In case you missed it …

ICYMI … Your mini news clippings

Common Core update: Some parents in Lafayette are threatening to boycott the PARCC tests scheduled for March 16-20. Governor Jindal wants BESE to offer these parents an alternative, but that appears highly unlikely.

Henderson Lewis’ selection as superintendent marks a new chapter for the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB). Andre Perry solicits national and local opinions on what Mr. Lewis should do when he becomes OPSB’ s next superintendent. The Times-Picayune is hopeful his selection represents a fresh start. Most illuminating is Danielle Dreilinger’s profile of Mr. Lewis’ diverse background.

In this interview with the Reason Foundation, Superintendent Patrick Dobard discusses the history of the Recovery School District (RSD), how closing failing schools has been difficult but has helped students, and how the RSD, unlike traditional school districts, is able to innovate and respond quickly to changing needs.

There is increased speculation/hope that Congress will finally address No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Senator Lamar Alexander hints at his support to keep testing but to take the federal government out of accountability/sanctions. Speaker Boehner seems to agree, and Fordham Institute makes a case that transparency paired with the growth of charter schools is more important than mandated interventions, which generally have not worked … with the notable exception of Louisiana’s RSD.

Last week was national charter school choice week, so it’s appropriate that New Orleans Parents’ Guide released its 2015 Guide to Public Schools, now available online and in print. Choice can be a challenge and time-consuming for parents, as one New Orleans parent discusses in this Education Week article.

Tokoyo Palmer, a Landry-Walker student, was murdered on his way to school over an Xbox video controller. Many of our students desperately need better conflict resolution skills. The Center for Restorative Approaches offers programs for schools, which have shown success. If you know of other successful programs in the city, please let Educate Now! know.

Educate Now! joins Peter Cook in thanking Stan Smith for his service as interim OPSB superintendent.

Educate Now! would also like to thank Jim Meza. Under his leadership, Jefferson Parish public schools made tremendous gains. For those who don’t follow JP schools, this summary of Dr. Meza’s tenure is a good read, and a cautionary tale. It will be interesting to see if the reforms he put in place survive his departure.