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.
With the Chicago Teachers Union on strike, the Chicago Public Schools opened more than 140 sites Monday to help provide child care for students affected by the strike. Renee Montagne speaks with Lorraine Forte, editor-in-chief of Catalyst Chicago, a nonprofit watchdog covering education in the city. She visited a couple of schools on Monday that are providing child care, and also went to an alternate site at a local community center.
Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 8:06 am
The strike that shut schools in Chicago on Monday illustrates a larger, national trend: Teachers unions are having a harder time getting what they want.
For decades, teachers unions have been among the most powerful lobbying groups in nearly every state — and have been arguably even more powerful at the local level, where they've often been able to unseat school board members and even mayors who crossed them.
Louisiana's education department is soliciting ideas from nontraditional places, seeking to offer students new academic courses, skills training and work-based apprenticeships outside of public school classrooms.
The new "Course Choice" program will begin in fall 2013, after state education leaders choose from among the many applications from contracting groups, online course providers and colleges seeking state tax dollars to teach public school students.
LSU AgCenter faculty will offer information ranging from beef cattle management to pruning timber at the Hill Farm Field Day set Oct. 9.
Activities begin with registration at 9 a.m., said LSU AgCenter forestry professor Michael Blazier.
Topics to be discussed by LSU AgCenter research and extension faculty during the general station field tour include forage management, beef cattle research, the poultry demonstration house project and planting and thinning strategies for loblolly pine, Blazier said.
A count of how many Louisiana students are enrolled in private and parochial schools through the taxpayer-funded voucher program will be available next week.
Barry Landry, a spokesman for the Department of Education, says schools participating in the program have until Sunday to report their enrollment numbers of voucher students. Landry says the department will release the figures after the numbers are verified.