In the News: A Clipping Service – December 5, 2011

In the News: A Clipping Service

In this edition of In the News:

  • The Daily Comes to New Orleans
  • Louisiana Education Reform: What’s Next?
  • Charter School News
  • National Education Stories
  • Focus on Teach For America

The Daily Comes to New Orleans
The national, online magazine The Daily profiled education reform in New Orleans and how we are working to retain the young talent in the city. This three part series highlights Sci Academy as a new charter start-up (part 1), the teachers who are the cornerstone of the school’s success (part 2), and the influx of new, young people to the city (part 3).

Save Our Schools Part I: New Orleans’ New Start
The Daily – November 26, 2011

Save Our Schools, Part II: In a Class of Their Own
The Daily – November 27, 2011

Save Our Schools, Part III: Big Easy Dreams
The Daily – November 28, 2011

Louisiana Education Reform: What’s Next?

Jindal Sets Education Goals
The Advocate – December 4, 2011
Although the Governor is not yet ready to release his formal education agenda, he has begun discussing some of his goals, which include improved teacher quality (tenure reform), more school choices for parents (expansion of vouchers) and more flexibility for schools in spending (giving principals more authority).

Analysis: Lawmakers Needed for Education Policy in Louisiana
New Orleans CityBusiness – November 28, 2011
While voters overwhelmingly showed support for education reform in the recent BESE elections, change will not happen without the support of Louisiana legislators. Real reform in Louisiana’s public schools will require changes to Louisiana’s laws.

Teacher Rating Plan Progressing
The Advocate – December 4, 2011
A new, controversial teacher rating plan is expected to be approved by BESE this week. Under the new plan, 50% of a teacher’s performance rating will include a value-added component based on students’ standardized test scores. The balance will continue to be based on formal and informal classroom observations by principals.

Head of Recovery District to Visit EBR
The Advocate – December 4, 2011
RSD Superintendent John White is meeting with the East Baton Rouge School Board to discuss the future of their low performing schools. White has indicated he would like to replicate the RSD’s New Orleans strategy of turning as many low-performing schools as possible into charter schools, and if those schools do not work after two or three years, replacing those charter operators with new ones.

Gov. Bobby Jindal Stays Course with BESE Appointments
The Times-Picayune – December 3, 2011
Eight seats on the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education are elected positions, but three seats are appointed by the governor. Jindal recently announced that he is sending all three of his previous appointees back for another term.

Higher Ed Changes Urged
The Advocate – November 30, 2011
A statewide higher education commission has agreed upon several controversial measures to be presented to the Legislature in January. The commission recommends that Louisiana separate the growing cost of college tuition from merit-based TOPS scholarships so the awards can be capped and then tied to an appropriate cost index for future increases. It also recommends increased authority for the Board of Regents as well as removing tuition authority from the Legislature.

Charter School News

9 Recovery School District Charter Applications Go to BESE With State Recommendation
The Times-Picayune – December 2, 2011
The state department of education is recommending that BESE approve 9 new applications to transform failing RSD schools into independent charters. Eighteen additional applications were not recommended for approval. To view all charter applications along with independent reviews from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, click here.

After conducting performance reviews of 12 existing charters, the department has recommended 10 charters be renewed. Two charter schools, Sojourner Truth Academy and McDonogh 42, have not met state standards, and the department is recommending that their charters be pulled.

Sojourner Truth Academy to Close in May
The Times-Picayune – November 29, 2011
The board of Sojourner Truth Academy has voluntarily agreed to give up its charter and will close at the end of this school year.

Group Wanting to Run L.B. Landry High School in Algiers Decries Rejection of its Charter Application
The Times-Picayune – December 2, 2011
The community group that has been campaigning to run L.B. Landry High School in Algiers is angry that their charter application was not recommended for approval. The Landry charter group is claiming politics, but independent reviewers of their application said the application was vague on proposed educational practices, convoluted in describing its organizational structure, and excessively dependant on credit for its financing strategy.

Tulane and KIPP Form Partnership to Help Boost Graduation Rates
The Times-Picayune – November 28, 2011
Tulane University and the national KIPP charter school organization have agreed to work together to improve college graduation rates for at-risk students. KIPP will help shape the curriculum for Tulane’s teacher certification program and provide hands-on teacher training in KIPP classrooms. In return, Tulane will set aside 10 slots each year for KIPP graduates from across the country, including those who attend KIPP schools in New Orleans.

Jefferson Parish Superintendent Endorses Two New Charter Schools
The Times-Picayune – December 2, 2011
Acting Superintendent James Meza has endorsed the creation of two new charter schools in Jefferson Parish. The parish received 13 applications for new public charter schools, but only 2 won approval from the independent reviewer, the International School of Louisiana and the Choice Foundation. Both currently operate charter schools in Orleans Parish.

National Education Stories

Seven States to Compete in Race to the Top’s Latest Round
Education Week – November 23, 2011
Louisiana is among seven states applying for a piece of the next round of Race to the Top funding, totaling $200 million. By mid-December, Louisiana will have to submit a budget for how the state will use the grant and, in a new twist, will also have explain its plans to improve science, technology, engineering, and math education.

Poor Schools Shortchanged on Funding, Ed. Dept. Say
Education Week – November 30, 2011
A new national study shows that many schools serving low-income children aren’t getting their fair share of funding. Nearly half of all high-poverty schools, including schools that get Title I money, receive at least 10% less than the average school in their district in state and local aid. More than 40% of Title I schools spend less on personnel per student than non-Title I schools in the same district with the same grades.

Study Links Academic Setbacks to Middle School Transition
Education Week – November 28, 2011
A recent Florida study shows that the transition to a new middle school is much more traumatic for students than the transition to a new high school. Students who transition in middle school show a marked drop in math and language achievement and are more inclined to drop out of high school. Educate Now! Note: Pre-Katrina, New Orleans had many K-5 schools feeding into large middle schools. Data showed New Orleans students suffered in that transition, which is why the state reopened schools post-Katrina in K-8 grade configurations.

Focus on Teach For America


Teach for America Has Become Embedded in New Orleans Education
The Times-Picayune – November 27, 2011
The goal of Teach For America is not just to provide teachers for at-risk students but also to train future leaders in education. You can certainly see the results in Louisiana where the superintendent of the RSD, two of the RSD’s top deputies, the head of New Schools for New Orleans, and the recently elected BESE board member from New Orleans are all TFA alumni.


Big Expansion, Big Questions for Teach For America
The Associated Press – November 28, 2011
As Teach For America continues to expand nationally, and now internationally, this article takes a look at the pros and cons of TFA, what TFA corps members bring to a school, and the difficulties they face as they try to improve student performance.