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.
The existing contract for Detroit teachers was ripped up and chucked into the trash by the school district's emergency financial manager. The teachers' union is angry and making noise about a possible strike.
The Orleans Parish School Board's attorney says the board should appeal a ruling that thousands of New Orleans teachers and other school workers were wrongfully fired after Hurricane Katrina shut down the city and scattered its people in 2005.
William Aaron said Thursday he will recommend that the board take state Civil District Judge Ethel Simms Julien's decision to the state 4th Circuit Court of Appeal.