In the News: November 25, 2013

Best in the World

National Geographic names New Orleans one of 20 top travel destinations in the world
Times-Picayune – November 22, 2013
National Geographic Traveler magazine named New Orleans one of its 20 most recommended places to visit in the world for 2014. Only one other location in the United States, Rocky Mountain National Park, made the list. The magazine said the list reflects “what’s authentic, culturally rich, sustainable and superlative in the world of travel today.” New Orleans was praised not just for its history but also for the revitalization of its local neighborhoods.

Consultant to OPSB: Clean Up Your Act

Orleans Parish School Board must clean up its act to find a good leader, consultant says
Times-Picayune – November 19, 2013
The firm hired by OPSB to find the next School Superintendent said OPSB needs to address some serious issues – micromanagement, bickering, focus on non-classroom matters, and the lack of a cohesive strategic plan – before it interviews a single candidate. Lead consultant Bill Attea told OPSB otherwise, “you’re not going to hire the type of candidate you need.” Attea also said there was general agreement in the community that the school board’s dysfunction is keeping RSD schools from choosing to return to local control. Read the full report.

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In the News: November 17, 2013

Educating City Hall

At a recent City Council budget hearing, Mayor Landrieu’s budget director, Cary Grant, suggested that the council consider repurposing school board millages (property taxes) to pay for other city services. He said that the school board has “a huge fund balance” because their 44 mills pay for only 33 schools now, down from 120 schools before Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Grant is wrong.

  • These taxes fund students at all New Orleans public schools, not just OPSB schools. That’s 87 public schools educating 45,000 students.
  • These funds (98%) go directly to the public schools for their operations. They do not go to increase OPSB’s fund balance.
  • Public schools in New Orleans are funded below the state average. They receive an average of $9,200 per student in state and local money; the state average is $9,500.
  • Repurposing the millage would take money away from schools, and our schools do NOT need a cut in funding. Investing in our children and providing them opportunity is the best long-term strategy to lower the city’s criminal justice costs!

If you know Cary Grant, or if you know a City Council member, Educate Now! suggests you drop them a note and let them know these funds are very much needed.

NAEP Results Are In

Louisiana students score near bottom on national test
Times-Picayune – November 7, 2013
Students in Louisiana showed slight improvement in reading on the latest NAEP test (National Assessment of Educational Progress) but still rank near the bottom in reading and math when compared to the rest of the United States. Superintendent John White said the results show why Louisiana needs to implement Common Core. “Our own growth, our own progress within Louisiana doesn’t mean as much if we’re not really competitive with our peer states.”

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In the News – November 3, 2013

OneApp Begins

OneApp 2014-15 opens Monday to accommodate selective New Orleans schools
Times-Picayune – November 1, 2013
OneApp, the centralized enrollment program for New Orleans, begins Monday for the next school year.

  • Almost all schools in the city (RSD direct- run and charter, Type 2 charters, OPSB direct-run, and some OPSB charters) are participating. Eleven OPSB charter schools are not.
  • OneApp will be accommodating some schools and/or programs with admission standards. These schools have a December 20 deadline.
  • Applications for other schools will not be due until February.
  • This year, families do not need to complete an Intent to Return form. Families only participate in OneApp if their child wants or needs a new school for 2014-15.

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