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.
A 'school food Renaissance' at Greeley-Evans District 6 has caught the attention of federal nutrition officials. A representative with the U.S. Department of Agriculture will meet with school officials Tuesday and tour a kitchen that prepares student meals from scratch using fresh, local ingredients.
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."
Public school teachers in Chicago, the nation's third largest school district, are on strike today. Contract talks went into late Sunday night but failed to reach an agreement, and this marks the end of 25 years of relative labor peace in Chicago, a city with strong unions. Becky Vevea of member station WBEZ reports.