Education

Education and learning

DeKalb Elementary Principal Fired For Religious Gifts, Misconduct

Jun 16, 2015
Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A DeKalb elementary school principal was fired Monday after the school board charged her with violating board policies regarding religious materials.

After a day-long closed meeting, the DeKalb School Board voted to dismiss Shahran Spears as principal of Gwendolyn Brooks Elementary School. Dozens of supporters showed up at district headquarters on her behalf: 20 of them were allowed one minute to speak to the board.

Wikipedia

As Illinois lawmakers deal with the final details of a state budget, Wisconsin’s legislature is poised to make deep cuts in university spending. 

Wisconsin’s legislative budget-writing committee has voted to cut the University of Wisconsin System by $250 million.  It also moved to eliminate university tenure in state law in an attempt to save Wisconsin some money.

WUIS

The PARCC test, associated with the Common Core, will be somewhat shorter next year. 

Illinois was one of 11 states to administer the test this year, and parents complained it was too long. It would take up to 10 hours and spread across two sessions -- one in March, another in May.

The PARCC consortium voted this week to reduce the test by about an hour and a half and consolidate it into one session instead of two.

Anne Morris, a test coordinator for a Springfield school district, says that’s what she's been hoping to hear.

Flickr user / alamosbasement "old school" (CC BY 2.0)

Legislation that would temper the way schools discipline students passed the Illinois House and Senate and now awaits the governor’s approval.

Suspensions and expulsions could be used only as a last resort.

Sarah Johnson, one of the youth leaders of the group, said the plan is designed to change the culture of schools.

“Our education system should be wanting us to stay in school and right now they’re pushing us out of school. So the environment that we’re in, that our young people are in right now, is not an environment of learning. It’s an environment of push-out."

Flickr user Brent Hoard "ECU School of Education Class Room" (CC BY 2.0)

The Illinois budget crisis is costing low-income public schools some of the federal money intended to help them compete with wealthier schools. That’s the finding of a report published this weekend by the Rockford Register Star. Reporter Corina Curry found that state lawmakers are diverting money from a program known as “Title One” and putting it toward teacher pension debt. WNIJ’s Susan Stephens spoke with Curry about her research.

WNIJ/Victor Yehling

“In so many ways, what is old is now new again. That really reflects the case of this unique space.”

That’s how Rockford University President Robert Head addressed the group gathered Friday in the restored snack bar area of the remodeled Blanche Walker Burpee Center on the Rockford Campus.

Built in 1963 as then-Rockford College moved from its location just south of downtown, the building was intended to be a center of student activity.

Flickr user Brent Hoard "ECU School of Education Class Room" (CC BY 2.0)

More than 30 Illinois school officials traveled to Springfield yesterday to tell how budget cuts are affecting their districts. 

These days, it seems like every agency in Illinois is complaining about cutbacks. Public school officials, however, are seasoned veterans, having seen the state slash their funding repeatedly over the past few years.

Now, they argue how the pain is distributed. 

A plan that would limit the use of out-of-school suspensions and expulsions is moving through the Illinois legislature. 

The measure would end zero-tolerance policies and the practice of charging fees for minor infractions and emphasize in-house measures over expulsions.

A Chicago youth group pushed the changes for the past two years. Along the way, they dropped a component that sought to limit offenses warranting arrests on campus.

Flickr user Brent Hoard "ECU School of Education Class Room" (CC BY 2.0)

A measure pending in the Illinois legislature would help high school students know what kind of college credit to expect for their advanced placement test scores.

High school students taking AP exams know they have to score at least a three on a five-point scale to pass, but they don't know which Illinois universities will give them credit for that score.

A score of three on a Biology test might earn college credit at Western Illinois University, for example, but not at Illinois State. Same goes for all 34 AP tests across all Illinois universities.  

Bogenberger Family Photo

Five former Northern Illinois University students are expected to make plea deals today in the hazing death of a fellow student. 

 

In November 2012, NIU Freshman David Bogenberger died after a night of heavy drinking in Pi Kappa Alpha’s fraternity house in DeKalb. The 19 year old’s heart stopped…his blood alcohol level was .40, five times the legal limit.

 

Pages