In the News: A Clipping Service – May 31, 2011

In this edition of In the News:

  • Reforms Face Challenge
  • Test Scores Follow-up
  • What’s Working in Education Reform
  • What’s Not Working in Education Reform
  • RSD in the News
  • State Superintendent Debate
  • Teacher Wins Bookstore Shopping Spree for Class

Reforms Face Challenge

Opponents of New Orleans School Reform Gaining Ground, Supporters
The Times-Picayune – May 23, 2011
Opponents of former State Superintendent Pastorek’s education reform agenda are organizing statewide for the upcoming BESE elections. This coalition opposes reforms such as the Recovery School District, charter schools and evaluating teachers based on student test scores.

Test Scores Follow-up

Educate Now! did an Analysis of 2011 Test Scores for New Orleans last week. Here are some additional articles on these results.

Test Scores a Boost for Backers of Charter-heavy New Orleans Model, but Critics Question Aspects of New System
The Times-Picayune – May 29, 2011

Progress in Standardized Tests in New Orleans Show the Benefits of Reform: An Editorial
The Times-Picayune – May 26, 2011

State Officials Cheer Rising LEAP Test Scores
The Advocate – May 25, 2011

What’s Working In Education Reform

Study Links School Safety to Achievement, Relationships
Education Week – May 10, 2011
School safety isn’t about metal detectors and guards; it’s about relationships and student achievement.

OPINION: The Important Role of Charter Schools
The Hill – May 17, 2011
Sen. Mary Landrieu takes a look at the role charter schools have played in New Orleans and in D.C. where they have provided more parent choice and have improved student achievement.

What’s Not Working in Education Reform

New Study Sees Little Benefit for Staff Development in Math
Education Week – May 26, 2011
A new federally funded study found that two years of professional development for 7th grade math teachers failed to result in a measurable impact on either teacher knowledge or student achievement. A 2008 study on professional development for reading intervention showed similar results.

Six in 10 Texas Seniors Have Been Suspended or Worse, Study Finds
Education Week – May 26, 2011
In Texas, nearly six out of 10 students have received an in-school or out-of-school suspension, were expelled, or were incarcerated at some point by their 12th grade year.

Your Education is Not an Equal Opportunity
CNN – May 16, 2011
When where you live determines how good (or bad) your school will be, the right zip code becomes a lottery ticket to a better future.

Reformer: Abandon Bad Schools
The Advocate – May 27, 2011
National education reformer Kevin Chavous, the chairman of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, says we must have the courage to close failing schools. “We can’t sacrifice a generation of students based on nostalgia.”

RSD in the News

Transforming Education: Neerav Kingsland, New Schools for New Orleans
Education Week – May 19, 2011
Neerav Kingsland, Chief Strategy Officer for New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO), discusses NSNO, its successes, and the challenges to be faced by the next generation of education reformers.

Recovery School District Will Use Teacher Evaluations in Deciding Layoffs
The Times-Picayune – May 12, 2011
For the first time, the RSD will use teacher evaluations to determine which teachers will be returning next year. These performance evaluations are made by the school principals.

Recovery School District Chief Maps Out First 100 Days
The Times-Picayune – May 13, 2011
New RSD Superintendent John White says he plans to spend his first 100 days listening and learning before he lays out more concrete plans for the RSD’s future.

New Orleans School Officials Must Fulfill Promise to All Students: An Editorial
The Times-Picayune – May 12, 2011
Before they left, Paul Vallas and Paul Pastorek each made a promise to help parents (especially parents of students with disabilities) navigate New Orleans’ education system. The Times-Picayune says the new RSD Superintendent and new State Superintendent (when chosen) must fulfill this promise.

New Orleans Schools are Slated to Lose Voucher, Insurance Money from State
The Times-Picayune – May 24, 2011
Proposed budget cuts would target New Orleans school funding and would eliminate the Louisiana voucher program.
Editor’s Note: The House restored funds for the voucher program but not for insurance. The budget bill is now in Senate Finance.

State Superintendent Debate

Duncan Inserts Himself in La. Schools Chief Debate
The Associated Press – May 18, 2011
U.S. Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan called two BESE members to praise newly appointed RSD Superintendent John White, who is Governor Jindal’s choice for interim State Superintendent.

BESE Clash Distracting from Reform
New Orleans CityBusiness – May 16, 2011
Education advocates worry that the debate over whether John White should serve as interim State Superintendent has detracted from the more important conversation about school reform efforts and long-term leadership.

Teacher Wins Bookstore Shopping Spree for Class

Educate Now! congratulates Allison Ryan, the winner of our bookstore shopping spree competition. Allison is a first grade teacher at Andrew H. Wilson Charter School. Last week, her class went to the Maple Street Book Shop where each child selected a book of their very own to take home! Special thanks to Maple Street for hosting the class, providing story time, and helping Allison’s students to choose their books.