Andre Thapedi

Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois

For years, high school graduates have fled Illinois to attend out-of-state colleges in such massive numbers, only New Jersey loses more. So State Rep. André Thapedi (D-Chicago) came up with an idea to try to keep top students here. He filed a bill that would give high school students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their class — and achieve certain standardized test scores — guaranteed admission at Illinois public universities.

Barack Obama
Pool photo by Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune

A would-be state holiday passed last week without notice in Illinois. But supporters are hoping it will be recognized in the future.

Beyonce, George Lucas, and Magic Johnson were among the stars on the guest list for President Barack Obama's White House 55th birthday party (Obama's former chief of staff, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, scored an invite too).

But back in his adopted home state, the day came and went with little recognition, to the disappointment of State representative André Thapedi, a Chicago Democrat. He's proposed making August 4 a state holiday.