Ann Baltzer (far left) posed for a yearbook picture with her advisory students at Noble's Hansberry College Prep.

Courtesy of Ann Baltzer

News Local/State - April 04, 2018

Culture Shock: Teachers Call Noble Charters ‘Dehumanizing’

The trend toward school choice has educators across the country looking at Chicago’s Noble Charter Schools — an award-winning network of mostly high schools that specializes in helping inner-city kids achieve the kind of SAT scores that propel them into four-year universities.

Posters and signs with strike slogans written on them. Signs are part of the GEO strike on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus.

Lee V. Gaines/Illinois Public Media

News Local/State - March 06, 2018

U of I Graduate Workers Strike Hinges On Tuition Waivers

Hundreds of classes have been canceled and dozens more relocated as a strike by graduate employees at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign continues into a second week. On Tuesday night, graduate workers occupied the office of university president Tim Killeen. Strikers have a variety of demands, but one of the most contentious points focuses on the future of tuition waivers -- and whether some graduate workers will have to pay tuition while employed in academic positions on campus.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

Brian Mackey/Illinois Newsroom

News Local/State - February 14, 2018

Even With No Budget, Illinois Spends And Spends

Gov. Bruce Rauner is scheduled to unveil his fourth budget proposal Wednesday in a speech to the General Assembly. Illinois lawmakers only enacted a budget for one of the three years he’s been in office.

Participants in a poverty simulation

Lee V. Gaines/Illinois Newsroom

News Local/State - February 07, 2018

Schools Are Using Poverty Simulations To Build Empathy. But Do They Work?

About 100 teachers and support staff recently gathered in a junior high school in central Illinois to take on the roles of people living in poverty. It’s part of a poverty simulation used by schools across the country that’s supposed to challenge stereotypes. But some say it takes more than a one-time simulation to change attitudes and behaviors.

J.B. Pritzker, left, has pledged to help Democrats get elected across the state. State Sen. Daniel Biss, right, says Democrats shouldn't have to depend on ultra-wealthy benefactors to fund the party.

Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois

News Local/State - December 14, 2017

Key Question For Democrats: To Billionaire, Or Not To Billionaire?

With roughly three months to go until Illinois' primary election, there are seven men seeking the Democratic Party's nomination to be governor of Illinois. One of the key questions facing primary voters: To counter the vast wealth of incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, do Democrats need their own billionaire at the top of the ticket?

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