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 economy added only about 100,000 private sector jobs last month - far fewer than had been expected.
And as NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports, a close reading of the numbers reveals that many of those jobs are low wage.
WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: Some of the nation's job growth has been in places like this - a suburban mall near Seattle. While many shoppers aren't spending like they did before the economic crash, they are buying more than they did a couple of years ago.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. When a runner, originally from Sudan, ran the Sioux Falls Marathon and shattered the world record by 25 minutes, he was as shocked as everyone else. Maybe I'm lost. I don't know, Olok Nykew told a reporter at the finish. Turns out, he was correct. According to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, he had arrived late to the race. He ran the wrong route - the half marathon. I'm not cheating. I was just confused, he said. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Let's catch up now on a court case in Connecticut that involves a group of death row inmates. The trial centers on whether there has been race, gender and geographic bias in Connecticut's death penalty cases. Diane Orson of member station WNPR reports.
Our last word in business today is: soda diplomacy. The long isolated Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar, also known as Burma, is now undergoing dramatic political reform and opening up to the outside world. The U.S. recently lifted sanctions and sent an ambassador there. And what comes next? Coca-Cola.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's proposal to overhaul the tax code continues to draw scrutiny.
Romney says it is possible to cut tax rates without driving the government deeper into the red, and that he can make up for the lost revenue by closing tax loopholes. But analysts have had a hard time testing Romney's claim because he hasn't offered many specifics.
When he was pressed by NBC's David Gregory this weekend to give an example of a loophole he would close, Romney didn't offer much detail.