Education and Family

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.

Illinois Wesleyan University is getting set to name its next President. The school in Bloomington has announced a news conference Monday to unveil the selection to replace Richard Wilson. The search has been ongoing since Wilson announced in December of last year that he would retire when a successor was named.

NIU Enrollment Down, Retention Up

Sep 10, 2015

The number of students enrolled at Northern Illinois University has dipped slightly, but retention rates are improving. The university reported an enrollment of 20,130 students, a decrease of about 2.3 percent from last year. NIU President Doug Baker says: "We are not where we want to be, but there are encouraging signs of progress." The one-year retention rate for last year's freshmen increased 1 percentage point, to 72 percent. Baker says the university also has been recruiting higher-achieving students.

District 87

Population loss, economic activity, property values are all elements of the Bloomington Normal community that will change with the looming closure of the Mitsubishi Auto Plant. GLT's Charlie Schlenker talks with District 87 School Superintendent Barry Reilly about how he is assessing those variables.

Hear Bloomington Schools Superintendent Barry Reilly talk about the implementation of the high speed wi-fi initiative for low income children in District 87.

Pages