The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation recently held auditions for its free music school. Called the Don "Moose" Jamison Heritage School of Music, the program offers high level music instruction for students ages 10-17.
Students meet on Saturday mornings and train to perform at local festivals and venues. Producer Mallory Falk brings us this audio postcard from the audition.
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.
Just after Hurricane Katrina, the entire teaching staff of The Orleans Parish School Board was fired. Last week, a state appeals court ruled that those teachers were denied due process.
As the school system has rebuilt, there’s been a seismic shift in who is teaching in New Orleans — the city-wide pool of teachers looks different, in terms of race, age, how they came to the teaching profession, how long they’ve been teaching, and whether they are “from” New Orleans, or not.
When I first moved to New Orleans is 2001, I taught in a pretty rough public high school where I had an almost fatally hard time inspiring the kids to write. The traditional writing lessons and other tricks I knew weren’t getting to the students.
At the time I was doing a lot of writing about music for New Orleans magazines, so I devised for my students a sort of… English class, disguised as a music class. We call it music writing class.
Last week a state court of appeals ruled in favor of thousands of teachers who were fired just after Hurricane Katrina.
The court said more than 7,000 teachers were wrongly terminated, denied due legal process, and should have been considered for rehiring as schools reopened. The ruling, if upheld, would award the teachers years in back pay and benefits, though it’s not clear who would pay. The Orleans Parish School Board and the state have the option to appeal.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. In New Orleans, a court decision threatens to bankrupt the public school system. A state appeals court ruled that the school board for Orleans Parrish wrongly terminated some 7,000 teachers and other school employees after Hurricane Katrina. They're to be awarded two to three years back pay.
Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Steve Monaghan on appellate court ruling.
A union that represents 7,000 New Orleans teachers fired after Hurricane Katrina is expecting a flurry of phone calls. Word is quickly spreading of the state appeals court ruling awarding them back pay for wrongful termination.
After countless schools and expulsions, two New Orleans teens make a last-ditch effort at their diplomas.
Just a few months ago, Kendrell New felt stuck. The 20-year-old had bounced between several different New Orleans high schools since Hurricane Katrina, before finding one she liked. But a diploma still eluded her.
New kept failing Louisiana’s graduate exit exam in math — a test she needed to pass in order to graduate. Math had never come easy for her.
The state-run Recovery School District took over nearly all New Orleans public schools after Hurricane Katrina. Soon, it won't run any. It will, however, oversee dozens of charter schools, including 17 local schools which recently decided they wanted to stay in the state system instead of returning to the local school board.
Some recent reporting from The Lens and other outlets have highlighted a rapid rate of turnover in New Orleans school staffing. It’s a trend seen in the ranks of teachers and school administrators, and not just in New Orleans.
Sarah Carr is an education reporter for the Hechinger Report, an education news nonprofit, and a frequent contributor to WWNO. She sat down with News Director Eve Troeh to talk about the impact of high rates of staff turnover in city schools.