ICYMI: What’s New in 2017-18

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) … Your mini news clippings

What’s New in 2017-18

Work will begin to create a new high school Career and Technical Center that will provide advanced training for interested students in fields like health sciences, IT, and skilled crafts or trades. The center has secured initial grant funding and is working with the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) to develop a sustainable funding plan. 

OPSB and the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office are launching new education program for young inmates at the Orleans Justice Center, with a new high school diploma track and additional classrooms to serve more students. 

The Times-Picayune looks at the new school line up for 2017-18, including which schools are opening this fall and which have closed. There are now 86 public schools in New Orleans – 41 overseen by OPSB, 38 overseen by RSD, and 7 statewide charters overseen by BESE. 

The state Supreme Court will hear arguments in September on a case that could affect funding for Type 2 charter schools authorized by BESE, including some schools located in New Orleans. A group of local education officials and one teachers’ union are arguing that BESE charters shouldn’t receive MFP funding because the formula is meant to only fund local school districts.

Positive Feedback for John White and LDOE

EducationNext chronicles the way Louisiana’s Department of Education has worked with teachers to develop and implement a system of curriculum-driven reformsEdNext says Louisiana’s teachers have changed the quality of their instruction in measurable and observable ways, and “education leaders from across the country have beaten a path here to see what they might learn.” Editor’s note: Louisiana is being praised for this coherent, aligned, and content-rich academic framework. Charters- avail yourself. 

The Advocate says good things are happening under John White’s watch; the Times-Picayune says John White is the school leader Louisiana needs; and BESE has given White another positive job review. The state superintendent is still working without a contract, however. He has the support of the majority of the board, but not enough backers to get a contract extension approved. 

The U.S. Department of Education has approved Louisiana’s plan to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Louisiana’s ESSA plan sets higher expectations for learning, reduces standardized testing, and invests in local partnerships for improving schools where students are struggling. Louisiana was among the first states to complete its plan, and so far 6 of the 17 plans submitted in April have received federal approval

Survey Says

Nationwide support for charter schools declined 12% this year, according to the 11th annual Poll on School Reform by EducationNext. The 2017 survey included more than 4,200 parents and teachers and covered key reform issues, including school choice, Common Core, teacher policies, and immigration.

White working-class voters of all political affiliations are skeptical about the benefits of a college degree, according to a recent survey. Eighty-three percent believe a college degree is “no longer any guarantee of success in America,” and 57 percent say a college degree “would result in more debt and little likelihood of landing a good-paying job.”

A new survey reveals a significant communication gap between parents and teachers. Ninety percent of parents think their kids are at or above grade level in math and reading, but only 1 in 3 are.

Education and the Trump Administration

An internal announcement seems to show that the Trump administration wants to take on affirmative action in college admissions, redirecting resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division to investigate and potentially sue universities over policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants.

The House Appropriations Committee approved a budget that would reduce education spending by $2.4 billion, far less than the $9.6 billion President Trump proposed. The House Bill eliminates over $2 billion in spending for teacher training and salaries, cuts $191 million for after school and summer programs, increases spending for early childhood education, and includes additional funding for special education and charter schools.

More National Stories

Students in the country’s leading charter networks are graduating from college at three to five times the national average for low income students. Nationwide, only 9 percent of students from low income families earn a college degree within six years. Among KIPP graduates nationally, the rate is 38 percent.

A study of three portfolio districts, Denver, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C., shows there is a real diversity of school offerings in all three cities, but many families aren’t aware of the array of instructional approaches, curricula, and enrichment activities that are available. 

Schools throughout the country are struggling with teacher shortages, according to research from the Learning Policy Institute. 

As a new school year opens, school districts across the country are taking action to protect immigrant students’ safety and privacy. In New Orleans, OPSB unanimously approved a resolution that supports undocumented children’s rights to a free public education and says “immigration issues or concerns” should not interfere with the learning experience of students. OPSB also encouraged public charter school boards to adopt a similar resolution.

A 10-year study tracked a cohort of over 13,000 early Millennials (the Sophomore Class of 2002) to see the extent to which they reached various milestones of adulthood, including finishing school, starting a job, getting married, and having children. Ninety-six percent eventually earned a high school degree or equivalent, and the majority entered post-secondary education, but only half actually completed a postsecondary degree or certificate. 

Exposure to lead in the preschool years significantly increases the chance that a child will be suspended or incarcerated during their school careers, according to research at Princeton University and Brown University. In New Orleans, OPSB and RSD plan to install water filters in schools to eliminate lead. They were going to conduct water testing last year, but the tests were never done. Instead, they decided to proactively install filters and are accepting contractor bids now.

Children who start school at an older age do better than their younger classmates and have better odds of attending college and graduating from an elite institution, according to a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research.