In the News: November 9, 2012

In this edition of In the News:

Creative New Orleans

Creative Cities: New Orleans
Education Week – October 29, 2012
New Orleans is growing the people who are growing educational solutions. The combination of powerful education redesign, focused talent development and teacher recruitment, and a boom in entrepreneurial activity make New Orleans a center for successful, creative problem solving, especially in education.

National Election News

Congress Likely to Stay Divided, Will Gridlock on K-12 Continue?
Education Week – November 6, 2012
Let’s hope Congressional gridlock is at an end. Even before the new Congress takes office, lawmakers must figure out how to head off “sequestration” and the 8.2% trigger cuts to nearly every federal K-12 program. Then there is a long list of education legislation that needs to be addressed, including the renewal of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind), a $7 billion shortfall in the Pell Grant program, and a planned rise in interest rates on student loans.

 Five issues facing Arne Duncan in a second term
Education Week – November 7, 2012
During the next four years, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will have to deal with five key issues: complications and controversy surrounding No Child Left Behind waivers; reporting on the success, or failure, of Race to the Top; working with Congress to reauthorize No Child Left Behind; fighting for education funding in the midst of expected budget cuts; and working with states on the implementation of the Common Core curriculum.

Bennett loses Indiana chief’s post, charters win in Georgia
Education Week – November 7, 2012
This article looks at some of the education elections and ballot measures from around the country. Among the results: Georgia approved a new state commission to approve charter schools; Indiana School Chief Tony Bennett was unseated; vouchers for religious schools was defeated in Florida; and California passed a tax increase to raise money for schools. Read more on the election results in this Wall Street Journal article.

Louisiana Headlines

Our Views: A new high, for a while
The Advocate – November 7, 2012
Across the state, schools and school districts saw improvement in their scores this year. This growth was led by high schools, but next year high schools will have to work harder to make such gains. End-of-Course tests will be more rigorous, and for the first time, the ACT will be given to all high school students, and scores will be factored in.

Report: La. teacher unions weak at influencing policy
The Advocate – October 31, 2012
According to a national report, Louisiana’s two largest teacher unions are among the weakest in the nation in resources and membership, involvement in politics, and perceived influence.

National Education Stories

Highly effective principals raise student achievement
Huffington Post – October 24, 2012
A new study finds that the effect of highly effective principals on student achievement is equivalent to two to seven months of additional learning each school year. Ineffective principals negatively impact achievement by a comparable amount.

Record shares of young adults completing college
Education Week – November 6, 2012
A report from the Pew Research Center shows record shares of young adults are completing high school, going to college, and completing degrees. College completion is now at record levels among all key demographic groups: men, women, blacks, whites, Hispanics, foreign-born and native-born Americans.

Early test scores low in Tennessee’s Achievement District
Education Week – November 1, 2012
Student performance in Tennessee’s Achievement School District (ASD) is improving slower than expected. Recent MAP assessments place students in the ASD in the 16th percentile nationwide. The ASD is one of several state-created districts modeled after Louisiana’s Recovery School District.

More Local News

Letter: Discipline part of school reform
The Advocate – October 31, 2012
Jolon McNeil of the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana believes the RSD should consider discipline data when evaluating school performance. She believes high suspension rates do not serve our students and should be taken into account, especially when the RSD is deciding whether or not to authorize a new charter for an existing Charter Management Organization.

Ben Kleban responds
Ben Kleban agrees with Jolon McNeil that discipline is part of school reform but takes issue with McNeil’s claim that NOLA College Prep is a failing school with high suspension rates that push children out of school. The most recent School Performance Scores show NOLA College Prep is not failing, and it has less than a 2% drop out rate and less than a 2% expulsion rate, both significantly below the state average for similar grades.

National collaboration supporting after-school sports programs arrives in New Orleans
Sacramento Bee – November 7, 2012
The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA is collaborating with Mercedes-Benz USA to bring the Up2Us Coach Across America program to New Orleans. Coach Across America will train and place 26 coaches in 11 local after-school programs in Greater New Orleans.


Teachers Night Out – Friday, November, 30
Teachers Night Out, a free event for K-12 educators in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, St. Tammany and Plaquemines Parishes, will be held Friday, November 30th, at the Pontchartrain Center. This event is hosted by three local businesses – GNO Communications, New South Parking, and The Slone Group – in partnership with the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Visit the Teachers Night Out website to RSVP or to sponsor a table of teachers.