New Orleans will soon become the first city with an all-charter school district, but the education landscape looks much different across the rest of Louisiana. Many parishes have few or no charter schools, but that's starting to change.
The Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools recently hosted Apply Yourself!, a three-day training for people who want to start charter schools. Most people at the training were not from New Orleans, and many are trying to start the first charter school in their parish.
The Black Alliance for Educational Options is a national organization, but in order to fulfill their mission — empowering low income and working-class Black families to increase high quality educational options for all black students — BAEO knows to work locally.
To get to school, Amelia Slep-Patterson boards the 101 Algiers loop bus. Next, she catches the streetcar at Canal Street, and then walks to Lusher Charter School at 5624 Freret St.
Credit Della Hasselle / The Lens
Amelia Slep-Patterson catches the 101 Algiers loop bus every morning around 5:30 a.m..
Credit Della Hasselle / The Lens
Amelia Slep-Patterson says that there aren't many people around when she takes the bus early in the morning. The park behind the bus stop makes her surroundings particularly dark, because there are no lights there and the sun hasn't yet risen.
In New Orleans, choosing a public school can mean contending with a dizzying array of choices. To help parents and students make that choice, schools are issued grades of "A" to "F" based on academic performance.
Of the seven “A”-rated schools in the entire city, only one provides yellow bus service for their students. For the rest, getting to school can be a challenge.
Seventeen state-run charter schools in the Recovery School District will decide in the next two months whether to switch to the oversight of the Orleans Parish School Board. A list of eligible schools will be presented at a state education board meeting Wednesday.
Last year, many charter schools who were able to move turned that deal down, because it would mean they would lose their status as independent districts. That problem has since been resolved; a new law lets them stay independent.
WWNO's new community media project, the Listening Post, has spent the last few weeks collecting commentaries from around the city on the subject of education.
Listening Post recording devices have been present at the Norman Mayer Library in Gentilly and the HeadQuarters Barbershop on Broad Street. And the mobile Listening Post went to the Bard Early College New Orleans program for high schoolers, and our very own Culture Collision event.
Researchers at Stanford University say Playworks recess programs help children with classwork.
A new study from Stanford University shows a program being used during recess at six New Orleans elementary schools is enhancing the children’s education. About 2,200 students are now in the local Playworks project.
In a report over at The Lens today, Charter School Reporting Corps member Della Hasselle digs into a conflict between the state's Recovery School District and ReNEW Schools, a charter school group which oversees several Orleans Parish schools.
For-profit public school management is on the decline across the country. In 2007 about half of charter schools that entered into management contracts did so with a for-profit company. Three years later, that number fell by 25 percent. In New Orleans, all of the for-profits that came in to manage charters after Hurricane Katrina are now gone. Opposition to for-profit public schools in Mississippi is growing fierce.
In a move to stop charter schools from expelling students too frequently, the state agency running most of New Orleans' public schools has issued new guidelines on what constitutes the kind of behavior that will get a student thrown out.