In the News: A Clipping Service – June 6, 2012

In this edition of In the News:

  • New Orleans as a Proof Point
  • Success Stories
  • Vouchers in Practice
  • More Local Charter News
  • National Education Stories
  • Examining Discipline Policies
  • Around Louisiana
  • Closer to Home

New Orleans as a Proof Point

New Orleans Program Offers Proof of Charter Schools’ Value
Tacoma’s News Tribune – May 30, 2012
Reformers in Washington State are trying to get a ban on charter schools lifted. They are using New Orleans as an example of how charters can succeed where traditional systems fail.

How Micromanaging Educators Stifles Reform
The Atlantic – April 2012
Wendy Kopp, CEO and founder of Teach for America, says that the country’s current education policies are a patchwork of top-down regulations that tie educators’ hands instead of empowering them. She points to New Orleans as an example of how much progress is possible when authority is decentralized and educators are free to focus on raising student achievement.

Success Stories

New Orleans Charter Schools are Producing Success Stories
Times-Picayune – May 27, 2012
Several of New Orleans’ new open-enrollment charter high schools are graduating their first seniors this year and producing success stories with some of the city’s most disadvantaged students.

Illiterate Teen’s Chance Encounter with Teacher Put Him on Path to College: Jarvis DeBerry
Times-Picayune – May 18, 2012
Troy Simon just graduated from Sci Academy with a scholarship to Bard College in New York. Troy has come a long way from the 14-year-old boy who couldn’t read, was selling marijuana, stealing copper, and tap dancing on Bourbon Street.

Vouchers in Practice

La. Gives 315 Vouchers to Ruston School with No Room, Computers or Teachers for New Students
The Town Talk – May 27, 2012
New Living Word School in Ruston applied for and received approval to accept 315 voucher students, the most of any single school in the state. But the school doesn’t have the facilities, computers or teachers in place to accommodate that many students. This story was also picked up by the Washington Post.

Department Of Education Announces Phase Two Of Scholarship Enrollment Process
Louisiana Department of Education – May 30, 2012
Phase 2 of Louisiana’s voucher enrollment process has begun. Between now and July 16, families will submit voucher applications, BESE will consider criteria for school participation, including a student accountability system, and applicants will be matched to approved schools.

Department of Education Says 5,000 Voucher Slots Available
The Advocate – May 26, 2012
The Louisiana Department of Education says that more than 5,000 seats are available for students who qualify for Louisiana’s voucher program. The 5,000 slots are for 125 private and parochial schools in 33 parishes. View a list of participating schools and available seats.

Public Money Finds Back Door to Private Schools
New York Times – May 21, 2012
Several states, including Georgia, Pennsylvania, Florida, and now Louisiana, offer tax rebates for donations to nonprofit groups that grant private school tuition scholarships for public school students. These programs differ from state to state, with varying rules on who may receive the scholarships. Georgia was recently criticized for abuses of their program, including parents who were allowed to designate donations for their own child’s education.

More Local Charter News

RSD Student Leaders Demand a Voice in Shaping the School’s Future and Challenge KIPP’s Mid-Summer Arrival
New Orleans Agenda – May 23, 2012
In protest of the RSD’s decision to convert the failing Sarah T. Reed high school into a charter school run by KIPP, Reed students have developed their own blueprint for the future of the school. The students are calling for a hold on the RSD’s plan to phase-out the school, arguing that the community should be given an opportunity to determine Reed’s future.

Consequences of Enrollment Practices at New Orleans Charter Schools
Tribune Talk – May 20, 2012
Karran Harper-Royal and Dr. Raynard Sanders believe that Lycee Francais, a French immersion school, has manipulated its enrollment practices to ensure a white, affluent student population.

Straight Up Conversation: New NSNO CEO Neerav Kingsland
Education Week – May 21, 2012
Neerav Kingsland, the new CEO of New Schools for New Orleans, talks to Education Week about NSNO – its history, its goals, and the difficult work of transforming education in New Orleans.

National Education Stories

A System Divided
New York Times – May 11, 2012
Although the public school population of New York City is very diverse, many schools remain segregated by race and class. One NYC charter struggles with how to deal with issues of race in a mostly black school with mostly white teachers. Editor’s note: Since Katrina, New Orleans schools have become slightly more diverse.

Comes the Revolution
New York Times – May 15, 2012
Getting a higher-education degree is more vital than ever, but the costs of a college degree are rapidly rising. Companies like Coursera are offering a solution with inexpensive online courses taught by professors from Princeton, Stanford, Michigan and U. Penn.

Romney Calls for Using Title I, IDEA Funds for School Choice
Education Week – May 23, 2012
Gov. Mitt Romney has proposed making federal funding for special education and disadvantaged students portable – meaning the money would follow students to any school their parents choose. Under his proposal, parents could use the funds under Title I and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act at private schools, charter schools, for online courses or for tutoring.

Examining Discipline Policies

Charter Schools and the Recovery School District
WWNO – May 22, 2012
Discipline is applied differently between charter schools, but the RSD is trying to develop consistency within its charters, especially when it comes to out-of-school suspensions and expulsions.

Do ‘Zero Tolerance’ School Discipline Policies Go Too Far?
Time – May 22, 2012
In schools around the country, out-of-school suspension rates have more than doubled over the past three decades across all grade levels, and black students are 3 1/2 times more likely to be suspended or expelled as their white peers. Is all this time away from learning really good for our students?

Around Louisiana

U.S. Department Of Education Approves Louisiana’s Waiver Application
Times-Picayune – May 29, 2012
Louisiana is one of eight states that received a Department of Education waiver from key provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act accountability act. Louisiana’s waiver will allow the state to give districts and schools more flexibility in spending $375 million a year in federal education funding. View the Louisiana DOE’s press release.

‘Believe’ Could Take Education to the Next Level
Shreveport Times – May 19, 2012
State Superintendent John White is traveling Louisiana to discuss the state’s educational system. Supt. White is reminding people of the incredible gains that have already been made by Louisiana. (Between 1999 and 2011 the number of students performing at grade level grew by over 150,000.) He also is looking for input from educators and community members on his plan, called Louisiana Believes, for the immediate needs and future goals of our schools.