In honor of the 9 year anniversary of Katrina, Danielle Dreilinger compiled a snapshot of New Orleans schools then and now.
For those of you who were here before Katrina, it may bring back some interesting memories. For those of you who have moved here since the storm, thanks for being part of the recovery of the city and of our schools.
You can see how far we have come in 9 years … and how far we still have to go.
New Orleans public schools pre-Katrina and now, by the numbers
N.O. Unprepared for Immigrants
New Orleans’ charter school system ill-prepared for jump in Central American immigrants
Public schools in Orleans and Jefferson are facing an unprecedented wave of English-language learners (ELLs), resulting from the rise in immigration from Central American countries, with most students coming from Honduras. This year, an estimated 500 new immigrant students enrolled in New Orleans public schools, a 42% increase over last year’s ELL enrollment. Charter schools with large increases in ELLs are struggling to find Spanish speaking teachers and counselors to meet the needs of these new children and their families.
There’s a post-Katrina joie de vivre in New Orleans
The Los Angeles Times looks at the rebirth of New Orleans since Katrina. Signs of this revival include an increase in restaurants (from 809 in 2005 to more than 1,400 today), new music venues and nightclubs, new festivals and the growing success of old favorites, the expansion and renovation of our parks and zoos, and the revitalization of several key neighborhoods.
Judge Rules Against Jindal on Common Core
Common Core proponents scored a major victory today. A Baton Rouge judge found that Gov. Bobby Jindal caused “irreparable harm” to students and schools when he froze Louisiana’s testing vendor contract. The judge said the governor failed to produce any evidence that the Department of Education violated the law when it signed the contract, and he lifted the Jindal administration’s suspension of the contract. The lawsuit was brought by a group of parents, teachers, charter schools and BESE, who argued that the governor was illegally meddling in Common Core implementation. The governor plans to appeal the ruling, and he stated, “This judge is wrong on the facts and the law. Hopefully, he will reconsider this preliminary ruling at the full trial.”
What does this rulings mean? Superintendent John White says the court’s decision will allow schools to “continue their five-year transition to higher expectations.”
Earlier this week, another judge ruled against 17 Louisiana legislators who claimed the state Department of Education and BESE did not follow the law when adopting Common Core. The judge refused to issue a temporary injunction on Common Core implementation. While the legislators can still file for a permanent injunction, the same judge would hear their request, and his ruling strongly rejected every claim the legislators made.
GRANT OPPORTUNITY FOR CHARTER SCHOOLS
LOCATED IN ORLEANS PARISH AND PARTICIPATING IN ONEAPP*
BREAKTHROUGH SCHOOLS: NEW ORLEANS PERSONALIZED LEARNING
$2 MILLION IN GRANTS AVAILABLE THIS SCHOOL YEAR
Round One Proposals are due September 15, 2014. Winners will be announced in October.
Personalized Learning (PL) seeks to accelerate student learning by tailoring the instructional environment – what, when, how, and where students learn – to address the individual needs, skills, and interests of each student. Students take ownership of their own learning, while also developing deep personal connections to each other, their teachers, and other adults. Between 2014 and 2017, Breakthrough Schools: New Orleans will distribute approximately $6 million to support the robust integration of personalized learning in schools and classrooms in New Orleans.
This year’s funding will entail two rounds:
Grant opportunities ranging from $10,000 to $66,000 will be available in Fall 2014 to prepare schools that are interested in further exploration or in whole-school implementation. Grant funding will be issued to schools interested in any of the following:
- Further EXPLORATION of Personalized Learning;
- The development and implementation of a yearlong Personalized Learning PILOT; or
- The creation of a WHOLE-SCHOOL MODEL PL PLAN.
Free technical assistance will be provided to all grantees.
A Request for Proposals has just been released for the exploration, pilot, and planning grants, and can be accessed here. Applications are due September 15, 2014.
New Orleans in the News
The Recovery School District is remarkable for the gains it has made in student and school performance and also for the fact that state and district leaders have been so willing to give up operational power. Government agencies typically mushroom in size, not downsize, but the RSD has allowed academic and budget decisions to be made by school-based leaders.
Great Expectations in New Orleans
The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) conducted a case study of New Orleans schools to determine what lessons could be learned about charter school authorizing. NACSA concluded that New Orleans’ successful authorizing process involves high standards, increased community engagement, and greater accountability. View a quick summary of NACSA’s Lessons Learned.
New Orleans’ Recovery system changes heighten charter school debate, NPR reports
As a new school year begins, NPR’s Claudio Sanchez visited New Orleans schools. He interviewed a school principal, two teachers and the head of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, who discuss the changes they have seen, some of the successes that have come from charters and school choice, and the challenges still faced by New Orleans schools.