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.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, fall is here and that means a new round of television shows are starting up. We've invited television critic Eric Deggans to tell us what's different this season, especially during daytime. That's in just a minute.
Tell Me More will host a live radio broadcast and Twitter Education Forum on October 10th. Host Michel Martin will discuss the roles of teachers, parents, government, business --- and of course, social media. To do that, we want to start the conversation now with listeners via Twitter. Join Tell Me More on Twitter today by using #npredchat.
When students and teachers at School 16 in Rochester, N.Y., start the new school year in a newer school building, they'll leave their old building's laundry list of infrastructure problems behind.
As teachers finish unloading boxes and setting up their new classrooms, they hope the newer, nicer digs will give students renewed pride in their school. Education experts say the move could also bring a bump to the school's flagging test scores, because better school buildings actually improve academic performance.