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The charter school movement is growing fast all over the country, but in New Orleans charters encompass no less than 53% of all public school students. Are charters the answer to education reform? We hear about teachers' unions, student achievement and the impact on traditional public schools. Also, the Supreme Court shoots down the DC gun ban, and constructive diplomacy between the the US and North Korea could lead to the blowing up of a nuclear cooling tower on international TV.

Kindergartners look at name cards on their first day of school at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School for Science and Technology in the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans, Louisiana. The school, closed since Katrina swept through in 2005 leaving it under 14 feet of water, finally re-opened August 13,2007. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Spin Cycle

Jeffrey Henig

Making News Supreme Court Shoots Down DC Gun Ban 5 MIN, 42 SEC

For the first time in history, the US Supreme Court has ruled that the Second Amendment protects the right of individual Americans to own guns.  The court split five to four, with Justice Antonin Scalia writing for the majority. Michael Doyle covers the court for the McClatchy Newspapers.

Michael Doyle, McClatchy Newspapers (@MichaelDoyle10)

Main Topic New Orleans, Charter Schools and the Education Reform 33 MIN, 50 SEC

Charter schools are being touted as the free-market alternative for parents whose kids are stuck in failing institutions, especially in inner cities. In the aftermath of Katrina, with 53% of its public-school students enrolled in charter schools, New Orleans has embraced so many charter schools it's become "ground zero" for the entire movement. It's the logical place for this week's conference of the National Alliance for Public School Charters. We ask New Orleans' superintendent and others what works and what doesn't. Are entrenched bureaucracies being overcome?  Are teachers' unions coming around? Most important: are charters upgrading student achievement?

Jay Mathews, staff writer, Washington Post
Sean Gallagher, Executive Director, Akili Academy
Paul Vallas, Superintendent, Louisiana's Recovery School District
Jeffrey Henig, Professor of Political Science and Education, Columbia University
Valarie Lewis, Principal, PS/MS 124

Reporter's Notebook Update on North Korea 9 MIN, 7 SEC

North Korea was part of President Bush's "axis of evil," but it's about to be removed from the US list of countries that sponsor terrorism. That's in exchange for turning over a long-awaited inventory of its nuclear program to China. In the White House Rose Garden today, the President described the latest diplomatic agreement, offering North Korea both the proverbial carrot and stick. Selig Harrison is director of the Asia Program at the Center for International Policy and chairman of its Task Force on US-Korea Policy.

Selig Harrison, Center for International Policy

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