In this edition of In the News:
- New Orleans’ Black Students are Closing the Performance Gap
- New Orleans is the #1 Brain Magnet
- Examining Education Reform in New Orleans
- Improving Student Performance
- National News
- News from BESE
New Orleans’ Black Students are Closing the Performance Gap
Closing the Performance Gap
Educate Now! – February 14, 2011
New Orleans leads the state in academic improvement since Katrina. The impact: our black students have gone from the lowest performing in the state to near the state average.
In 2004, when the Louisiana Department of Education, as required by No Child Left Behind, published the performance data of each subgroup (black, white, free and reduced lunch and special education students) by school district, Orleans Parish ranked last in the state in its black students’ performance. Roll forward to 2010, and we are now close to the state average. In the last three years, we have significantly narrowed the gap and could pass the state average with this year’s results.
New Orleans is the #1 Brain Magnet
#1 With a Brain
GNO, Inc. – February 2011
GNO, Inc. reports on the many positive signs of progress, including a recent article that ranked Greater New Orleans as #1 for gains in people with college degrees.
Examining Education Reform in New Orleans
New Schools in New Orleans
Education Next – Spring 2011
Jed Horne, a Pulitzer Prize winning former Times-Picayune journalist, provides the national journal Education Next with a look at the education reforms and issues in New Orleans.
Innovation Grants Prove Influential Stimulus Tool
Education Week – February 12, 2011
In cities like New Orleans and New York, the $650 million competitive ‘i3’ program is fueling efforts to reinvent schools.
Average ACT Score Remains at 17.5 for New Orleans Public School Students
The Times-Picayune – February 11, 2011
In 2010, New Orleans public school students scored an average of 17.5 on the ACT, unchanged from the previous year and several points below the state average of 20.1. A score of at least 20 is required to qualify for the TOPS free tuition program at a four-year Louisiana college. The minimum TOPS score for a two-year college is 17.
Improving Student Performance
Exercise Improves Math Skills, Brain Study Suggests
Education Week – February 10, 2011
A Georgia study showed that regular exercise helped sedentary, overweight children perform better on goal-oriented tasks and seemed to improve math skills.
Early Childhood Education Benefits Both Kids, Taxpayers, Study Says
USA Today – February 3, 2011
A recent study from the National Institutes of Health analyzed the records of more than 1,500 children who participated in Chicago’s Child-Parent Centers, tracking their progress through age 26. The study concluded that each dollar spent on the Centers generates $4 to $11 in return because children finished high school or college, earning more than their peers, and also because participants were less likely to be held back, arrested, or involved with drugs.
School Health Centers Improve Grades
UPI – February 3, 2011
The National Assembly on School-Based Health Care reports a 50% decrease in absenteeism and a 25% decrease in tardiness in high schoolers who received school-based mental health counseling. African-American male school-based health users were three times more likely to stay in school than their peers who did not use a school-based health center.
Why Are Other Countries Doing Better in Science than the U.S.?
The Hechinger Report – January 26, 2011
Studies show that students in the U.S. are outperformed in science by their international peers, and U.S. performance gets worse as students get older. This article concludes that the curriculum is to blame. Students in the U.S. are taught complicated facts before they have the basic knowledge necessary to understand them. For example, students are taught plate tectonics before learning about physics and the elements.
TeamScience Tames Teacher Turnover in Oakland
Education Week – January 30, 2011
In Oakland, CA teacher turnover, especially among science teachers, is a serious issue. To counter this problem, Oakland has implemented a mentoring program called TeamScience that pairs experienced science teachers with novices. In its first year TeamScience has significantly reduced teacher turnover and improved student performance.
House GOP Presses for Deep Cuts to Education
Education Week – February 18, 2011
A new House Republican spending measure includes cuts of more than 16% to the Education Department’s budget for the current fiscal year. The GOP bill includes cuts in Title I grants to school districts, Head Start, and Pell Grants that help low- and moderate-income students pay for college.
Common Core vs. Charter Schooling?!! Waving That Yellow Flag
Education Week – February 18, 2011
Recent developments in the push for Common Core standards have this writer worried. He sees the proposed assessments and prescriptions becoming much more intrusive, without anyone having really thought through the consequences, especially when it comes to charter school autonomy.
The Stimulus Turns Two: How Obama Quietly Changed Washington
Time Magazine – February 17, 2011
Obama has been harnessing the power of competition in the spending of taxpayer dollars. The best known of his programs is education’s Race to the Top, but the stimulus hatched similar competitions in energy, transportation, housing, health care and broadband, and his 2012 budget proposes even more competitive opportunities.
News From BESE
BESE OKs No Growth Schools Budget
The Advocate – February 16, 2011
For the third straight year the state’s per pupil funding formula will remain the same, which will leave many districts struggling to cover the rising costs of health care and salaries. The good news: unlike higher education, secondary school funding won’t be cut.
Teach For America Chief Gets BESE Job
The Advocate – February 11, 2011
BESE has been looking for a new executive director, and their choice is Catherine R. Pozniak, currently the executive director of Teach for America in South Dakota. According to BESE, Pozniak has had a lot of success in working with legislators, the Division of Administration and higher education.
UNO Press To Release Andre Perry’s Book
The official release of Andre Perry’s new book The Garden Path: The Miseducation of the City will take place Sunday, February 27 at a special broadcast of WWNO 89.9’s “The Reading Life” hosted by Susan Larson. The program is open to the public and will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, 2800 Chartres Street.
Leading Educators Accepting Applications
This tuition-free professional development program is designed to help support the needs of high performing schools by cultivating the talents of teacher-leaders. If you are an aspiring teacher-leader committed to closing the achievement gap in open enrollment public schools in Greater New Orleans, this two-year training program could be perfect for you. Application Deadline is March 25, 2011. To apply or to nominate a candidate, visit the Leading Educators website.