U of I chancellor target of social media attacks

Jan 27, 2014

The University of Illinois’ Urbana chancellor became the target of social media attacks late Sunday and Monday morning over her decision to keep the campus open despite the cold weather.  

Illinois’ Board of Education is asking the General Assembly for a billion dollar increase in the new state budget. This comes even as the state’s already projected to lose at least double that.

State funding for colleges and universities appears to be rebounding across the nation. Illinois State University Professor Jim Palmer says his annual survey shows state legislatures spent nearly 6% more on higher education last year. Palmer says these funding swings tend to track recessions and the economy fairly closely:

Alex Rusciano / Illinois Public Radio

Peoria School District 150 says special education teachers at a primary school violated state testing rules the last three years.  Alex Rusciano (ruu-shee-AH-noh) reports the school’s principal also allegedly failed to report spikes in the Illinois Standards Achievement Test scores: Those are the main conclusions from an internal investigation the district sent to the Illinois State Board of Education last week.  The report says 26 special education students from Charter Oak Primary School got inappropriate help from teachers giving the math and reading exams.  District Attorney Michelle Todd says the help violated I-SAT protocol:

The Illinois State Board of Education is waiting on District 150 to send a formal report about potential cheating at Charter Oak Primary School. The District says it discovered quote, ‘potential ‘irregularities’ with the way the Illinois Standard Achievement Test, or I-SAT, exams were given to the 3rd and 4th grade special-education students at the School. Mary Fergus is a spokeswoman with the state board of education. She says they have investigated cases with test scores in the past:

Astronaut speaks from space to U of I students

Oct 29, 2013
Sean Powers/ Illinois Public Radio

A NASA astronaut who graduated from the University of Illinois spoke to U of I students Tuesday from orbit. IPR’s Sean Powers reports:

District 150 is using a program to better track its high-school students after graduation.  The School Board approved using the National Student Clearinghouse tracking service.  District 150 spokesman Chris Coplan says the program allows the district to track whether its graduates went to a two or four-year college:

Report: IL prison youth education in violation, inadequate

Sep 23, 2013
WBEZ/Chicago Public Radio

The education Illinois kids get in youth prisons is grossly inadequate, and in violation of state and federal laws and regulations.  That’s according to a new report that can’t simply be put on a shelf.  IPR’s Robert Wildeboer has more:  

Central Illinois students and education changes

Aug 19, 2013

As central Illinois children get ready to head back to school, the environment they find in their classrooms continues to change. IPR's Charlie Schlenker reports on the ongoing implementation of new learning standards:

Security changes at District 150

Aug 13, 2013

District 150 is preparing for safety changes this coming academic year.  New state law requires the district to hold an annual drill in the event of a school-shooting incident, including participation from law enforcement.  

"Science Rocks!" at Peoria Riverfront Museum

Aug 2, 2013

The Peoria Riverfront Museum is opening free to the public Saturday. Peoria County is hosting the event promoting scientific history in Peoria. “Science Rocks!” includes free admission to all museum galleries and the planetarium.

Durbin tours ICC, touts skilled-worker bill

Jul 2, 2013

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin stopped at Illinois Central College in East Peoria to tout upcoming legislation aimed at boosting the skilled-workforce.  The Community College To Career Fund Act heads to the Senate next week.  It would use competitive grants to fund paid internships and employment opportunities for health care, manufacturing and energy jobs.  Michael Sloan is director of ICC’s Agricultural and Industrial Technologies.  He says the bill would also help community colleges upgrade equipment for skilled workforce training:

The District 150 School Board’s annual reorganizational meeting included electing a new president and discussion about the Peoria Stadium property.  The Board elected Rick Cloyd president by a vote of four to two.  He was elected over Board member Martha Ross who’s ran multiple times for the post.  Outgoing president Chris Crawford says the board will discuss the future of the Peoria Stadium July 15th:

Quinn: education funding not enough

Jun 28, 2013

After years of state budget cuts, Illinois schools will get roughly level funding under legislation signed into law Thursday. But Governor Pat Quinn says it's still not enough. IPR’s Brian Mackey has more. 

Area students launch weather balloon

May 22, 2013

Nearly 300 area middle school students gathered at the Caterpillar Learning Center in Edwards to assemble and launch a weather balloon.  The project was led by Riverview Grade School science teacher Emily Dawson.  Dawson says the weather balloon inflates to more than five feet across with sensors to measure pressure, humidity and temperature before it lands:

District 150 braces for possible state funding cuts

May 13, 2013

Peoria School District 150 is bracing for a potentially bleak financial picture next school year.  Peoria Public Radio’s Alex Rusciano reports the state could cut funding to the district by more than $6 million:

Bustos pushes for year-round federal school grants

May 9, 2013

To help them complete their education, students should be able to attend college year-round. And that's the goal of a bill introduced Thursday by Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos - the Access to Education and Training Act.


Illinois' top education official says “it's not fair” that wealthy school districts are receiving extra money from the state.  As IPR’s Chris Slaby reports, it comes at the expense of districts that are less well off. 

Illinois education board asks for more funding

Mar 12, 2013

A week after Governor Pat Quinn suggested lawmakers slash the state's education budget -- Illinois school officials are asking them to instead increase spending on schools. IPR’s Brian Mackey has more: 

 The chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education, Gery Chico, says public schools can't afford any more cuts. He says they're already eliminating extracurricular activities, getting rid of staff, and shortening the school day.

Quinn to call for cutting education in address

Mar 5, 2013

  Governor Pat Quinn is expected to call for cuts in education funding in his annual budget address Wednesday. IPR’s Brian Mackey has more.  Although overall state spending is expected to increase in the coming budget year, the money that goes to education would be cut under Quinn's proposed budget.His top aides hammered what they say is the cause. Brooke Anderson: "It is the direct product of inaction on pension reform.Jack Lavin: "This budget is a direct result of the inaction on stabilizing pensions."Jerry Stermer: "...