Tag Archives: education

In the Information Age, civil rights activist promotes mathematics education to foster national citizenship

By Dwight A. Weingarten

Medill Reports

Activist Bob Moses hearkened back to the Civil Rights Movement when describing his inspiration for The Algebra Project, which seeks to raise the floor of math literacy for students in the bottom quartile of state standardized exams across the U.S.

In the spring of 1963, Bob Moses found himself on the witness stand in federal district court after field secretaries of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) were arrested for registering people to vote in Mississippi.

“Why is SNCC taking illiterates down to register to vote?,” Judge Claude F. Clayton asked Moses. Continue reading

Out, but not in: Examining barriers to reentry

By Kaisha Young

Medill Reports

Approximately 11,000 people are released from Illinois prisons each year. In this edition of Medill Newsmakers, we take a look at the challenges returning citizens face when trying to reenter society.

Photo at top: A man walks on the sidewalk outside Cook County Jail. (Kaisha Young/MEDILL)

Concussions: Living in the Solution

By Chris Cadeau
Medill Reports

We know about concussion dangers, the arguments that have ensued and the threat it poses to modern sports. But what are concussion survivors doing to ensure the best quality of life possible?

Join Medill Newsmakers as we explore a ‘day in the life’ of former NFL running back and Northwestern All-American Mike Adamle and his wife Kim, and learn how  a dementia diagnosis attributed to probable CTE changed their life. Hear how the Adamles, along with the Concussion Legacy Foundation and former Northwestern football player Quentin Williams, are influencing the world of post-concussion survivors.

Robots and the human connection

By Patrick Martin

“Robotics is definitely a big part of my life,” Kyle Granat said. He is a hardware engineer at Trossen Robotics in Downers Grove, just outside Chicago. The company sells kits for robotics enthusiasts.

Granat was fascinated by a computer around the age of three. The person who first nurtured Granat’s love of computers and robotics continues to be a source of inspiration for him.

Photo at top: Olga Granat, right, shows a boy how to operate a robotic arm at the Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire (Patrick Martin/MEDILL).

As the semester winds down with no state budget in sight, Chicago State students ponder their school’s future

By Jasmine Cannon

Illinois is the only state in America that has not passed a budget for its fiscal year. The political impasse between the governor and the legislature has been going on since July.

The deadlock has caused an uproar in the educational community because some public universities are running out of the money needed to operate.


David Ellis Flynn, a Chicago native and junior at Chicago State University, refuses to let the predicament of the state’s finances deter him and his peers from getting an education.

“When this type of tragedy is happening to students, it’s heartbreaking,” Flynn said. “You can either be sad, mope, and go about your day, or be mad and do something about it.”

Photo at top: When David Ellis Flynn was younger, he had no intentions of going to college. Now, he’s fighting to save his beloved Chicago State University. (Jasmine Cannon/MEDILL)

Exploring school security in Lahore, Pakistan

By Patrick Martin
Reporting from Lahore, Pakistan

“We have our own weapons too,” Rana Mohammad said as he unwrapped the cloth surrounding a long-barreled revolver which he keeps locked in his desk. This high school principal has the number for the local police, the Punjab Highway Patrol and the local army barracks displayed on his desk as well.

Mohammad said his school has rehearsed evacuating all 1,600 students in a matter of minutes. These measures may seem extreme, but Pakistan has experienced more terrorist attacks on schools than any other country in the world, according to the Global Terrorism Database.

A version of this story first appeared on City 42, a news channel in Lahore, as part of a project between Medill and the Center for Excellence in Journalism at IBA in Karachi. Raza Kharl contributed reporting. 

Photo at top: A police officer assigned to Model High School in Lahore, Pakistan stands guard with his automatic rifle as children depart for the day (Yavi Bhattel/City 42).

Manufacturing educators see career opportunities despite overall sector contraction

By H. Will Racke
Originally published on March 15, 2016. Updated on April 13, 2016.

Even though Illinois today supports fewer manufacturing jobs than it did before the Great Recession, Chicago-area vocational trainers see a persistent, unmet need for skilled machinists and industrial maintenance technicians.  Their starting salaries are in the $50,000 range, and with experience they can earn as much as six figures.

Guy Loudon, executive director of the Jane Addams Resource Corp., a Ravenswood non-profit that trains and places workers into Chicago-area manufacturing companies, said businesses are struggling to find qualified candidates for “middle-skilled” manufacturing positions, many of which give non-college graduates the opportunity to earn incomes well above the national average.
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From the Streets to the Courts: Skyhawks wheelchair basketball helps gunshot survivors adapt

By Shen Wu Tan
Video by Hannah Gebresilassie

Marcus Jones was shot four times during an attempted armed robbery on April 17, 1995 on Chicago’s Southeast Side. Struck three times in the leg and once in the lower back, Jones suffered a serious injury and was devastated when doctors told him he would never walk again. He was 24 years old.

As an impoverished 16-year-old boy attending Kenwood Academy, Jones was drawn to the brand name clothes that many of the other students wore. Unable to afford these items, yet attracted to the materialistic culture, Jones joined the Gangster Disciples and turned to selling cocaine. He sold drugs for more than six years.

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Resettled refugees face challenges in U.S. education system

By Marisa Endicott

With the Syrian refugee crisis intensifying in Europe and debate stateside over the deportations of Central American asylum seekers, it is easy to get wrapped up in the ideological and political rhetoric instead of getting to know the day-to-day experiences and obstacles resettled refugees face. Access to education is a main hurdle.

“Refugee families have fled violence, but one of the biggest reasons that they want to be here in the United States is for the access to education,” said Ashley Marine, program director at Girl Forward, an educational nonprofit for refugee girls. “The American dream is real for these families.”
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Third graders get real about race and guns in school program

By Jasmine Cen

With so much on the news about violence and crime in Chicago, it’s difficult to shield young people from hearing about it. But psychologists say parents and teachers should not ignore the issues, and children need to talk about what’s happening in their communities, even at a young age.

That’s the spirit behind a program at Village Leadership Academy, where six and seven-year-old students are delving into the city’s most intractable problems.


Students at the Academy recently had their third presentation of several year-long projects on topics like littering, school safety signs and unsafe driving.

This year, some of the third-grade students did research on one of Chicago’s toughest issues: gun violence.

Photo on top: The students give a presentation about their research on gun violence in their neighborhoods. (By Jasmine Cen/ Medill)