As a WBEZ education reporter, Linda covers schools, education and issues affecting youth. She is working on a Spencer Fellowship during the 2014-15 school year, exploring the impact of poverty on school outcomes.
Prior to joining WBEZ in 2008, Linda worked as a freelance reporter and radio producer in Michoacán, Mexico. Before that, she was the lead education reporter at the Daily Southtown, where she covered education across 85 school districts in Chicago’s south suburbs.
Linda’s reporting has appeared in the Chicago Reader, In These Times, Education Week, the Chicago Tribune, and others. She has contributed radio reports to This American Life, NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, The World and Marketplace.
Linda’s investigation into a corrupt south suburban school superintendent won a national 2005 Education Writers Association first prize award for investigative journalism and a Chicago Headline Club Watchdog Award. She received a 2004 Studs Terkel Award for excellence in reporting on Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods.
Linda worked on the award-winning 2013 This American Life episodes “Harper High School Parts 1 and 2,” which documented life in a high school in a South Side neighborhood racked by violence. The episodes were honored with a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award and the Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Best Documentary Gold Award. Linda also worked on the 2008-09 series “Fifty-Fifty: The Odds of Graduating,” about a high school struggling to stop students from dropping out. Linda’s radio work has been recognized with a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism, a national Edward R. Murrow award, a Sigma Delta Chi Award, and many others.
In 2013, the Chicago Reader included Linda in its annual People Issue about “what makes Chicago work.”
Linda has a B.A. in Urban Studies and English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Born and raised in Minnesota, Linda has lived in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood for 20 years. Her husband is artist-muralist Hector Duarte. Their three children attend Chicago public schools.