Stories by Brandis Friedman

Ogden, Jenner Elementary Schools Prepare to Merge as School Year Ends

From neighbors to roommates: How two Chicago schools are getting ready to merge as summer break begins.

In Wake of Scandal, CPS Watchdog to Investigate Sexual Abuse Complaints

Chicago Board of Education President Frank Clark and CPS CEO Janice Jackson speak to the media Tuesday, June 12, 2018. (Chicago Tonight)

Chicago Public Schools says it’s taking a crucial step to protect students from sexual abuse by teachers and staff.

CPS Chief Responds to Scathing Investigation into Student Sexual Abuse

Chicago Public Schools says that by August it expects to have the results of a top-to-bottom review of its practices for handling cases of sexual misconduct. More from CPS CEO Janice Jackson.

Mayor Expands Early Learning, But Critics Are Skeptical

Chicago parents should have more early learning options for their 4-year-olds starting next year. 

State Board Approves Special Education Monitor, Reforms for CPS

What the state says is needed to correct violations in Chicago Public Schools’ special education program.

The Economic Costs of Segregation – And Recommendations to Address It

A new report from the Metropolitan Planning Council makes more than two dozen recommendations to reduce the economic costs of segregation.

Not-So-Secret Menu Item Lands Uptown Restaurant on James Beard Stage

How a “secret” menu item at Sun Wah BBQ landed the Chicago restaurant a prestigious James Beard America’s Classics award.

Mark Zuckerberg Grant to Help CPS Spread ‘Personalized Learning’

Chicago Public Schools gets a $14 million grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the nonprofit started by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, pediatrician Priscilla Chan.

Advocates Respond to Special Education Investigation at CPS

Janice Jackson appears on “Chicago Tonight” on April 19, 2018.

CPS CEO Janice Jackson talks with us about school funding and investigations into special education and school cleanliness. 

With Budgets in Hand, CPS Principals Planning Ahead

“If you look at the budget that we rolled out today, there are two themes. Number one: equity, and the other one is stability for schools,” Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson said on April 17, 2018.

For the first time in recent years, CPS principals don’t have to wait until summer to start planning for their next school year.

50 Years Since the Fair Housing Act, Segregation Persists

The Fair Housing Act of 1968 promised equal access to the housing market for African-Americans. But 50 years later, some say the landmark legislation didn’t go far enough.

MLK’s Death, 50 Years Later: Revisiting the Day a Giant Fell

Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his “Mountaintop” speech on April 3, 1968.

It is a moment seared in the memories of so many Americans: the day in 1968 they learned that Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated. The Rev. Jesse Jackson was there, and he shares his memories with Chicago Tonight.

How Some News Outlets Let Readers ‘Take Action’ With a Click

A shift in how news outlets can help you “take action” on the stories they report.

Cook County Jail Warden On Her Way Out

Nneka Jones Tapia appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Nov. 2, 2017.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart drew national attention when he appointed a psychologist to be the jail’s executive director. After almost three years on the job, Nneka Jones Tapia is moving on. 

Source: Garry McCarthy to Announce Bid for Chicago Mayor

Garry McCarthy appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Feb. 20, 2018.

Chicago’s former top cop is expected to formally announce plans to run for the city’s top job next week, a source says. “It’s just killing me to be on the sidelines and watching what’s happening in the city,” Garry McCarthy told us last month.

Rauner Vetoes ‘Onerous’ Gun Dealer Licensing Bill

(Jim Bowen / Flickr)

A bill that would have placed more regulations on gun dealers goes down with the stroke of a pen in Springfield.

On DACA Deadline, Durbin Implores Congress to Pass Dream Act

For young immigrants protected under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the future remains uncertain.

Heartland Alliance Uses Medication to Make Progress with Opioid Addicts

Overcoming heroin addiction is a Herculean task. How a local program is helping former addicts recover with medication.

Misty Copeland Shines Light on Diversity in Ballet World and Beyond

Misty Copeland, “Life in Motion” (Photo: Gregg Delman)

Whether she’s on stage or on television, it’s hard to not notice Misty Copeland, the professional ballet dancer making history as the first black woman to be named a principal dancer for the iconic American Ballet Theatre.

On the Ice With Bradie Tennell, Team USA Figure Skater

A local Olympian is bringing home a medal. We look back at our visit with figure skater Bradie Tennell.

The Past Haunts Chicago Police Department as It Works Toward Reform

The Chicago Police Department on Thursday announced the return of the Officer Friendly program, in which police officers visit children in school to foster relationships and provide safety education. “I want them to not be afraid,” said Officer Ramona Stovall.

In addition to new allegations of police rape, the Chicago Police Department is facing another lawsuit related to the torture tactics of notorious former police commander Jon Burge.

Two Principals, One School: A New Effort to Boost Learning at CPS

Fourteen percent of Chicago Public Schools principals left their schools last year, according to a new report. The district is now expanding a new strategy to keep its strongest principals on the job.

On the Ice With Bradie Tennell, Team USA Figure Skater

The Winter Olympics begin in just two weeks, and at least one athlete from the Chicago area will be there. Meet a figure skater from suburban Carpentersville who’s been preparing for the games for 17 years. 

Balancing Health Care Workers Rights with Reproductive Rights

A debate over reproductive health care and a $5 million TIF grant the city recently awarded to a Catholic hospital raises questions about where medical responsibility ends and religious freedom begins.

What’s Next for DACA after Court’s Decision

Understanding a federal court’s decision to keep the much-debated DACA program that protects young immigrants.