In Other News

Who is Betsy DeVos?

President-elect Trump nominated Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. DeVos is a billionaire and an education activist from Michigan, and she is known as a strong proponent of school vouchers. She was chairwoman of the American Federation for Children (AFC), which is a leading national advocacy organization promoting school choice. Fordham Institute compiled some quotes from Betsy DeVos on choice and K-12 education.

Doug Harris, the director of Tulane University’s Education Research Alliance, penned an op-ed in the New York Times that compares New Orleans’ charter school performance and regulation to Detroit’s. Harris says the DeVos nomination should worry anyone who wants to improve results for children, as DeVos helped design the effort in Detroit, which did not have the needed regulation and accountability.

Education Week offers a reality check for both sides of the school choice debate, pointing out the challenges that anyone pushing for large-scale reform will face.

More on Charter Schools

Peter Cunningham of the Education Post says charter schools are working for children and parents, and he offers suggestions for how to change the charter school narrative to counter misinformation and confusion.

A new book from the Fordham Institute looks at the past 25 years of charter schools – what they have and have not accomplished, what challenges they still face, and what bold new education ideas we might see from charters in the next 25 years.

Other Stories of Interest
Georgia State has developed a support system for its students, and now more black students graduate from Georgia State than from any other college or university, including historically black schools like Spelman and Howard.

Louisiana’s Supt. of Education John White slammed National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen Garcia for saying that after Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana rebuilt white suburban schools while closing down public schools in black neighborhoods. White called for a retraction from Garcia for her “flagrant inaccuracy” and said, “In a city where every single child will attend a renovated or new school building, and in a system where 83 percent of those children are black, it is ludicrous to a point of absurdity to state on the record that black schools were simply bulldozed and white schools were rebuilt.”

The Louisiana Department of Education has launched the Standards Review Portal for science. The portal provides the public with a first look at Louisiana’s proposed new science standards for public schools and an opportunity to submit feedback on their content and relevancy.

The Choice Foundation did not meet the required performance goals for operating McDonogh 42, so its charter will not be renewed by the state. Milestone Academy also did not meet its performance goals and may lose its charter as well. The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is scheduled to consider charter renewals this week.

Shout Out!

Aesha Rasheed is a Times-Picayune Everyday Hero, someone who is trying to create a better future for New Orleans one school, one church, one neighborhood, one cause at a time. Aesha Rasheed founded the New Orleans Parents’ Guide to help families navigate the complexities of public school enrollment after Katrina. She also helped start Morris Jeff Community School and is an advocate for LGBTQ rights.