Education Desk

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Education news is a priority for our expanding local news reporting — providing trusted news for parents, educators and community leaders. 

Support for education reporting on New Orleans Public Radio comes from Entergy Corporation.

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Mallory Falk / WWNO

 

Nearly ten years after Hurricane Katrina, some former school buildings sit vacant. The school board is selling them off. This week charter school leaders get a look inside seven of the buildings.

The buildings are mostly empty: a faded mural here, a line of rusted lockers there. State law gives charter school operators first dibs on the buildings. So the seven properties are on display, but not to the general public.

The Orleans Parish School Board came one step closer to choosing a new superintendent last night. The board voted unanimously to bring back two of three possible candidates for another round of interviews.

Henderson Lewis Jr. is superintendent of East Feliciania Parish and a member of the St. Bernard Parish School Board. Debbra Lindo served as a superintendent in northern California.

The search for a new superintendent has lasted nearly two and a half years. Board member Ira Thomas says that search may be coming to a close.

Voices Of Educators: Kwanza Wells

Dec 15, 2014
Mallory Falk / WWNO

Early childhood education got a boost last week. The federal government pledged $32 million to fund Louisiana pre-schools. 

In this month's Voices of Educators series, we look at an early childhood teacher. 

Kwanza Wells teaches at Catholic Charities St. John the Baptist Head Start, one of more than 30 Head Start centers in New Orleans. She helps students develop critical skills to succeed in kindergarten and the world.

Today, for the first time, a charter school board voted to transfer from the Recovery School District back to the Orleans Parish School Board.

When the Recovery School District was created in 2003, the directive was clear: take over failing schools, turn them around, then transfer them back to the Orleans Parish School Board.

But now charter school boards decide whether to transfer to local control or stay in the state-run RSD. Until now, no eligible schools have returned to OPSB.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

This weekend New Orleans voters decide whether to extend and redirect a property tax to fund school maintenance. The measure seems simple: set aside money so schools don't fall into disrepair. But the millage vote reflects a power struggle in New Orleans schools.

Last month, a banner started appearing outside schools. It features a racially diverse group of kids, with crisp jeans and wide smiles. Each gives a big thumbs up. The accompanying text: Our children, our schools. Not a tax increase. Vote December 6.

Sebastian Blanco / Creative Commons

In New Orleans and nationally, many schools have adopted a no-excuses model. They enforce strict rules and suspend students at high rates.

In a new article out this week in the Atlantic and Hechinger Report, reporter Sarah Carr looks at the push back against no-excuses discipline. She profiles several local charter schools, including Carver Collegiate, New Orleans College Prep, and KIPP Renaissance.

GradNation Summit Focuses On Youth Services

Nov 17, 2014

Voices Of Educators: Deborah Richardson

Nov 10, 2014
Mallory Falk / WWNO

As New Orleans continues to reshape public education, WWNO seeks to highlight teachers who bring unique talents and perspectives to their work. We feature one such educator each month.

Major Changes In Store For Early Childhood Programs

Nov 5, 2014
Clever Cupcakes / Flickr

The education system in Louisiana has undergone a major transformation. But until recently, most of the changes were aimed at grades K-12. Now the focus is turning to early childhood. Thanks to Act 3, or the Early Childhood Education Act, Pre-K and early child care programs across the state are getting revamped this fall.

WWNO's Mallory Falk spoke about the revamp with Melanie Bronfin, Executive Director of the Policy Institute for Children. Bronfin says the changes were partly prompted by new research on child brain development.

OneApp Includes More Pre-K Programs

Nov 3, 2014
Matt Doucette / Flickr

It's only November, but some students and families are already thinking about the next school year. That's because OneApp – the city's school enrollment process – launched today. Students entering the public school system for the first time or hoping to transfer to a new school can review their options and submit one application with their top choices.

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