Illinois Newsroom

Evaluating Prison College Programs

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This week in the First Light look at stories from around the state, there are roughly 200 college in prison programs nationwide, and several here in Illinois. There’s a debate over the difference they make. The trouble is Illinois measures success by whether someone returns to prison. Illinois Public Radio’s Lee Gaines explains, one recent graduate says that’s a flawed evaluation

Helping Homeless Students And Their Families

(Graphic by Tamara Cubrilo for IL Newsroom)

(Graphic by Tamara Cubrilo for IL Newsroom)

This week in First Light’s look at stories from around the state, we have a story from Illinois Public Radio’s Lee Gaines. There are more than 50,000 homeless students in Illinois. That’s according to data from the Illinois State Board of Education. One school district in suburban Cook County used a little known state law to help two homeless families find a place to live. But even advocates of the workaround acknowledge it’s only going to help a fraction of homeless families.

Teachers Uses Art To Spark Conversations About Justice

Illinois Public Radio reporter Rachel Otwell

Illinois Public Radio reporter Rachel Otwell

This week in the First Light look at stories from around the state, Illinois Public Radio’s Rachel Otwell takes us inside a classroom in rural central Illinois. Teachers are often urged to keep controversial topics out of the classroom. But, one Illinois teacher uses art to inspire students to talk out about historic injustices

A collection of the posters students created to highlight historic injustices

A collection of the posters students created to highlight historic injustices