Tag Archives: Illinois

Examining Corruption in Chicago

This article from Chicago Magazine tries to examine Chicago (and by extension Illinois’) culture of corruption in politics.

Among the reasons cited for the state’s problem: old habits die hard, no will for reform, mob connections, racial tensions and more.

What do you think after reading this?

How many of the same things apply to your city?


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Filed under Crime, Politics

Lessons on City Design

Rust Wire has previously highlighted Donald Carter, the David Lewis Director of the Remaking Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. (Take a look at our prior post on Carter’s efforts to trade the term “Rust Belt” for “Water Belt” and change “Sun Belt” into “Drought Belt.”)

Here’s a piece by Carter from Sunday’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette discussing The Mayors’ Institute on City Design, which took place last month with mayors from Springfield, Illinois; Elkhart, Indiana; Canton, Ohio; Charleston and Huntington, West Virginia; Kenosha and Racine, Wisconsin.

See if you agree with his 10 “lessons” from the meeting (#1- There is hope!). It’s also interesting to read about the projects highlighted from these cities.


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Filed under architecture, Art, Economic Development, Good Ideas, Public Transportation, regionalism, Rust Belt Blogs, Urban Planning

Chicago School Students Demand Equality in Education Funding

  This is probably the coolest thing I’ve ever read. The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that 1,000 students from Chicago Public Schools skipped the first day of class, rode a bus to a wealthy district and tried to register as students in order to highlight the gross inequalities that exist in the Illinois’ public schools.

  The story follows Brandon, a student from Chicago’s mostly-black South Side, whose school spends about $11,000 per student per year, and Amanda, who attends one of the nation’s wealthiest schools a short distance away. Her district spends $17,000 per student.

  This is the best part: the former school district, New Trier, welcomed the protesters.

  “This was not done to embarrass us, but to call attention to the fact that not every school has the resources we do,” said Superintendent Linda Yonke. “We may disagree about his methods, but there is really very little disagreement about the state of funding in Illinois.”

New Trier High School in one of the country's highest-income zip codes

New Trier High School, spending per pupil: $17,000.

  The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that Illinois contributes the second least of any state to primary and secondary education, which could help to offset funding inequalities caused by variable property values.

  Of the 51 poorest school districts in Illinois, more than half are majority black. Three out of four of the state’s black children and two out of three of the state’s latino students attend a high-poverty school.

Chicago's Morgan Park High School, spending per pupil: $11,000.

Chicago's Morgan Park High School, spending per pupil: $11,000.

  Students from both districts have combined to form the Illinois Council of Students. They drafted a “Students’ Bill of Rights” and are traveling the state to champion education-spending reform.

  We need a group like this in Ohio.

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Filed under Featured, Good Ideas, Public Education