Linda Lutton | WBEZ
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Linda Lutton

Linda Lutton


Lutton's enterprise coverage has examined Chicago’s dropout crisis, race and segregation in schools, school performance, and youth violence. She covered the 2012 Chicago Teachers Union strike and the historic closing of 50 public schools. Her work has been broadcast on This American Life, Re:sound, Marketplace, The World, and NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition. She’s received many honors, including a 2014 Peabody Award.

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 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; it’s one of the awards she’s most proud of.

Linda worked on the award-winning 2013 This American Life “Harper High School” episodes, which documented life in a high school located 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.” She was honored with a Spencer Fellowship in Education Reporting during the 2014-15 school year, where she explored the impact of poverty on school outcomes.

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 since 1994. Her husband is artist-muralist Hector Duarte. Their three children attend Chicago public schools.

Recent Stories


President Trump In Chicago: Rallies, Protests And Traffic Jams

Activists demonstrated as President Donald Trump made his first trip to Chicago since his election.


One Day A Year In Chicago, A Chance To Win A New Porch Or Roof

Chicago’s roof and porch lottery gives lower-income homeowners a chance to get these big-ticket home repairs paid for by the city.


After 2 Years of Protests, Palos Township Calls in Armed Guards

After two years of protests over incendiary comments by a trustee, the Palos Township board brings in security officers for its meetings.


Snowball Stands and Candy Stores: The West Side’s Tasty Summer Economy

In communities where jobs are hard to come by, a colorful, sweet microeconomy is thriving.


Remembering Emmett Till’s Funeral As A Catalyst For Civil Rights

Revered Chicago historian Timuel Black spoke with students at Roberts Temple in Bronzeville, where Till’s funeral was held.


City Planners: Benefits Of Megadevelopment Might Be Overblown

Planning officials say current zoning laws allow for 4.7 million square feet of development in the area and not the imagined 20 million.


City Housing Commissioner: Vacant Lots Could Be Single-Family Homes

An architecture contest to design a 21st century bungalow for Chicago may also inform the city’s homeownership efforts.


Meet The 21st Century Chicago Bungalow

Housing advocates hope a Bungalow 2.0 could get more middle-income Chicagoans into affordable new construction homes.


Lawmakers Boost Chicago’s Latest Megadevelopment

Chicago’s latest proposal for a massive development is One Central, planned to span 34 acres on rail yards west of Soldier Field.


New Merit Pay Program Seeks To Keep Top Chicago Charter Teachers

The Noble charter network is trying out merit pay to reward its best teachers; 20 “distinguished” teachers will get $10,000 annual bonuses.


From Assembly Line To Vacant Lot: A Different Kind Of Affordable Housing

A company on the Southwest Side plans to build Chicago three-flats in a factory. Production time: six days.


Chinatown’s Getting A Massive New Neighbor. What Happens Next?

A megadevelopment is being built near Chinatown. Can the neighborhood survive? Experiences of other Chinatowns suggest it might not.


Chicago Lines Up To Welcome Mayor Lightfoot

More than 1,000 people packed a City Hall corridor for a personal moment with Chicago’s new mayor and her wife.


Tiny Eatery, Big Mission In Pullman

Three African American chefs opening restaurants at a new South Side food hall say that food can help revitalize Chicago communities.


Outside-The-Box Ideas Chicagoans Have For Mayor-Elect Lightfoot

Hundreds of Chicagoans submitted their ideas for improving the city to Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot. Some are traditional. Some are unique.


Chicago Activists Look For New Ways To Oppose Megadevelopments

Opposition and resistance are alive and well among activists who oppose two megadevelopments that have been greenlighted by the city.


Aldermen Delay Lincoln Yards, The 78

Votes on two major real estate projects were pushed to Wednesday after Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot urged a delay.


Lame-Duck Aldermen To Decide Fates of Lincoln Yards, The 78

City Council members, many of them leaving or caught in corruption scandals, will vote on approving $1.8 billion for megadevelopments.


Ald. James Cappleman Has Narrow Lead In Uptown Aldermanic Race

The 46th Ward has high numbers of low-income and homeless people, but it’s also seen an explosion of high-end developments.


Bluer Than Thou: What It Means To Be 'Progressive' In Chicago

Tracing the shifting meaning and fashionability of the word ‘progressive.'

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