Linda Lutton | WBEZ
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Linda Lutton

Linda Lutton

Education Reporter

As a WBEZ education reporter, Linda covers schools, education and issues affecting youth.

Her 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

WBEZ News

4 Of 5 Illinois Public Schools In Top Tiers Despite Low Test Scores

The state's new rating system emphasizes year-over-year improvement, takes a less punitive approach to low performance.

WBEZ News

Illinois Schools Push Back On New ‘Underperforming’ And ‘Lowest Performing’ State Labels

State officials insist new labels being unveiled Wednesday aren’t a punishment. But some local school leaders believe the labels will hurt.

WBEZ News

New Grades Coming For Illinois Schools: ‘Exemplary’ To ‘Lowest Performing’

On Oct. 31, each school will receive a performance rating from the state — the first ratings issued under a new federal education law.

WBEZ News

Illinois Looking To Knock Down Barriers For Incoming Teachers

Faced with a teacher shortage, Illinois wants to smooth the way for would-be teachers, stoking fears of “deprofessionalizing” the field.

WBEZ News

‘School Choice’ Divides Gubernatorial Candidates In WBEZ Election Special

Gov. Rauner urges massive expansion of taxpayer funding for private schools while challenger J.B. Pritzker wants to end the new program.

WBEZ News

Illinois Proposes Fixes For Teacher Shortage

Suggestions include ditching a basic skills test and elevating the status of teaching — possibly through an ad campaign.

WBEZ News

New State Scholarships Save Families Money, Steady Private Schools

For the first time this fall, students are at private schools with Illinois taxpayer support. Some 5,600 kids are getting tuition help.

On Background: WBEZ's Politics Podcast

Public Money, Private Schools, And Politics

It’s back to school season. And for the first time ever, thousands of Illinois students will use taxpayer money to attend private schools.

WBEZ News

A Presidential Surprise: Obama Turns Up At Chicago School

Former President Barack Obama showed up unannounced at a summer coding program that he supported with a $1M gift.

WBEZ News

New Documentary Sparks Discussions About Race, Equity AT OPRF

A local high school is in the national spotlight around thorny issues of race and equity in education. And that has the community talking.

WBEZ News

‘America To Me’ Dives Into Race And Equity In Education

West suburban Oak Park and River Forest High School is the subject of 10-week documentary series, “America to Me,” airing on Sundays.

WBEZ News

New This School Year: Taxpayer Dollars Funding Illinois Private Schools

Taxpayers are now paying for private school scholarships. WBEZ digs into early numbers.

WBEZ News

Just 24 Percent Of Illinois Kindergartners Ready For School

A new look at Illinois kindergarteners finds most students are behind in language, math and social and emotional development.

WBEZ News

Berwyn Homeowners Squeezed By School District Miscalculation

For years, Berwyn schools have been trying to raise more money. Now, they’re trying to give some back.

WBEZ News

State Finds $20M More For Preschool; Dozens Of Programs Still Lose Out

The state is sending millions more to districts for preschool after appeals, but dozens of programs are still left out.

WBEZ News

Protesters Mark 1 Year Of Demanding Palos Township Trustee Resign

Protesters say a trustee’s social media posts about Muslims are racist and that she should resign.

WBEZ News

City Colleges Boasts Higher Grad Rates; Defends Numbers As Real

Nearly 23 percent of City Colleges students graduate, but rates are based on just a small percentage of City Colleges’ 80,000 students.

WBEZ News

Dozens Of School Districts See Preschool Cuts Even As State Boosts Spending

Illinois preschool funds are distributed through a competitive grant. This year, programs in some needy school districts were slashed.

WBEZ News

Furniture From Closed CPS Schools Ends Up In Surprising Places

A teacher’s angry email about an online ad for school furniture leads our reporter to a warehouse of furniture and a gallery of art.

WBEZ News

Lucky Zeros Mean Lots Of Lottery Winners

Turns out a lot of people who play the lottery like to wager repeat numbers, like 0-0-0. That strategy paid off for thousands on Sunday.

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