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.
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.
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.
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.
St. Charles Parish has declared a state of emergency due to the approach of Tropical Storm Isaac.
Parish President V.J. St. Pierre Jr. signed the order at 10:15 a.m., according to a press release from the parish, in advance of expected 105 mph winds, higher gusts, and storm surges between six and eight feet beginning Monday night and into Tuesday.
Louisiana didn’t become 41st in the nation on average ACT score because of public school performance alone. Public schools can’t take all the blame for why Louisiana keeps looking up at its peers on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Particularly in New Orleans, where 30 percent of the students attend private and parochial schools, the quality of this sector is critical to our city’s vitality.
The school bus company that transports most public school students in New Orleans has laid off its drivers in a dispute over $7.2 million in unpaid bills.
Blaine Krage, a spokesman for Warrenville, Ill.-based Durham School Services, told The Times-Picayune Tuesday that the company has sent termination letters to 142 drivers and 55 bus monitors telling them "we will not need their services this upcoming school year."