Illinois Teacher Shortage; Nature Cat Creators Discuss Series


  1. A new report from the Learning Policy Institute says the US is entering a teacher shortage crisis and a large part of the problem is the high levels of attrition: roughly 8 percent of the workforce annually.

    What does this mean for Illinois schools?

    "Working with the kids obviously was one of the more enjoyable things," said Chris Marzec, who taught for six years at Lane Tech High School in Chicago until June 2016, when he left to take a job as an auditor. "Leaving was kind of a tough decision."
  2. We heard from Marzec, and also talked with Dean Cantu, the chair of teacher education at Bradley University, and former high school teacher Meghan Kessler, who is now a graduate student in the department of curriculum and instruction at the University of Illinois.
  3. We also spoke with Chuck Bleyer, superintendent of Pope County Community School District 1 in downstate Illinois, about the challenges his rural district faces in recruiting and retaining good teachers.
  4. Plus -
  5. We talked with Highland Park natives and brothers David and Adam Rudman about their PBS Kids cartoon, "Nature Cat." The show premiered last fall and has been consistently ranking among the top five PBS Kids shows nationally, with more than 114 million streaming views online. We heard about what inspired the artists to create the cartoon series and learn what they've got planned for Season 2.