ICYMI: HB 166 (Bouie) Defeated

Monday, May 18, 2015, 7:51 pm

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) … Your mini news clipping

HB 166 (Bouie) Defeated

The Louisiana House of Representatives defeated HB 166 (Bouie) return of schools 33-61. The Times-Picayune would agree with this decision.

State Headlines

A District Court ruled BESE’s funding of type 2 charters in the MFP is constitutional. The judge said Type 2 charter schools are clearly public schools, and it was proper to support them with the use of public funds. The plaintiffs will appeal.
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Common Core Compromise Reached

Wednesday, May 13, 2015, 3:42 pm

Legislators and Superintendent John White have reached a compromise on a plan to move forward with Louisiana student standards and tests.

Both sides of the Common Core debate will declare a victory with this compromise.

For Common Core opponents:
  • BESE will begin a review process of the standards and come up with proposed new/revised standards by February 21, 2016.
  • The public, the Legislature, and Louisiana’s next governor will be able to weigh in on any new proposed standards.
  • Louisiana will no longer be part of the PARCC consortium for its tests. Next year’s tests will have no more than 49% of questions from PARCC.
For Common Core supporters:
  • Louisiana will keep its commitment to more rigorous standards and will have tests that allow Louisiana to compare its performance to other states.
  • The existing Common Core standards will remain in place until new standards are developed and approved.
  • Although new standards must be approved by the Legislature and the governor, any decision must be on the standards as a whole; they can’t edit specific parts. A No vote means BESE goes back to the drawing board, and the existing standards remain in place.

For more on the compromise and the proposed legislation that will make it possible, click on the links below.

View the proposed plan: Terms of an Agreement to Implement Challenging Louisiana Student Standards and Tests.

Read a Statement from the Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) on the proposed compromise.

Read more about the proposed compromise on Nola.com.

NOT NOW – Say NO to HB 166

Tuesday, May 12, 2015, 3:57 pm

House Bill 166 (Rep. Bouie, D-New Orleans) passed the Education Committee by the slimmest of margins and will now go to the House for a vote.

If enacted, HB 166 would require RSD New Orleans schools that are no longer failing to return to the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) as early as this fall.

OPSB is not ready for the return of these schools.

OPSB’s new superintendent, Henderson Lewis, Jr., has said he isn’t sure yet whether the district would be ready for the transfer of schools.

In an interview with The Advocate, Lewis pointed out that some of the most important functions of any central office in a charter-dominated school system are still carried out by RSD officials, including the central enrollment system and the hearing office for students facing expulsion. OPSB doesn’t have the policies or systems in place it will need to manage all the schools.

OPSB remains dysfunctional on many levels. It took the board 2½ years to hire a new superintendent. They have not been able to build consensus and pass new policies, even on easy issues that would bring OPSB into compliance with state law. And the recent indictment of former OPSB president Ira Thomas is an unfortunate reminder of the corruption that has plagued the OPSB.

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New Orleans Celebrates Our Graduates

Sunday, May 10, 2015, 4:04 pm

Friday was Senior Shout Out Day for all New Orleans public high schools to celebrate our 2,500 Seniors, 300 Colleges and $75 million in scholarships.

senior shout out 2015It was a truly inspiring day with graduates from every public high school in attendance.

Educate Now! congratulates and thanks the educators who impacted and helped shape these young people. Thank you for what you do every day.

I urge you to read Danielle Dreilinger’s story on the event: They’re off to College, and New Orleans Celebrates as well as this story from NBC News.

Educate Now! also thanks the City Council for recognizing our graduates.

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By the Numbers: Teacher Diversity

Monday, May 4, 2015, 5:09 pm

There has been a lot of talk about changes in teacher ethnicity since Katrina. Let’s take a look at the numbers.

In 2012-13, the most recent year for which we have district data, the makeup of New Orleans teachers (OPSB + RSD) was 51% African-American, 45% white and 4% other.

District
African-American
White
Other
RSD-NO 53% 43% 4%
OPSB 44% 51% 5%
New Orleans 51% 45% 4%

How does New Orleans compare to other cities?
Note: Educate Now! used data it could find online. Not all years compared are the same.1

  • In Louisiana in 20% of teachers were African-American. Nationally, 7% were African-American.
  • In Atlanta, 74% of teachers were African-American. Washington, DC was similar to New Orleans, while Chicago and New York City had a smaller percentage of African-American teachers.
City/District
African-American
White
Atlanta
74%
22%
Washington, D.C.
52%
36%
New Orleans
51%
45%
Chicago
24%
50%
New York City
20%
49%
Louisiana
20%
74%
National
7%
82%

How do we compare to pre-Katrina?

In 2003-04 (the state did not publish data for 2004-05 school year), 74% of New Orleans teachers were African-American, 24% white and 2% other.
___________________
1 Teacher data for Chicago are from 2013-14. Data for the national average and for other cities used for comparison are from 2011-12.

 

ICYMI: More N.O. families trying to get children into public schools

Monday, May 4, 2015, 4:12 pm

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) … Your mini news clippings  

More New Orleans families are trying to get their child into public school. Almost 4,000 new students applied through OneApp during its main round, a 22% increase from last year. Two thirds of families’ choices were outside their neighborhood zone. The second round of OneApp has already begun for families who do not have a spot for their child in the fall or who are unhappy with the results of the main round.

At a recent BGR breakfast, new Superintendent Henderson Lewis Jr. promised to restore trust in the Orleans Parish School Board by cutting staff in the school system’s central office, improving employee ethics, and cleaning up contracts. He also stated the district needs to adopt a portfolio management structure. Visit the BGR website to listen to his remarks

Legislative Session

One group of Common Core supporters distributed pink and white stuffed unicorns to state lawmakers to make the point that many of the criticisms they’ve heard about Common Core are no more real than unicorns. Visit their website www.unicornsarenotreal.com for more on the myths about Common Core.

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Personalized Learning is Gaining Traction in New Orleans

Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 4:14 pm

Sharing a commitment to ensuring all New Orleans students have a competitive edge in an innovation-based economy, New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO) and Educate Now! recently announced grants totaling $1.5 million to implement new, school-wide personalized learning programs in New Orleans public schools. Funding for these grants comes from both national and local sources, showing a broad base of support for personalized learning in New Orleans.

Personalized learning initiatives tailor instruction to the individual needs, skills, and interests of students using technology, robust data, and rigorous planning. This education model gives teachers and schools the opportunity to accelerate student learning and skill mastery, particularly for struggling students. Akili Academy, KIPP McDonogh 15 Middle School, and New Orleans Charter Science & Mathematics High School (Sci High) will each receive $300,000 to create a more student-centric instruction approach beginning in the fall of 2015. An additional set of schools received grants to support exploration and piloting of personalized strategies.

The grants are being funded by the Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC), the Booth-Bricker Fund, Baptist Community Ministries, and Educate Now! They are part of a broader plan by NSNO and Educate Now! to increase the use of personalized learning in schools across the city.

For more information on these grants and other personalized learning initiatives from NSNO and Educate Now!, click here.

NSNO and Educate Now! anticipate releasing another round of grants for personalized learning in the 2015-16 school year.

ICYMI: The Atlantic looks at the Lost Children of Katrina

Sunday, April 12, 2015, 11:36 pm

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) … Your mini news clippings

The Atlantic looks at the Lost Children of Katrina – the New Orleans children who spent years after Katrina in a nomadic exile that severely disrupted their education.

In response to the latest CREDO study, Fortune Magazine says urban charter schools are succeeding – so get out of their way. In cities where charters are achieving significant gains, enrollment opportunities should be expanded so more kids can take advantage of them.

Common Core is unpopular in Louisiana when you call it Common Core Academic Standards, an LSU survey finds, but 67% of citizens and 71% of Republicans support the concept when it is just referred to as “academic standards.”

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By the Numbers: The Graduating Class of 2014

Monday, April 6, 2015, 10:32 pm

The state just released new data on cohort graduation rates and college enrollment rates. Continuing our By the Numbers series, Educate Now! takes a look at the class of 2014.

THE GOOD NEWS

100% more students enrolled in college

In 2005, only 675 Orleans Parish Public School graduates enrolled in a two or four year college the following fall, compared to 1,360 graduates from New Orleans’ class of 2014.

Even though the 2014 senior class was much smaller than the 2005 senior class (2,654 students versus 3,753), our schools sent a much higher proportion of students to college. This tremendous increase is a testament to the hard work of educators in New Orleans.

College_Enrollment_2005_vs_2014

 2005 vs. 2014

2005 2014
Number of seniors
3573 2654
Number of graduates
2878 2305
Number enrolled in college
675 1360
Percent of senior class in college
19% 51%

65% of Black males graduated on time: New Orleans outperforms nation

With a 65% Black male graduation rate1, New Orleans is now outperforming the state and the nation. The Schott Foundation recently published Black Lives Matter: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males. In 2013:
  • The national graduation rate for Black males was 59%.
  • Louisiana’s graduation rate for Black males was 59%.
  • New Orleans graduation rate for Black males was 65%.

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ICYMI: A Week of Research

Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 8:37 am

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) … Your mini news clippings

New Orleans Charters Outperform

Charter schools in urban areas are outperforming traditionally operated public schools, according to CREDO’s latest report. CREDO has been studying charter school performance for a number of years. This latest study included 41 cities and found students in urban charters gained 40 more days of math and 28 more days of reading than their peers in traditional public schools. New Orleans’ results were among the strongest:

  • Students in New Orleans charters gained the equivalent of an extra 86 days in math and 63 days in English compared to their peers in traditional public schools. (Louisiana assumes a 180 day school year, so about one half of a school year extra in math and one-third in reading)
  • This puts New Orleans 7th out of 41 urban areas studied.

Other Research

US News and World Report focuses on New Orleans public schools in a story on equity in school choice. This story was in response to a report from the Education Research Alliance (ERA) on how schools in New Orleans respond to competition. Both US News and World Report and the Times-Picayune point out how New Orleans is ensuring equity of access through OneApp.

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