Rockford, Illinois

From Academic Kids

Rockford is a city located in Winnebago County, Illinois, USA. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 150,115. It is the third largest city in Illinois and county seat of Winnebago CountyTemplate:GR. The mayor is Lawrence J. Morrissey, an independent elected to a four year term in April 2005.

Contents

Geography

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ILMap-doton-Rockford.PNG
Location of Rockford, Illinois

Rockford is (http://www.rockfordlink.com) located at 42°16'11" North, 89°4'11" West (42.269770, -89.069754)Template:GR.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 146.9 km² (56.7 mi²). 145.1 km² (56.0 mi²) of it is land and 1.8 km² (0.7 mi²) is water. The total area is 1.25% water.

Rockford  (http://www.rockfordlink.com) is at the intersection of Interstate 90, U.S. Highway 20, and Interstate 39.

Demographics

As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 150,115 people, 59,158 households, and 37,328 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,034.8/km² (2,680.4/mi²). There are 63,570 housing units at an average density of 438.2/km² (1,135.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 72.81% White, 17.37% African American, 0.32% Native American, 2.20% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 4.80% from other races, and 2.46% from two or more races. 10.18% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 59,158 households of which 31.5% include children under the age of 18, 43.8% are married couples living together, 14.8% have a female householder with no husband present, and 36.9% are non-families. 30.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.46 and the average family size is 3.09.

In the city the population is spread out with 26.7% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 88.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $37,667, and the median income for a family is $45,465. Males have a median income of $37,098 versus $25,421 for females. The per capita income for the city is $19,781. 14.0% of the population and 10.5% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 19.6% of those under the age of 18 and 8.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Rockford School System

Post-secondary

Rockford, Illinois is the site of Northern Illinois University Rockford, Rockford Business College, Rockford College, Rock Valley College, and the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford.

Rockford College is best known for graduating Jane Addams, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 for her efforts to promote international peace and justice. Laura Jane Addams (1860 - 1935) entered what was then Rockford Female Seminary in 1877 and became the first graduate to receive a B.A.degree from the newly accredited baccalaureate institution in 1882 (the school was renamed Rockford College in 1892).

  • Rock Valley College (http://www.rockvalleycollege.edu/show.cfm?durki=2&CFID=54912&CFTOKEN=42556550)

Public School District 205

The Rockford Public School District covers about 170 square miles and serves over 27,000 students. It is the third largest school district in the state, with 40 elementary schools, five middle schools, and four high schools. It is also a center of controversy due to its involvement in continued court cases with groups against alleged racial discrimination and illegal taxing. A group of citizens calling themselves People Who Care brought a lawsuit against District 205 for racial disparity in the school system, citing the landmark school segregation case, Brown v. Board of Education. They cited the fact that white students scored an average of 35% higher on standard tests than African Americans and Hispanics in the school district (Adversity.net).

In 1993, U.S. Magistrate Judge P. Michael Mahoney found the district guilty of systematic discrimination against African-American and Hispanic students (Adversity.net). In March 1994, the school district was ordered to "eliminate all vestiges of discriminating against black and Hispanic students." Not long after, another judge ordered District 205 to implement "system-wide remedies." These remedies include extensive busing of children from one side of town to the other, because most of the schools on the west side of the Rock River are predominantly African-American and Hispanic, while those on the East side are predominantly Caucasian. The remedies also include building new schools and updating existing ones on the west side of Rockford (ISU School Law Quarterly).

For over a decade, the federal courtís orders regulated virtually every aspect of school administration in Rockford, requiring the district to expend over $210 million through the 1998-99 school year. Areas of federal judicial control include student assignment, within-school assignment, extra-curricular activities, discipline, curriculum and instruction, transportation, disposition and acquisition of facilities, district boundaries, facilities and equipment. The people of Rockford pay the highest property tax of any community in the United States (Adversity.net).

On April 18, 2001 Rockford Public Schools were granted their freedom from twelve years of school "desegregation" litigation and a five year old court order called "ambitious schemes of social engineering," by Judge Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The decision ordered that the district be granted the relief they sought. Rockford students are now free to attend neighborhood schools. "The racial balance guidelines imposed by the court are no longer valid," proclaimed school district attorney Tom Lester. Middle and high schools are open enrollment with a priority given to students living within one and one/half miles of the school. Under performing schools will be targeted with special initiatives to bring up the performance. Children currently enrolled in a school can stay there even if it is not their attendance area school, and students with brothers and sisters already enrolled in a certain school have a better chance to attend the same school. Each magnet school is also given an attendance area (Nans.org).

Sources

  • Adversity.net (http://www.adversity.net/education_1_illinois.htm)

External link


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