In the News: A Clipping Service – January 30, 2012

In this edition of In the News:

  • What Can Ohio Learn from the RSD?
  • The Case for Charter School Districts
  • Gov. Jindal’s Plan for Education Reform
  • National Education Stories
  • RSD in the News
  • In Other News
  • Announcements

What Can Ohio Learn from the RSD?

What Can Ohio Learn from the Louisiana Recovery School District?
Education Gadfly – January 17, 2012
According to Ohio’s Fordham Institute, the speed and scale of improvements in Louisiana’s Recovery School District is vastly superior to anything they’ve seen in Ohio’s troubled schools. Fordham commissioned a report on the RSD to learn more about what’s working, what’s not, and what lessons can be applied in the Buckeye State.

The Case for Charter School Districts

New Orleans’ own Neerav Kingsland, chief strategy officer for New Schools for New Orleans, argues that the single most important reform strategy urban superintendents can undertake is to increase charter school quality and market share.

In this five part series for Education Week online, Kingsland asks urban superintendents to become “Relinquishers,” leaders who are willing to transfer power away from a centralized bureaucracy and back to parents and educators.

Part I: An Open Letter to Urban Superintendents in the United States of America
Part II: The Proof is in the Etouffe: 75% of Rigorously Studied Urban Charter Markets Work
Part III: Why Charter Districts Can Work-and Why They Might Not
Part IV: The 5% Rule and the 5 Year Rule: How to Prudently Grow a High-Performing Charter District
Part V: How to Create a Charter District-And Some Concluding Thoughts

Gov. Jindal’s Plan for Education Reform

Jindal’s Education Plan Touches Sensitive Issues
Monroe News Star – January 17, 2012
Governor Jindal has announced a sweeping education reform agenda that addresses many “hot button” issues, including expanding vouchers, changing teacher tenure, giving more authority to superintendents and principals for hiring and firing, and creating more charter schools.

National Education Stories

States Weaken Teacher Tenure Rights
Associated Press – January 25, 2012
Around the country, there has been a significant shift in state laws affecting public school teachers. State laws passed in the last few years weaken tenure protections, tie teacher evaluations to student performance, and base layoffs on performance rather than seniority.

12 for 2012: Issues to Move Education Forward in 2012
Education Commission of the States – January 2012
For the policy wonks out there, this report is for you. It identifies 12 critical policy issues that will be the drivers of change in the coming year, such as individualized instruction, teacher quality, expanding P-K to P-3, and Common Core Standards.

Babies Read Lips While Learning to Speak, Researchers Find
Education Week – January 18, 2012
A new study shows that when babies are very young, they focus on the eyes of people around them, but when they start learning to talk (around 4-6 months), babies focus more on the mouths of speakers. Then, once they are talking, their focus returns to the eyes.

RSD in the News

Recovery School District Has Become Entrenched in New Orleans Education Landscape
The Times-Picayune – January 19, 2012
All eight RSD schools eligible to return to the Orleans Parish School Board this year chose to remain under RSD supervision. Some schools expressed continued distrust of OPSB, but most cited confusion over key issues, such as how it might affect their funding. Until a clear plan for return exists, the question of who will ultimately govern New Orleans schools will remain unresolved.

Charter School Takeover Decisions Announced by State Education Officials
The Times-Picayune – January 23, 2012
The RSD announced which charter operators will take over four of its failing schools previously scheduled for transformation. In its press release, the RSD says three of the four charter operators have successfully run public schools in New Orleans. The fourth is an expansion of a successful model that has turned around 17 failing public schools in Los Angeles and New York City.

RSD Announces High School Plan to Give Students More Options
Recovery School District – January 23, 2012
In order to strengthen its high schools, the RSD is working to give its students more opportunities to succeed. The RSD plans to offer a variety of career and technical programs for students seeking industry certifications; additional accelerated programs for students who are behind academically; and new placement options for struggling students.

Jefferson Parish Superintendent Taps RSD Executive for Top Financial Job
The Times-Picayune – January 27, 2012
Robert Fulton, the financial chief of the Recovery School District, is up for consideration as the chief financial officer for Jefferson Parish public schools.

In Other News

Steve Perry, Crusader Against ‘Raggedy Schools,’ Believes Children Deserve a Fight: Jarvis DeBerry
The Times-Picayune – January 17, 2012
Jarvis DeBerry interviews Steve Perry, the leader of a successful charter school in Connecticut. Perry, an African American, sees education reform as a civil rights issue, and he’s angry that organizations like the NAACP and teachers unions defend a status quo that keeps black children oppressed.

Three New Orleans Charter School Groups Awarded $2.8 in Federal Grants
The Times-Picayune – January 18, 2012
Three New Orleans charter school operators, Friends of King, Future is Now and Rite of Passage, won Investing in Innovation (i3) grants totaling almost $2.8 million to help take over or establish new schools next fall. The i3 grants are designed to help charter groups with the expensive task of adding a new campus and are awarded jointly by the nonprofit New Schools for New Orleans and the Recovery School District.

New Orleans School Board Leadership Debate Turns Divisive
The Times-Picayune – January 24, 2012
Open discord erupted at a recent meeting of the Orleans Parish School Board. The selection of a new president and vice president and the debate over new charter applications led to accusations of racism, a deadlocked vote, and a walkout by one member in protest.


Teachers May Apply for Service Grants
The Times-Picayune – January 28, 2012
The Brown Foundation is offering free workshops on how to apply for service learning grants. Service learning grants are given to teachers for projects where students use skills they learn in their classroom to provide service in the community. The grants are noncompetitive, and more than one teacher from a school may apply. View the workshop schedule.