For more on this and for a sense of how and why the school situation in Chicago affects the ongoing conversation about education policy across the country, we have Stephen Sawchuk. He's the assistant editor for Education Week. He joins us from Chicago. Welcome, Stephen.
STEPHEN SAWCHUK: Hi, Audie. Thanks so much for having me.
CORNISH: So, first, give us a sense of where Chicago school district fits in the national picture these days. I mean, how does Chicago schools compare with those in other big cities?
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
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In Chicago today, teachers walked picket lines at more than 600 schools. It's the city's first teacher strike in 25 years. Over the weekend, negotiators failed to reach agreement on a contract. They're back at the bargaining table today in hopes of sending 350,000 students back to school before the public's patience wears thin.
From member station WBEZ in Chicago, Becky Vevea has the story.
Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 9:06 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.
Eight weeks before the presidential election, new laws passed by Republican legislatures that concern who can vote and when remain in the hands of federal and state judges.
Among the cases: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court this week will hear an appeal to overturn that state's new voter ID law. An appeal is expected in a case involving early voting in Ohio. And a federal court is still considering whether South Carolina can go ahead with its new voter ID law.
The Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio faces questions about its accreditation because of a course description that links homosexuality with crimes like murder, rape and robbery.
The university's social work program offers the course, called SWK 314 Deviant Behavior. The course description reads: "The behaviors that are primarily examined are murder, rape, robbery, prostitution, homosexuality, mental illness and drug use."
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Now it's time to go behind closed doors. That's the part of the program where we talk about difficult issues that are often kept hidden.
And in this election season we've been hearing a lot about why candidates take on the issues they've chosen to address. Sometimes it's because an issue is popular, but sometimes it's just too important to ignore, and sometimes it's also personal.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up: The designers are sending their creations down the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. And just in case your invitations to some of those big-name shows got lost in the mail, we will bring the runway to you. We'll talk with a reporter who's in the mix to tell us what's hot and what's not. That's later in the program.
Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 9:59 am
Remember the dark days of 2008 when insurer American International Group Inc., better known as AIG, nearly collapsed under the weight of the mortgage crisis before Washington rode to the rescue to the tune of $182 billion?
Then there was the public outrage when AIG executives got millions in bonuses after receiving the largest of all of the Wall Street bailouts.
Since then, the New York-based insurance giant has been essentially a government-owned enterprise, with Uncle Sam holding a controlling share.
Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 4:58 pm
Teachers in Chicago walked off the job Monday after contract negotiations fell through, leaving 400,000 students in the nation's third-largest district shut out of their classrooms.
Contract talks broke down late last night, and by Monday morning Chicago public school teachers, many wearing red T-shirts and carrying signs, were picketing around the city for the first time in a quarter-century.
Princess Cruise Lines, which operates the mammoth cruise ship Star Princess (above), is being sued after allegedly ignoring a Panamanian fishing boat in distress. Two men died when the boat sank; one man survived.
The owners of the Star Princess cruise ship say that they have new video evidence that proves they are not responsible for ignoring a stranded fishing vessel 100 miles off the coast of South America in March.