The View From Room 205

This is a story about some little kids and a big idea.

2017 / Linda Lutton / WBEZ, USA


This is a story about some little kids and a big idea.

Reporter Linda Lutton spent an entire school year with fourth graders at William Penn Elementary on Chicago’s West Side in the North Lawndale neighborhood. While there, she explored an idea that's influenced educational policy nationwide. It's the philosophy of "No Excuses." As in, if schools are good enough, they should be able to overcome poverty of any kind and get kids to achieve at the highest levels.

Listen to the doc and decide for yourself if that's true.

Linda collected hundreds of hours of tape for this story, find out what she had to leave on the cutting room floor in our Behind-the Scenes interview.

WBEZ created a beautiful web feature for the story, including illustrations and the entire transcript.

Additional Credits:
The View From Room 205 was edited by Marianne McCune, with Cate Cahan. Production by Joe DeCeault. Reporting during the 2014-15 school year at Penn was supported by a Spencer Fellowship in Education Reporting at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.


produced by

Linda Lutton

Linda Lutton is an education reporter for WBEZ in Chicago.


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