In the News: A Clipping Service – June 22, 2011

In this edition of In the News:

  • Louisiana Education News
  • RSD News
  • Examining the Education Reformers
  • Charter News
  • Latest Education Research
  • Proposed Governance Model in the News

Louisiana Education News

46% of Schools Get ‘D,’ ‘F’ in New System
The Advocate – June 15, 2011
Nearly half of Louisiana’s public schools would get a “D” or “F” if a controversial school grading system that begins later this year were in effect today.

BESE Changes AP Policy
The Advocate – June 15, 2011
All school districts in Louisiana will now have to offer students access to at least one Advanced Placement course for college credit. Louisiana ranks next to last in the nation when it comes to public high school seniors earning AP credit.

RSD News

House Gives Final Passage to $25 Billion State Budget
The Times-Picayune – June 21, 2011
Louisiana’s budget is now on its way to the Governor’s desk after the House gave its final approval this week. The budget includes $8 million to help cover building insurance costs for the RSD.

New Coalition Aims to Give Voice to Public Education in Budget Talks
WWL-TV – June 9, 2011
A new education coalition is trying to make its voice heard. Among the coalition leaders is Orleans Parish School Board member Brett Bonin, who believes that RSD schools should have to pay for property insurance, not the state.

Educate Now! commentary:  OPSB member Brett Bonin, as part of this coalition, was against the state continuing to assist the RSD with its property insurance costs, arguing it was unfair to give some schools extra money and not all schools. While Educate Now! fully supports all schools getting an increase in funding, it was clear from the beginning that if this money didn’t go to the RSD, it wasn’t going to go to public education at all. Instead, Mr. Bonin’s efforts would have forced all RSD schools and some OPSB charter schools to lay off teachers and reduce services for some of the neediest public school children in New Orleans. As an elected member of the Orleans Parish School Board, Mr. Bonin should be working to help all of the 40,000 public school students in this city, not just the 2,600 students that attend schools directly operated by the OPSB.

New Orleans Approach to Public Schools Spreads to Detroit
The Times-Picayune – June 21, 2011
Michigan’s plan for struggling Detroit schools looks a lot like the approach pioneered by state officials for New Orleans. The worst of Detroit’s public schools will be pulled out of the district and placed in a new system that gives principals and staff more control over spending, hiring and improvement efforts.

Recovery School District to Lay Off More Than 70 Employees
The Times Picayune – June 17, 2011
Budget cuts and restructuring has led to the firing of more than 70 employees at the RSD’s central office. The RSD will be reorganized into five new divisions, reflecting an intensified focus on areas where the district has often met criticism, such as parent and community outreach.

RSD to Open Parent-Family Resource Centers Across New Orleans
The Recovery School District – June 10, 2011
The RSD has opened four parent-family resource centers in New Orleans to help families navigate the city’s system of schools. The centers will help with enrollment information, transcript requests, conflict resolution, up-to-date school information, parenting skills literature and community resource literature.

Examining the Education Reformers

School Reform’s New Generation
Washington Post – June 10, 2011
Joel Klein, former chancellor of New York’s public schools, looks at the latest crop of education reformers, including Louisiana’s RSD Superintendent John White. He says what they have in common is a willingness to challenge the heart of the educational establishment rather than tinker around its edges.

Critics Target Growing Army of Broad Leaders
Education Week – June 8, 2011
Today, 21 of the 75 largest districts have superintendents or other highly placed executives who underwent Broad training. As the number of influential school leaders trained by the Broad Superintendents Academy grows, its critics challenge what they see as too much corporate-style management.

Charter News

Our View: Charter School Debate Overlooks Lessons Learned
USA Today – June 21, 2011
USA Today says the debate over charters should focus more on which charters work and why. For example, New Orleans and New York are not afraid to close ineffective charter schools, and this strong accountability is key to charter success.

Opinion: Charter Start-ups vs. District Turnarounds: Attempting to Settle the Debate
The Education Gadfly – June 9, 2011
A comparison of charter start-ups to district turnaround schools in the same neighborhood and with the same demographics showed that charter schools were almost four times more likely to be successful (performing above the state average) than district turnarounds.

Dispute Exposes Tensions Over Charters’ Role in Cities
Education Week – June 9, 2011
The NAACP finds itself at odds with a group of minority parents because it is fighting to prevent the opening of 18 new public charter schools in NYC.

Latest Education Research

Rethinking Special Ed. Spending
Education Week – June 16, 2011
A new white paper called “Something Has Got to Change: Rethinking Special Education” offers a number of field-tested practices for taming out-of-control special education spending while serving students better.

Download the full report.

First Comprehensive Research on Summer Slide Released
Education Week – June 13, 2011
According to a new report, students can return to school in the fall at least a month behind where they were in the spring, but high-quality summer programs can help combat this summer learning loss.

Read the report online.

Proposed Governance Model in the News

Last week, Educate Now! released a new model for school governance in New Orleans designed by its Governance Task Force. For more discussion on The Return Model:

New Orleans Schools Would Answer To Three Boards Under New Proposal
The Huffington Post – June 15, 2011

New Plan Offers Unconventional Way to Govern New Orleans Schools
The Times-Picayune – June 14, 2011

Returning Orleans Schools to Local Control – An Interview with Leslie Jacobs
WWL-TV – June 19, 2011