Educate Now! is a non-profit organization dedicated to effective and sustainable reform of New Orleans public schools. Our mission is carried out by:
- Providing current, comprehensive information on education reform in New Orleans
- Lending programmatic support to educational reforms already underway in New Orleans
- Advocating for decentralized, quality public schools for all students in New Orleans
Leslie Jacobs, Founder
Leslie Jacobs is an insurance executive who has been engaged in education reform for over twenty years. A native of New Orleans, she began as a business partner to an elementary school, served as an elected member of the New Orleans School Board, followed by a twelve year government appointed position on the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). During this time, she was instrumental in passing the constitutional amendment that created the Recovery School District and is considered the architect of Louisiana’s accountability reform. Through Educate Now!, she continues her efforts to build successful schools in a post-Katrina New Orleans.
Leslie has received numerous honors including the “Distinguished Service Award” from the National Association of State Boards of Education in Washington, DC, and the “National Governor’s Association Award for Distinguished Service to State Government.” She was also selected as one of the “Twenty People Who Influenced Louisiana 1981-2001,” by Louisiana Life.
Advisory Board Members
Arnold Baker, President – Baker Ready Mix and Building Materials
Matt Candler, Board Chairman – Louisiana Charter School Association
Mike Cowan, Executive Director – Common Good
Daniel Davillier, Chairman – New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce
Nick Gross, Business Development Analyst - Greater New Orleans, Inc.
Kira Orange Jones, Executive Director - Greater New Orleans Teach for America
Shannon Jones, Executive Director – The Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives, Tulane University
Jay Lapeyre, Chairman – New Orleans Business Council & President of Laitram, LLC
Nash Molpus, Associate Director – The Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives, Tulane University
Dr. Brian Riedlinger, CEO – The School Leadership Center of Greater New Orleans
Caroline Roemer, Executive Director – The LA Public Charter School Association
Nolan V. Rollins, President – The Urban League of Greater New Orleans
Sarah Newell Usdin, Founder – New Schools for New Orleans
Gina Warner, Executive Director – Afterschool Partnership for Greater New Orleans