education

Rockford Public Schools / RPS205.com

Plans to build two new elementary schools in Rockford are back on track.

The Rockford School Board voted last night to proceed with its ten-year facilities plan -- particularly the construction of the two schools that will replace five outdated buildings on the city’s southeast side, at a cost of $42 million.

The board had delayed a vote so members could determine if the district really could afford the schools on top of major renovations and everyday expenses.

Illinois Ranks 20th In High School Graduation Rates

Dec 15, 2015
"Graduation Cake Guy" by flickr user / David Goehring (CC BY 2.0) / http://bit.ly/1RQsA2o

New data from the U.S. Department of Education show that 86 percent of Illinois students graduate from high school. That's the 20th-highest graduation rate in the country. 

The department said Tuesday that the 82.3 percent national graduation rate for the 2013-14 school year was the highest recorded since it started using a new, uniform measure in 2010.  

That still means nearly one in five students leaves high school without a diploma.  

Education Secretary Arne Duncan praised the improvement but said too many students still drop out.  

understandthescore.org

Only five high schools in the WNIJ listening area have more than half of their students ready for college.

The top school among them is Geneva Community High School, where 66 percent of its students met or exceeded expectations during the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, according to test results released Friday.

PARCC Test Results Released In Illinois

Dec 14, 2015
WUIS

Illinois schools got results for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers -- or PARCC -- test late last week. That’s the standardized test aligned with the Common Core. Scores were low across the state.

Tony Smith is the state superintendent of schools. He says that’s because it’s not comparing students to each other, but to what they should know.

Dusty Rhodes / WUIS/Illinois Public Radio

As college students wrap up the fall semester, there is still a lot of uncertainty for the coming months. Low-income student who rely on the Monetary Award Program to pay for tuition have no guarantee the money will arrive. 

Most colleges and universities have been fronting the money for their students – like Northern Illinois University – but even the University of Illinois has warned MAP recipients they may have to repay their grants if the budget impasse drags on through the spring semester.

Flickr user Adikos / "Female Typing" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner passed a measure four months ago that created a pilot program for virtual learning days in schools. The idea was to keep snow or emergency days to a minimum during the school year.

Now, the Illinois State Board of Education has announced the participating districts.

Lucinda Avenue Now Open

Nov 19, 2015
N'Jema McIntyre

The Lucinda Avenue extension is now open.  The opening ceremony Wednesday was held at the rain location at Stevenson Tower South without the official ribbon cutting due to the weather. The street west of Stadium Drive is ready for cars and buses to use. The gates blocking access will be taken down some time before the end of the week.

Does It Pay To Pay Teachers $100,000?

Nov 19, 2015

We're brought up to believe our teachers are modern-day saints.

Just look at how we portray them in the movies and on TV. From Dead Poets Society's iconic Mr. Keating to resourceful LouAnne Johnson in Dangerous Minds, we reinforce time and again that teaching is a noble calling.

These teachers are heroes, we're told. It's hard to imagine them even thinking about money.

U of I Trustees Sign Off On Settlement With Salaita

Nov 12, 2015
Jim Meadows

On an 9 to 1 vote,  University of Illinois Trustees have agreed on an $875,000 settlement with Steven Salaita.

Progress Made On Lucinda Avenue Extension

Nov 12, 2015
N'Jema McIntyre

The opening of the Lucinda Avenue expansion is nearing. Workers are completing the final touches to the area.

The board of trustees of Northern Illinois University approved the extension of Lucinda Avenue west, to better facilitate access for students, faculty, staff, and visitors on campus. The move, which required dismantling Douglas Hall, is the first significant step in re-envisioning the NIU campus.

The March 27 board meeting made the Lucinda project expansion a high priority project for the university. The goal was for the process to be completed by mid-November.

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