Scott Reeder: School choice should be an option for all families

SPRINGFIELD — The subject of school choice has come to the forefront in recent weeks with the appointment of Betsy DeVos as the U.S. Education Secretary.

When folks debate the merits of school choice, I can't help but smile.

The fact of the matter is we already have school choice in America.

George Will: New ASU school an encouraging sign

TEMPE, Ariz. — Encouraging developments are as welcome as they are rare in colleges and universities that cultivate diversity in everything but thought. Fortunately, state legislatures, alumni and philanthropists are planting little academic platoons that will make campuses less intellectually monochrome.

David Bernthal/Off the Bench: Jury doesn't always see all evidence

Trial by jury is an extremely important aspect of the judicial system in our country. I have written about it before and will likely do so again. A reader from Danville wrote me recently. While I cannot address personal legal matters or offer advice, the individual did raise a subject that I think impacts many.

John Foreman: The irresistible Willie T. Summerville

One of these days, I'll meet the man who didn't like Willie Summerville. I'm pretty sure I haven't met him yet — and I can tell you I don't look forward to the day.

Willie T. Summerville — musician, educator, force of nature — died last week at the age of 72. I have a hard time believing that anyone ever exposed to him doesn't feel some sense of loss.

Jim Dey: 'Fair share' case poses threat to public-employee unions

If unionized state employees are feeling beleaguered these days, it's easy to understand why.

In an effort to stave off an unpalatable contract proposal, members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees recently voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike.

Sundiata Cha-Jua/Real Talk: These are indeed trying times in America

It's "Harder Now," the title of the great soul artist Wilson Pickett's 1999 comeback album, characterizes my faith or lack thereof in non-African descendant people these days. It's harder now to watch, listen and read the news. It's never been easy to talk with white people, even progressives and radicals, but it's harder now.

George Will: A wry squint into our grim future

WASHINGTON — Although America's political system seems unable to stimulate robust, sustained economic growth, it at least is stimulating consumption of a small but important segment of literature.

Tom Kacich: Of Shimkus, Marlin, Bradfield and Urbana voters

Questions for Tom? Ask them here

Last week in a telephone conference call with reporters, U.S. Rep. John Shimkus said he doesn't do town hall meetings and never has.

Scott Reeder: Rauner unlikely to budge in union fight

SPRINGFIELD — Last week, when I heard that members of state government's largest union voted to authorize a strike, I just shook my head and wondered, "What are they thinking?"

Many state workers view this as necessary saber rattling so their union bosses can continue to pressure the governor.

Good luck on that. I don't see Gov. Bruce Rauner bending one iota.

Tom Kacich: Finding Rodney Davis

Questions for Tom? Ask them here

Last week was a "district work period" for members of the U.S. House of Representatives, meaning that U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, was free to spend time not in Washington, D.C., but in central Illinois.