot of people.&quot;</p><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/books/titles/138262863/elijah-of-buxton"><img alt="Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/bakertaylor/covers/e/elijah-of-buxton/9780439023450_custom-3c16b48f1ca25885968694532a3e28c195e1a960-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 450px; width: 310px; float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis" /></a></p><p>But&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/Ebonyteach?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">Ebony Elizabeth Thomas</a>, a professor of education at the University of Pennsylvania, said children are not waiting around for adults.</p><p>Thomas studies how schools approach touchy subjects like slavery, and she spent time with students at a Philadelphia middle school.</p><p>&quot;I found out that kids are not only ready to discuss these topics, but they are already discussing these topics with their friends,&quot; Thomas said.</p><p>At the time of her research, the students were reading<em> Elijah of Buxton</em>,&nbsp;a book about a runaway slave in Canada. Thomas said the kids were making sophisticated connections between the historical fiction and the realities of the Black Lives Matter movement today.</p><p>So the reality is that while kids&nbsp;are already grappling with some of the world&#39;s ugliness, she said, adults&nbsp;are still clinging to a Victorian ideal of an innocent child.</p><p>Adults are thinking &quot;the innocence of the ideal child must be protected at all costs,&quot; she said. &quot;We must keep the dirty secrets of our society away from those kids. And I think that kids are seeing those contradictions.&quot;</p><p>That protection instinct is familiar to writer Matt de la Peña &mdash; especially because he&#39;s a new father.</p><p>&quot;I have a 20-month-old daughter,&quot; he said. &quot;And you really just want to protect your daughter so much from the sadness. And you feel like, she&#39;s gonna see it eventually on her own. But then you have to take a step back and say my need to protect isn&#39;t as important as for her to see the truth.&quot;</p><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/books/titles/383856474/last-stop-on-market-street"><img alt="Last Stop on Market Street" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/bakertaylor/covers/l/last-stop-on-market-street/9780399257742_custom-3b33ff288b57c2455cbfda64d074e73507324032-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 381px; width: 310px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena and Christian Robinson" /></a></p><p>The truth is something de la Peña thinks about a lot. His books for young adults often deal with the harsh realities of crime and violence. That honesty, he said, is valuable to kids.</p><p>&quot;Young readers have a chance to experience very scary and sad and dark things in books,&quot; he said. &quot;It&#39;s kind of the safest way to experience these things for the first time.&quot;</p><p>De la Peña&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/newberymedal/newberymedal">just won a Newbery Medal</a>&nbsp;for his book<em>&nbsp;Last Stop on Market Street.</em></p><p>It&#39;s about CJ, a black kid taking a bus ride to the soup kitchen with his grandma.</p><p>At one point CJ asks why the poor neighborhood is always so dirty.</p><p>&quot;Sometimes when you&#39;re surrounded by dirt,&quot; the wise grandma responds, &quot;you&#39;re a better witness for what&#39;s beautiful.&quot;</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/01/22/463977451/controversial-picture-books-surface-struggle-to-help-children-understand-slavery?ft=nprml&amp;f=463977451"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 25 Jan 2016 14:26:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2016-01-25/teaching-kids-about-slavery-picture-books-struggle-task Attendance Drops at Maryland High School, as Deportation Fears Rise http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2016-01-19/attendance-drops-maryland-high-school-deportation-fears <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/istock_000066798857_medium_wide-568210156e87a867efc380ff9aca55253226a61d-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>At one high school in Maryland, fears of deportation are playing out in the classroom.</p><p>In Prince George&#39;s County, a suburb of Washington, D.C., about 70 percent of the students at High Point High School are Latino. It&#39;s a student population that&#39;s prompted the school&#39;s principal, Sandra Jimenez, to term it &quot;Central American Ellis Island.&quot;</p><p>Principal Jimenez says the fear of deportation raids is making many immigrant students scared to come to school, despite assurances from government officials that there are no raids happening at schools.</p><p>It&#39;s a concern that was echoed in a statement by Dr. Kevin Maxwell, CEO of Prince George&#39;s County Public Schools in an&nbsp;<a href="http://www1.pgcps.org/ceo/index.aspx?id=221188">open letter to DHS</a>.</p><p>&quot;I am deeply troubled by the fear and uncertainty that exists in so many of our school communities as a result of the actions of the Department of Homeland Security,&quot; he wrote. &quot;We urge federal authorities to see schools and other public gathering places as areas where no enforcement activities should take place and ask them to strongly consider the devastating impacts of their actions on the academic, social and emotional well-being of all of our students.&quot;</p><p>DHS declined an interview request from NPR, but said in a statement that the agency &quot;does not conduct &#39;raids.&#39; ICE focuses on those who have been issued a final order of removal from a judge.&quot;</p><p>Jimenez joined NPR&#39;s Michel Martin to discuss the drama that is playing out on her campus.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/01/17/463405722/attendance-drops-at-maryland-high-school-as-deportation-fears-rise?ft=nprml&amp;f=463405722" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Tue, 19 Jan 2016 14:21:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2016-01-19/attendance-drops-maryland-high-school-deportation-fears StoryCorps Chicago: "Christmas for Me Has Always Been a Time of Great Loss--and Victory" http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-chicago-christmas-me-has-always-been-time-great-loss-and-victory-114264 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/StoryCorps 151224 Steve Pemberton bh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Christmas has always been an emotional time of year for Steve Pemberton. Pemberton is now a vice-president at Walgreens. But his early life was hard. When he was three years old, he was taken from his mother a few days before Christmas. He bounced from one foster home to the next.</p><p>Then at age five he moved in with a foster family, where he stayed for more than a decade. As he explains in this week&#39;s StoryCorps, though, when he was in high school, something happened a few days after Christmas that changed all that.</p><p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.storycorps.org"><em>StoryCorps&rsquo;</em></a> 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.</p></p> Wed, 23 Dec 2015 10:24:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-chicago-christmas-me-has-always-been-time-great-loss-and-victory-114264 StoryCorps Chicago: Former U.S. Education Secretary Says Mentoring Kids Matters http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-chicago-former-us-education-secretary-says-mentoring-kids-matters <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/StoryCorps 151218 Lawanda Arne bh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Two months ago, Arne Duncan <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/arne-duncan-gives-last-speech-us-education-secretary-114326" target="_blank">announced he was stepping down as U.S. Education Secretary</a>. Last month, he stopped by the Chicago StoryCorps booth to talk with Lawanda Crayton.</p><p>The two met when she was in sixth grade at Shakespeare Elementary School on Chicago&rsquo;s South Side. Duncan was part of a group that &ldquo;adopted&rdquo; the sixth grade class, tutoring and mentoring them through grammar school and beyond.</p><p>Crayton&rsquo;s home life was chaotic. Her mother and step-father abused drugs and alcohol and frequently became violent towards each other. That sometimes left Lawanda and her twin sister to fend for themselves.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.storycorps.org">StoryCorps&rsquo; </a>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, 18 Dec 2015 16:22:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-chicago-former-us-education-secretary-says-mentoring-kids-matters Republicans Want State Budget before Redo of School Funding Formula http://www.wbez.org/news/republicans-want-state-budget-redo-school-funding-formula-114125 <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/AP_537337056734.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs is shown at the Illinois State Capitol Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, in Springfield, Ill. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)" /></div><p>Republican legislative leaders in Springfield have supported Gov. Bruce Rauner&rsquo;s calls for changes to the state&rsquo;s worker&rsquo;s compensation and limits to collective bargaining before approving a full state budget. But there&rsquo;s one issue they say should wait until later: changes to the state&rsquo;s school funding formula.</p><p>That&rsquo;s a problem for Democratic Senate President John Cullerton. For him, passing a budget is a priority, but he also says the state desperately needs to change the state&rsquo;s school funding formula.</p><p>After a meeting of Gov. Bruce Rauner and the state&rsquo;s top legislative leaders this week, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said, &ldquo;All of us did agree that the school aid formula is something that needs to be changed. It needs to be addressed. We&rsquo;re not gonna handle it until after we resolve this budget impasse.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m not sure that&rsquo;s something that&rsquo;ll be on the agenda this year because of the complexity of it,&rdquo; Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno said.</p><p>Cullerton&rsquo;s office responded. &ldquo;I&rsquo;d like them to go to any public school auditorium or gymnasium and stand in front of the teachers and the students and tell them that their issues are too complex and too hard for state leaders to lean into,&rdquo; said Cullerton spokeswoman Rikeesha Phelon.</p><p>Phelon said Cullerton is recommending education advocates with <a href="http://www.advanceillinois.org/">Advance Illinois</a> and Rauner&rsquo;s administration, like Secretary of Education Beth Purvis and state Superintendent Tony Smith, attend future meetings between legislative leaders and the governor. Legislative leaders have said they hope to have another meeting next week.</p><p>So why is the funding formula so important to Cullerton? He says it controls how the state of Illinois funds local school districts and he says it&rsquo;s fundamentally unfair because it doesn&rsquo;t include areas with a high concentration of poverty into the equation. He says that means districts with many people living in poverty aren&rsquo;t getting the state support they should.</p><p>Phelon says, while Cullerton believes changes to the school funding formula ought to be a priority for the state, he&rsquo;s not going to make his support for a state budget deal contingent on an agreement on the funding formula.</p><p><br /><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold">@tonyjarnold</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 10 Dec 2015 11:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/republicans-want-state-budget-redo-school-funding-formula-114125