Education and learning

Rockford Public Schools

A Rockford school has the highest composite score in Illinois on this year’s state standardized tests.

Rockford school officials say students at Thurgood Marshall School had the highest composite score of all Illinois public schools compared with other fifth- through eighth-graders in the state.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

The severance package for former Northern Illinois University president Doug Baker is now null and void, according to a court ruling Wednesday.

A DeKalb County judge ruled that the NIU Board of Trustees violated the Open Meetings Act. Judge Bradley Waller said in his decision that the board did not adequately notify the public of the terms of Baker’s more than $600,000 severance package.


A recent report shows Illinois is facing a teacher shortage. But changes to teachers’ pensions — including cutbacks on the state’s share of contributions — spells uncertainty for anyone going into the profession.


When the Illinois General Assembly approved a budget last summer, they also agreed to cut back on about $500 million to the state's pension system. This might sound like a good idea if the money is allocated to pay for other needs in the immediate future. For teachers, however, it means the state might not be able to cover their pensions. 

Legislature Approves Teaching Cursive Writing In Schools

Nov 9, 2017

Penmanship disappeared from the curriculum in many schools because teachers are devoting more time to preparing students for standardized tests. A new state law approved Wednesday will bring it back to ensure elementary students get instruction in cursive writing.

State Rep. Chris Welch, D-Hillside, filed the measure the same day lawmakers approved his resolution on zombie apocalypse preparedness. At the time, Welch wasn't sure anybody would care about cursive.

Free Webinar Offers Information On Opioid Crisis

Nov 8, 2017

How serious is the opioid crisis in Illinois? Last year, 1,900 people died of opioid overdose in our state -- twice as many as those who died in car crashes. 

To help provide more knowledge about addiction to pain killers, the University of Illinois Extension is hosting a free webinar at noon Thursday about what local groups -- including police and social service agencies --- can do to reduce opioid addiction.

Heidi Clark, Division Chief of Health and Data Policy for the Illinois Department of Public Health, will present the webinar.