Education and learning

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.


Biden Urges Illini Men To 'Show Courage'

Apr 24, 2015
@VP on Twitter

Vice President Joe Biden told students on the University of Illinois Urbana campus Thursday that preventing sexual assault is a shared responsibility.

Biden used an emotional, almost evangelical tone to urge about 1,500 students to "show courage" and “be the man you were raised to be.”

"By the way gentlemen, silence is a form of approval. Inaction is a form of cowardice," he said. "Speaking up takes courage." 

The crowd cheered for the Vice President in the gym of one of the campus' recreation centers.

Biden voiced anger at those who commit sexual assault.

Former Oakland California school superintendent Anthony “Tony” Smith has been selected as the new Illinois Superintendent of Education.

The Illinois State Board of Education made the change unanimously at Wednesday’s meeting, replacing current Superintendent Christopher Koch, effective May 1.

Koch, whose contract expired earlier this year, remained on the job at the request of the state board. One of the longest serving state superintendents in the nation, he has been in the post since December 2006 and has overseen changes to testing and teacher evaluations.

A new partnership based on enviromental, economic, and social projects run by students from an Illinois liberal arts college will benefit an Iowa community.

Starting in the fall, students from the Upper Mississippi Center at Augustana College in Rock Island will work with the city of Clinton, Iowa, a dozen projects to promote "sustainability."

Center Director Michael Reisner says one of those projects involves working with the Clinton Fire Department.

Youngstown State University - Randy Dunn

Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to cut higher education by more than 30 percent. Presidents of three state universities appeared before lawmakers to explore ways to minimize such drastic cuts. 

Committee chair Kenneth Dunkin, a Chicago Democrat, challenged the members to make their decisions based on information, rather than along party lines.

State Authors Featured On Annual Reading List

Mar 5, 2015

Works by several authors with ties to Illinois are included on the recommended Illinois statewide reading program for 2015.

The Illinois Reading Council on Wednesday named books for everyone from adults to newborn babies. The program is intended to promote reading for people of all ages.

Monsters: The 1985 Chicago Bears and the Wild Heart of Football, the Rich Cohen paean to Windy City football at is finest, and Chicago author Scott Turow's Identical are among the six recommendations for adults.

When Gov. Bruce Rauner pledged to increase school funding by $300 million, educators seemed unimpressed.

They’re more excited about House Speaker Michael Madigan’s proposed 3 percent surcharge on income greater than a million dollars. That would provide about a billion dollars to schools.

That move would require a constitutional amendment, but it has gotten backing from a variety of education groups that are often at odds with one another -- teachers unions, school administrators, and everyone in between.

Different states implement Common Core standards in different ways.

Illinois has its own test to determine college readiness, but some parents and teachers are trying to stop it. Critics say it causes problems for students and prevents teaching other subjects.

Illinois students will begin taking the new test -- PARCC, which stands for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers -- next month. It consists of math and reading exams given to students starting in third grade.