Education and Family | WGLT

Education and Family

ISU Senior Shares Her Success Story

Oct 31, 2015
Brooke Hausmann

Among the students graduating this year is a woman who was told college was "not for her." Brooke Hausmann is a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Major in the College of Education at Illinois State University. She has faced challenges from an auditory processing disorder and becoming hard of hearing. With the help of professors and students, she was able to succeed where others thought she would fail. WGLT's Michael Hill talks with Brooke to hear her story.

Illinois' public universities have gone without state support during the nearly five months legislators and the governor have been caught in gridlock. IPR's Amanda Vinicky reports on how that's creating a double fiscal whammy.

Raising A Glass For Exchange Program

Oct 26, 2015
Vladimir/Canterbury Sister City Association of Bloomington-Normal

A vodka tasting event is planned for Thursday to raise money for the Vladimir-Canterbury sister cities program. Dave Thomas of Illinois State University's school of Kinesiology and Recreation says there will be light snacks available to help keep the palate clean. He says they will also have experts on hand to discuss the vodkas available.

False Memories Common

Oct 24, 2015
Emily Kneeter / Flickr via Creative Commons

Police reliance on eye witness accounts should be balanced against evidence of the prevalence of  false memories. Illinois State University Psychology professor Dawn McBride is speaking about false memories as part of the university's Main Street College events at the Alumni Center Monday evening at 7.

Illinois State University Trustees will take up a budget resolution forecasting at least a ten percent cut in state funding next fiscal year. That is on top of whatever reductions come in the current year budget now deadlocked in Springfield. Jay Groves is an ISU spokesman.

Schools in Illinois’ neediest districts including Peoria 150 are being forced to spend federal funds to prop up the state’s Teacher Retirement System.  Public schools that serve a significant number of low-income students receive federal Title One grants, earmarked for initiatives to close the achievement gap. If a school uses those funds to hire certified teachers, the school has to pay into that teacher’s retirement account.   

Jessica Handy, government affairs director with Stand for Children Illinois, says this cost Springfield schools more than 1.7 million dollars last year.

State records show that the former Illinois education superintendent left the position earlier this year with nearly $207,000 in severance and unused vacation payments. A public records request shows Christopher Koch received $89,000 in severance and $118,0 for 138.5 unused vacation days. Records also show that several dozen other Illinois State Board of Education staffers who left the agency also received cash bonuses and unused vacation payments.  

Indiana University

Bradley University's new President is a respected legal scholar, attorney, and graduate of the Peoria school. Gary Roberts is currently Dean Emeritus and a law school professor at Indiana University. He is an expert on anti trust and sports law.

Bradley Trustees Chair Dout Stewart says Roberts is a forward thinking, innovative, and proven leader. Roberts replaces Joanne Glasser, who retired earlier this year.

Roberts will take over January first from interim President Stan Liberty.

Salaita’s Hope Of Teaching At U Of I Continues

Oct 15, 2015
Jim Meadows/Illinois Public Media

Steven Salaita was back on the U of I campus this week for the first time in a year. He’s teaching now at the American University of Beirut. But he says he’d rather be teaching at the University of Illinois.

Michael Hill / WGLT

Some officials at public universities in Illinois are at least floating the idea of taking legal action against the governor and the Illinois legislature over the absence of a state budget. During an appearance on GLT's Sound Ideas, Illinois State University President Larry Dietz said it's not likely that will happen, but admitted some educators are considering going to court.

Peoria Man Arrested In Teen Murder

Oct 13, 2015

A Peoria man's been arrested and charged in the Saturday murder of a 14 year old football player.

Dietz Says Budget Cuts Could Be "Devastating"

Oct 8, 2015
Michael Hill / WGLT

The budget stalemate in Springfield is continuing to affect Illinois State University. The public institution is preparing for a revenue cut from the state, which could be as much as 31.5 percent. ISU President Larry Dietz says the highest proposed cut would be detrimental to the university. 

School district officials in Urbana have decided to lift a requirement for prospective student tutors or supervised volunteers to undergo fingerprint background checks. The Urbana school board voted unanimously to update its volunteer background screening policy to mirror rules in Champaign and other nearby school districts. Only volunteers who have unsupervised contact with students and all new employees will be subject to fingerprint background checks. The district has paid $50 per fingerprint background check for every volunteer since 2008.

Leaders of several state universities and community colleges are sounding the alarm as they begin month three of receiving no money from Illinois. State support for Illinois’ 12 public universities and its 49 community colleges is the largest part of the state government that isn’t being funded during Springfield’s budget impasse.

New Ratings For Illinois Students

Oct 5, 2015
Deutsche welle

Schools and school districts across Illinois will be subject to a rating system that was recently signed into law and is scheduled to launch this school year. The system will grade the schools and districts much like students taking a traditional classroom test are graded, on a 100-point scale with labels ranging from "exemplar" to "unsatisfactory." 30 percent of a school or district's score will depend on student achievement and academic progress. That will include state exam scores and graduation rates.

Lincoln College in Normal is losing several certificate and bachelors programs as the institution reorganizes with more programs moving to the Lincoln campus. It's part of what President David Gerlach calls a $7.6 million reinvestment campaign for the 150 year old school.

Lincoln College will stop offering Esthetics, Cosmetology, teacher training, and massage therapy certifications in Normal. Degree programs in Criminal Justice, Business, and Sports Management will move from Normal to Lincoln. Four jobs will also move and the college has eliminated 13 jobs.

IL Wins $42 million Charter Schools Grant

Oct 1, 2015

Illinois has won a federal grant to open scores of new charter schools. As IPR Education Desk reporter Dusty Rhodes reports, it’s worth more than $42 million.

EIU President David Glassman says layoffs and furloughs have helped the school cut its budget deficit from $13 million to $1 million. Glassman said during his state of the university address that the cost-cutting isn't over but any additional layoffs would be small. EIU doesn't have a state appropriation because GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic leaders in the Illinois Legislature haven't settled on a state budget for the current fiscal year.

MacArthur Foundation

An Illinois Wesleyan University graduate is among this year's MacArthur "genius" award recipients. One of the $625,000 fellowships goes to Juan Salgado. He's a community organizer in Chicago who runs the Instituto del Progreso Latino. That group tries to boost English language skills for Latinos to make upward mobility easier, particularly in healthcare and manufacturing. Salgado says urban development to him means growing human talent, not bricks and mortar.

SIU Details Budget Cuts

Sep 28, 2015

Southern Illinois University officials have detailed $13.5 million in budget cuts, saying they will affect student-worker positions, research resources and on-campus events. The cuts affect a large cross-section of university departments. SIU spokeswoman Rae Goldsmith says the cuts were unavoidable because of a state budget stalemate and a funding reduction for the school because of lower enrollment this year.  

Jose Marti: Why He Matters

Sep 28, 2015
University of Texas Press

One of the most influential men in the western hemisphere is poorly understood by many, including those who grew up in his shadows. WGLT's Jim Browne talks an author (Alfred Lopez), who's finally written a biography of the contemporary of Abraham Lincoln.

Alfred Lopez' appearance was facilitated by Illinois State University's Latin American and Latino/Latina studies program

Hugs Of Hope At NIU Campus

Sep 23, 2015

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. IPR's Jenna Dooley reports on a small effort by college students to reach out to those who may be struggling.

Smiling faces greet rushed students at Northern Illinois University’s MLK Commons.

"If someone doesn’t want to get a free hug, that's okay, just tell them to have a wonderful day and move on to the next person who maybe does want one. We are also giving out high-fives, not everyone likes hugs."

Elgin Schools Evacuate After Legionella Found

Sep 23, 2015

Officials in Elgin say about 2,900 students were evacuated after higher-than-normal levels of Legionella bacteria were found in cooling towers at three schools. School District U-46 spokeswoman Mary Fergus says the levels were found during annual air quality testing of the schools' cooling towers. She says no students were ill. Students were dismissed home or taken to Bartlett High school or Elgin High School to be picked up by parents.

Trustees of a suburban Chicago college have voted to void the contract of its embattled president about a month after beginning the process of firing him. College of DuPage trustees voted 4-3 Thursday night to void Robert Breuder's contract. He's on paid administrative leave and is set to retire in March. Board of Trustees attorney Timothy Elliott says the board contends that it now doesn't have to give Breuder a severance deal worth $763,000 after voiding his contract. The severance deal ends his tenure three years early, and law enforcement is investigating the deal and other issues.

Among the many political battles that have raged in Springfield since the election of Governor Bruce Rauner, one difficult battle has fallen off the radar. The fight for a new school funding formula has been pushed to the wayside as the state operates without a budget for a third month, and Springfield's top politicians talk over each other. But US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says Illinois would be better off overhauling the formula sooner rather than later:

The head of the Bloomington Library Board says the library will create six new bookmobile stops west of Veterans Parkway. The move partly addresses a flap caused by a lack of west side bookmobile service.

"The staff is concerned about any population feeling that they are not being given the services they are entitled to."

Carol Koos says to start they will be using locations of several discontinued stops that were shut down for lack of use.   

Preliminary results from new statewide tests based on the Common Core educational standards show that the vast majority of Illinois high school students fell short of grade-level expectations. Only three in 10 of the high schoolers who took the online version of the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers exam in the spring met or exceeded expectations in English language arts and literacy. Less than one in five high schoolers met or exceeded expectations on the exam's math portion.

Faculty members at the University of Illinois campus in Champaign-Urbana aren't happy with a policy instituting background checks that starts early next month. The Senate of the Urbana-Champaign Campus, a group of about 200 faculty members, will vote next week on a resolution that would delay that start date. The resolution says the policy doesn't meet American Association of University Professors standards and isn't mentioned in all job postings. The board of trustees approved the policy last week.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

In a month and a half, the new Illinois Wesleyan University President will take office. Eric Jensen is the current Provost at Hamline University in Saint Paul Minnesota. Just after the announcement of the presidency happened at IWU, Charlie Schlenker talked with Jensen about his vision of higher education, hopes for IWU in Bloomington and why he wanted the job.

WGLT

The next president of Illinois Wesleyan University will be Eric Jensen. Jensen is currently the the Provost of Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Hamline has nearly 5,000 students in its liberal arts, business, and education programs. It also has a law school. Jensen has also taught economics and overseen a policy program at William and Mary, the nation's second oldest University.

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