This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The Chicago Teachers Union and city school officials have reportedly reached what they call a framework for an agreement that would end a five-day teacher strike. The walkout has shut down school for 350,000 students this week. They could be back in class as early as Monday.
We're joined now by NPR education correspondent Claudio Sanchez. Claudio, thanks for being with us.
Stakeholders on all sides of the Chicago teachers’ strike trumpeted the phrase “civil rights” so much that it became hard to see who’s fighting for what. Beyond the strike, how many times do you hear advocates start a petition with, “The civil rights issue of the 21stcentury is [insert concern here]?"
It’s downright trendy to root for civil rights. But since we apparently solved for racism, what exactly is the most pivotal injustice that keeps citizens from realizing their full potential?
State education officials say more than 4,900 students from poorly performing public schools have taken advantage of the state's newly expanded voucher program, which uses government money to pay private school tuition.
The figure was released Thursday. The state said 14 percent of students using vouchers came from public schools that earned a C in the state's school accountability program; most — 69 percent — were from schools that made a D; 17 percent were from schools considered failing.
One of the primary issues at the heart of the the Chicago teachers' strike is whether student test scores should be used to evaluate teachers and determine their pay. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing that approach, as are other officials around the nation.
But many teachers insist that it's inherently unfair to grade their teaching based on their students' learning.
Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 3:46 pm
The intractable issues that led to the teachers' strike in Chicago are being argued about in states and school districts across the country.
The past decade has been a time of enormous ferment in education policy, with numerous new ideas and approaches being promoted by everyone from conservative think tanks to the well-heeled Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Obama administration officials.
Education has always played a key role in the American dream of advancement and opportunity. But, to this point, the issue has not been a major topic of discussion in this election season. On Wednesday, October 10th, NPR's Tell Me More with Michel Martin will host a LIVE radio broadcast and Twitter Education Forum, focusing on the education issues that matter.