Fewer standardized tests and more arts and foreign language. Those are just some of the changes in a draft education plan the state released this week.

Like many states, Louisiana is changing education priorities because now it can. Last year President Obama signed a new education bill into law, replacing No Child Left Behind with the Every Student Succeeds Act. The new law still requires schools to demonstrate how well - or poorly - they're doing. But now states decide how to evaluate and improve schools, rather than the federal government.

Thousands of Louisiana students are English Language Learners. Many recently came here from Central America, with or without their families. Schools don't always know what they need or are entitled to receive. Now the Southern Poverty Law Center and Louisiana Department of Education are trying to change that.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

The Orleans Parish School Board approved a plan to reunify New Orleans public schools. That is, transfer Recovery School District charters back to the local school board. But this isn’t a return to the old system. It’s a new model for governing schools.

This week flooding in Louisiana killed at least 13 and damaged more than 40,000 homes. The disaster stopped life in its tracks for many across the state, including Louisiana’s second-biggest school system: East Baton Rouge Parish.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd checks in with the superintendent of that school system, Warren Drake, who says East Baton Rouge is hoping to resume school Wednesday.

Interview Highlights: Warren Drake

On the closure of East Baton Rouge Parish schools

Mallory Falk / WWNO

For many local college students, the last few days of August were supposed to be spent moving into dorms. But heavy rains and floods around Baton Rouge have put a hold on those plans.

Morris Jeff Community School was the first New Orleans charter to form a union, in 2013. But its teachers operated without a contract. Until now.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

This school year, two high profile New Orleans charter schools attempted to form unions. One voted yes: International High School. One voted no: Lusher Charter School. In light of those votes, teachers around the city shared their perspective on unions since Katrina and where things might go from here.

William Widmer / Slate

The New Orleans teaching force changed dramatically after Hurricane Katrina, when all public school teachers were laid off. They were mostly black, veteran educators from the area. Now, teachers are more likely to be young, white and to have grown up outside New Orleans.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

Teachers at International High School of New Orleans voted in favor of a union on Friday.

Employees gathered behind closed doors to hear the final count. Some wore buttons that said, simply, yes. Others wore T-shirts with bold text on the back: If you can read, thank a teacher. If you cannot, thank a teacher's union.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

Something big has been decided about New Orleans schools. And it seemed to happen pretty fast. Governor John Bel Edwards has now signed legislation ordering that all New Orleans schools return to the control of the Orleans Parish School Board. But not nearly as much control as that board had before Katrina. Things will look very different than they did a decade ago.