New SAT gets better reviews from students, but doesn’t end debate on testing bias


By Morgan Gilbard Education experts argue that the new SAT still punishes students for not being white, wealthy or male—a bleak verdict that places the majority of CPS students at a disadvantage in college admissions. The new test aligns more closely with high school curricula and eliminates penalties for wrong answers, but critics say it […]

Rebel Rouser: High school activist speaks up for better education

CPS students

By Morgan Gilbard Nidalis Burgos stood her ground when police threatened to arrest her during a school closings protest in 2013. A teacher told Burgos, who was only 15 at the time, that the incident would cost her a future. “My eighth-grade teacher came into the classroom and said, ‘Hey, just so you know, if […]

Anti-testing movement plans 2016 strategy as education cuts take center stage

CPS testing

By Morgan Gilbard  Anti-testing advocates worry that the opt-out movement will take a backseat this year as Chicago Public Schools and the state drown in a sea of other problems. Concern over budget cuts and teacher union negotiations threaten to overshadow a movement that led to 20,000 Chicago students opting out of standardized tests last […]

Rauner pleads to Assembly on budget, gets booed by hundreds of protesters

Springfield protesters

By Morgan Gilbard Gov. Bruce Rauner’s annual budget address to the Legislature was upstaged by approximately 400 protesters who stormed the State Capitol on Wednesday afternoon and booed the governor upon his departure. The protesters’ chants condemning higher education cuts were audible from inside the General Assembly chamber, where Rauner tried to placate Democrats with […]

Sanders on the upswing: What now?

Hillary Clinton

By Morgan Gilbard  DES MOINES — Underdog Bernie Sanders fought Democratic Party  royalty Hillary Clinton to a draw in Iowa on Monday night.  Whoever noses ahead in the final count, the results highlighted a hard lesson that Clinton should have learned in 2008: Never underestimate the new kid on the block, even if he’s a […]

Cruz spins Constitution into votes

Ted Cruz

By Morgan Gilbard  IOWA CITY, Iowa — When you ask Ted Cruz fans what they like about a man publicly hated by so many, one trait stands above the others: Cruz’s self-proclaimed respect for the Constitution. “We need somebody in there or the country is going to be over. Someone that supports the Constitution,” said […]

A Valentine for Hillary

Hillary Valentine

By Morgan Gilbard CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Chloe, age seven, waved a homemade valentine at Hillary Clinton’s rally on Saturday night. She clutched a heart flag, cut from construction paper with a hand steadier than her own. At every crescendo of Clinton’s speech, she cheered. After the candidate’s words and the crowd’s cheers had faded […]

Who would be on a Trump ticket?

Donald Trump in Spin Room

By Morgan Gilbard IOWA CITY, Iowa — Timothy Hagle is hounded by reporters every four years for his thoughts on the Iowa caucuses. His analysis of campaign strategy, minute details of candidate demeanor and insight into Iowa life is basically a second job. The University of Iowa professor, like the rest of us, is shocked […]

Christie makes voters curious, not excited

Christie town hall

By Morgan Gilbard DAVENPORT, Iowa — Presidential hopeful Chris Christie drew more uncertain voters than die-hard fans to his town hall forum Friday night. Voters dissatisfied with the Republican frontrunners came to give Christie a look – and left with greater respect for the New Jersey governor. “I think Donald Trump is a bully,” said […]

Maverick youth: the generational war of the Republican Party

University of Iowa

By Morgan Gilbard  IOWA CITY, Iowa — Presidential hopeful Marco Rubio may be trailing in the polls, but he is capturing the attention of young Iowa voters uninspired by Republican front-runners in a party often seen as too old and too white. “Our generation has a more hopeful message rather than an angry kind of […]