Jess Clark

Education Desk Reporter

Jess Clark is WWNO's Education Desk reporter. Jess comes to the station after two years as Fletcher Fellow for Education Policy Reporting for North Carolina Public Radio - WUNC (Chapel Hill). Her reporting has aired on national programs, including NPR's All Things ConsideredHere & Now from WBURand NPR's Weekend Edition

Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Jess graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015 with a master's in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Ways to Connect

Sixteen-year-old Akelah Sherman (center) and her fellow dancers warm up before rehearsing for their performance.
Jess Clark / WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

For many, the teenage years are a time when you start to realize the world isn’t fair, and life can be tough. Facing issues like income inequality, racism, and violence, can be overwhelming. One unique program in New Orleans is helping students engage with tough social issues through dance.

This story has been updated.

The board of New Orleans charter school Crescent Leadership Academy is turning in its charter, effectively shutting down in the middle of the school year, according to a letter from Orleans Parish School Board superintendent Henderson Lewis.

OPSB Superintendent Henderson Lewis touted a smooth unification process, but seemed to be bracing for a drop in test scores.
Jess Clark / WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

The Orleans Parish School Board is touting a smooth transition to a new unified school district, but also seems to be bracing for new challenges as the state moves to a tougher school grading system.

 

Tulane Makes Learning About Race An Undergraduate Requirement
Jess Clark / WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

College campuses are more diverse than ever. But many students of color who attend historically white colleges and universities say their schools have a lot of catching up to do to make them feel welcome. Not just on campus, but in the curriculum. Tulane University has become one of the first historically white major research institutions to make learning about race a requirement.  

Kaseem Short is pastor of Thomas United Methodist Church in Kenner, which is calling on the mayor to rescind the ban on Nike products.
2kphotos / Courtesy of the Short family

Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn rescinded his ban on Nike products Wednesday afternoon. Last week, Zahn told the city’s Parks and Recreation department and booster clubs to stop buying from the company after Nike launched an ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback who started a movement of player protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

National Hurricane Center

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Mayor LaToya Cantrell has ordered City Hall and all City government offices to open for a half-day on Wednesday, starting at noon.

A new state report showing how well students are progressing shows less than half of Louisiana students are on track to master important skills and knowledge.
DCJOHN / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Less than half of Louisiana students are on track to master important math, reading and writing skills, according to a new report from the Louisiana Department of Education.  

Half of Lafayette Academy students will attend school this year at the old McDonogh 35 building on Kelerec Street.
Jess Clark / WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

Students from Lafayette Academy Charter School finally returned to the classroom Monday, after a botched asbestos cleanup job created a mess at their school this summer. But some parents aren’t happy with the temporary accommodations at the old McDonogh 35 building. 

Cheundra Bailey and Ernest Canty embrace in their favorite spot to unwind - the neutral ground on Caliborne Ave. The two have criminal records, but are determined to find legal work.
Jess Clark / WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

There are a lot of Louisianians with criminal records. The state has the second-highest incarceration rate in the country, behind Oklahoma. In New Orleans, 1 in 7 African American men have been incarcerated at some point in their lives. Louisianians with felonies also face the most restrictions in the nation when it comes to getting jobs.

Cheundra Bailey is struggling to find a way to pay for her daughter's high school uniform.
Jess Clark / WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

In New Orleans, many families are living paycheck to paycheck. So when the start of the school year comes around, the added cost of returning to the classroom can be a major burden. 

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