Governance Part 2: What’s Needed in the Long Term?

  • Who should authorize charter schools?
  • Who should manage school facilities?
  • Who should handle the money?
  • What should happen to the Orleans Parish School Board?
  • What about giving the mayor authority over schools?
  • What about an appointed school board?

While these are all important questions, Educate Now! urges everyone to hit the pause button and take time to fully understand the “what” of school governance (what roles, functions, services must be in place) before looking at the “who” (what individuals, group, organization, or political entity or entities should be responsible for these functions).
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Governance Part 1: Public Opinion and Performance

Education was an issue in the recent Mayoral and City Council elections, especially school governance and school performance. These issues were debated, discussed, and polled. Finally, the candidates were asked their positions. So, now that we have a new mayor and five of the seven city council seats have been decided, where are we?

Public Opinion

In addition to the publicly released polls from the Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL), the Cowen Institute and James Carville’s Democracy Corps, a number of candidates (myself included) conducted private polls that gathered voters’ opinions about the state of public education. In general:

The majority of voters:

  • Believe the state made the right decision in taking over the schools (Cowen);
  • Strongly support choice (CABL, Cowen);
  • Strongly support charters (CABL, Cowen, Democracy Corps);
  • Do not want schools returned to the Orleans Parish School Board (CABL, Cowen);
  • Do not want mayoral control of schools (Cowen); and
  • Would like return of local control eventually (Democracy Corps). Continue reading