In the News: A Clipping Service – July 16, 2012

In this edition of In the News

  • New Orleans in the National Spotlight
  • End of Course Test Results Are In
  • Voucher Updates
  • National Education News
  • Technology Lacking in LA Schools
  • Local Stories

New Orleans in the National Spotlight

U.S. Top Education Official: N.O. Doing ‘Fantastic’ with Improvements
WWL TV – July 12, 2012
According to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, New Orleans is doing “a fantastic job” at improving schools and student performance, but we have to remain vigilant about closing failing schools. 

Aspen Ideas Fest: New Orleans Mayor Discusses Education Reform
Aspen Times – July 3, 2012
Mayor Mitch Landrieu spoke about education reform in New Orleans during a discussion with Aspen Institute CEO Walter Isaacson at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

Voucher Updates

New Voucher Criteria Released
Louisiana Department of Education – July 11, 2012
The Department of Education has released a set of criteria that private schools will have to meet in order to participate in the voucher program. It includes the areas of enrollment, finances and student attrition. Criteria for academic accountability will be released in a later report.

Voucher Demand Soars
The Advocate – July 13, 2012
The Louisiana Department of Education announced that they have received more than 10,300 applications for Louisiana’s voucher program.

Email Exchange Reveals Voucher Scheme
News Star – July 2, 2012
Monore’s News Star reviewed emails between Supt. John White and Governor Jindal’s spokesman Kyle Plotkin and policy advisor Stafford Palimieri in which they discuss White’s pending Senate confirmation hearing and the need to “muddy up the narrative” on approving voucher schools and the issues surrounding New Living Word School in Monroe. Some believe the emails show that the idea of a due diligence process for voucher schools only occurred to White after the problems with so many voucher schools had been revealed.

National Education News

Can Schools Spur Social Mobility?
Education Gadfly – July 9, 2012
In this thought provoking piece, the Education Gadfly outlines political scientist Charles Murray’s belief that the ability of schools to help poor students achieve the highest levels of academic success is limited. Charles Murray argues, “the better the meritocracy, the faster social mobility will decline.” We no longer live in a country where academic ability is randomly distributed. Instead, the children of the highly successful are the new “cognitive elite” and will, on average, outperform the children of the somewhat successful and the children of the not successful (i.e., the children of the poor). The result: moving a large number of America’s poor children to the New Elite in one generation will be more difficult than most believe.

Charting a Better Course
The Economist – July 7, 2012Looking at resent research on charter schools, The Economist concludes that charters can improve educational standards for the country’s most vulnerable students – children in poverty and English language learners. Charters fail when there is lax oversight and insufficient accountability.

Technology Lacking in LA Schools

Report Shows Schools’ Technology Lacking
Daily Advertiser – July 12, 2012
A survey of Louisiana schools shows most are lacking the technology and facilities needed to conduct the on-line testing that will be required as part of the new Common Core Curriculum in the 2014-15 school year. Only five school systems – Ascension, City of Bogalusa, Red River, St. James and FirstLine Schools of New Orleans – meet the minimum device readiness requirements, and only two school systems – Ascension and St. James – meet both device and network readiness guidelines for online testing.

Local Stories

Orleans Parish School Board Needs ‘Visionary’ Candidates, University Leaders Say
Times-Picayune – July 13, 2012
Five of the city’s university presidents called on “visionary, dedicated” candidates to run for seats on the Orleans Parish School Board this fall. They emphasized the important role the OPSB will play in the future as the city’s public schools begin transitioning out of the RSD and back to local control.

New Orleans City Council Extends School Zone Hours
Times-Picayune – July 12, 2012
In response to the expanded school day implemented by many public schools since Katrina, the New Orleans City Council voted to extend school zone hours. The morning school zone hours will become 7-9 a.m. and the afternoon will become 2:45-4:45 p.m.

Cowen Institute Releases 2012 State of Public Education in New Orleans
The Cowen Institute – July 2012
Tulane’s Cowen Institute has released its 2012 State of Public Education in New Orleans.