Looking to New Orleans
New Orleans school reform could serve as model for KCPS
KSHB Kansas City – February 17, 2014
The education think tank CEE-Trust has developed a plan for taking over Kansas City Public Schools (should the state of Missouri choose to intervene) that borrows heavily from New Orleans – decentralizing school control and giving educators the freedom to run schools as they choose while holding them to strong performance accountability standards.
‘Educare New Orleans’ a poster program for closing the education gap
Minnesota Post – February 17, 2014
The Minnesota Post says Educare New Orleans could serve as a model for high-quality early childhood education. The 27,000-square-foot facility, located on the site of the former St. Bernard housing project in Gentilly, opened in October and serves 150 low-income children between the ages of 6 weeks and 5 years and their families. Educare is a national program with 19 early childhood centers throughout the country.
Debate Over Discipline
The Student-Led Backlash Against New Orleans Charter Schools
The Atlantic – February 5, 2014
Meredith Simons believes that discipline policies at some New Orleans charters, specifically Collegiate Academies, are too strict and not in the best interest of the students or the community. Ms. Simons is a local KIPP elementary school teacher who praises her own school for improving academic outcomes while celebrating the creativity and spirit of celebration that makes New Orleans unique. Collegiate Academies says Ms. Simons misrepresented their school culture. She never visited any of their campuses, and she chose to withhold details of Collegiate’s positive incentives, extracurricular and elective programs, and community partnerships.
Editor’s note: What is lost in this conversation is that students and families in New Orleans have choice. No student is forced to enroll in a particular high school. Students are welcome to visit the campus prior to enrolling, and Collegiate is very transparent about its philosophy, its expectations of students, its discipline policy, and its results. If Collegiate is not the right fit for a student, then that student and family should choose another school.