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.
Schools closed by the drenching rains and gusty winds of Hurricane Isaac are beginning to reopen.
Officials say nine schools within the St. John the Baptist Parish School District reopened Monday with at least a 92 percent student attendance rate. District-wide attendance increased to almost 95 percent by Tuesday.
Superintendent of Schools Herbert Smith said employees have been "working tirelessly" to ensure a quick return to schools.
Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 10:23 am
As a strike by Chicago's schoolteachers enters a third day, the president of their union says negotiators are still "miles apart" from an agreement to get 350,000 students back in the classroom, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The talks were set to resume Wednesday morning, but Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said there had been only "centimeters" of progress and that the union and city were still "kilometers apart."
Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 5:19 pm
Getting caught in a fight between two important allies is not where a president locked in a tight re-election race would willingly choose to be.
But that's where President Obama is today as he attempts for now to stay above the fray pitting the striking Chicago teachers against Mayor Rahm Emanuel who, in an earlier incarnation, was Obama's White House chief of staff.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
I'm Melissa Block. And we begin this hour with day two of the Chicago teachers' strike. Some 350,000 students are affected by the walkout in the nation's third-largest school district. We'll have a report on how the strike is playing out in the presidential race.
CORNISH: But, first, NPR's Sonari Glinton reports on how parents, churches and local charities are scrambling to figure out what to do with so many kids with nowhere to go.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. To many people, a teacher spanking a student for starting a fight or talking back in class might seem like a relic of distant times, but it's more common than you might think. Though the trend is down, as recently as six years ago, a quarter of a million students were spanked at school, and laws in 19 states allow corporal punishment.
It was a major accomplishment in Chicago that teachers who used to walk out frequently had, for the past 25 years, managed to avoid a strike. But it's not surprising, many experts say, that things would fall apart now.
"I think it is a perfect storm," says Tim Knowles, head of the University of Chicago's Urban Education Institute. He says issues in Chicago — of tying teacher pay to student test scores, job security, longer school days and expanding charter schools, for example — are not unlike issues unions have grappled with in other cities, from New York to Los Angeles.