In the News: A Clipping Service – November 21, 2011

In this edition of In the News:

  • BESE Election Results
  • Other Louisiana Stories
  • Pizza Becomes a Political Hot Potato
  • National Education News
  • BESE Election Results

The BESE runoff elections were on Saturday, November 19th:

  • Kira Orange Jones won District 2 (New Orleans, Jefferson and the River Parishes) with 57% of the vote, defeating incumbent Louella Givens.
  • Incumbent Chas Roemer won District 6 (Baton Rouge area) with 57% of the vote, defeating Donald Songy.
  • Carolyn Hill won District 8 (central Louisiana and Baton Rouge area) with 58% of the vote, defeating Jim Guillory.

For more information on the elections:

Big Easy Battle
The Daily – November 19, 2011

Kira Orange Jones Elected to BESE
The Times-Picayune – November 19, 2011

Reform Candidates Sweep BESE Runoffs
LaPolitics – November 20, 2011

Other Louisiana Stories

Does New Orleans Welcome Disabled Students?
NPR – November 15, 2011
This story looks at students with disabilities and the challenges their parents face navigating New Orleans’ new “system of schools.” Two families talk about their experiences, how one joined the class action lawsuit against Louisiana for discrimination against students with disabilities, and how both eventually found the right home for their children in charter schools.

Hurricane Katrina School Insurance-Money Division is Agreed Upon
The Times-Picayune – November 19, 2011
The Orleans Parish School Board and the RSD have settled their lawsuit on property insurance proceeds, agreeing that the remaining settlement funds will be used to finance projects in the Master Plan for school construction and renovation. The main litigation with insurance companies is still ongoing. View the report from the OPSB Business Meeting.

Louisiana Opts Not to Apply This Time for Waivers to the No Child Left Behind Act
The Times-Picayune – November 17, 2011
Louisiana did not apply in the first round of applications for waivers to the federal No Child Left Behind Act, but the state does plan to compete in the second round in February.

ABR to Seek Other Operators
The Advocate – November 21, 2011
Due to poor performance, five Baton Rouge schools run by the charter organization Advance Baton Rouge will be transitioned back to the state over the next couple of years and then eventually to new charter operators.

Pizza Becomes a Political Hot Potato

Congress Blocks New Rules on School Lunches
New York Times – November 15, 2011
Congress has rejected proposed changes to the school lunch program that would have forced schools to serve healthier food. The new rules would have added more fruits and vegetables, reduced the amount of potatoes (french fries) served, reduced the amount of sodium, and prevented schools from counting 1/8 cup of tomato paste on pizza as a vegetable.

Pizza Emerges as New Political Hot Potato
Education Week – November 8, 2011
A new agriculture spending bill, which passed both the House and Senate with bi-partisan support, has become a political hot potato due to its “pizza-protection provision.”

National Education News

Student Achievement, Observations Correlated in Chicago Pilot
Education Week – November 16, 2011
A new study of Chicago’s teacher evaluation pilot program compared the results of the new value-added model with principal observations. The study found that both methods identified the same teachers as particularly high- or low-performing, but principals struggled to provide support to teachers that needed help.

Ohio Voters Reject Law Limiting Teachers’ Collective Bargaining
Education Week – November 8, 2011
Ohio voters have rejected a law that would have blocked collective bargaining over class sizes and school assignments and would have forbidden districts from deciding layoffs based on last hired, first fired.

New Research Targets Teaching’s Diversity Gap
Center for American Progress – November 9, 2011
A new analysis of teacher diversity shows that while students of color make up 40% of the nation’s public school population, teachers of color make up only 17% of the teacher workforce. The report concludes that the U.S. needs to improve the professional experience for teachers of color. We also need to build on the success of alternate certification programs, such as Teach For America and The New Teacher Project, because one quarter of all African-American and Hispanic teachers currently come through these routes.

KIPP Charter Network Receives $25.5 Million From Walton Family Foundation
Education Week – November 15, 2011
The Walton Family Foundation is announcing its plans today to donate $25.5 million to the national KIPP charter network to help them double the number of students attending KIPP schools by 2015. The grant will help fund KIPP’s plan to train 750 KIPP educators to become founders, assistant principals, deans of students, special education directors, and other leaders for KIPP schools.

More Ind. School Takeovers Possible With New Rules
The Associated Press – November 17, 2011
Taking a page from Louisiana’s Recovery School District, the Indiana State Board of Education has begun transferring failing schools over to state control. Indiana is now considering new, tougher rules that could greatly expand the number of public schools subject to state takeover.