Mallory Falk

Education Reporter

Mallory Falk is Education Reporter at WWNO, New Orleans Public Radio. Her four-part series on school closures received an Edward R. Murrow award. Prior to joining WWNO, Mallory worked as Communications Director for the youth leadership non-profit Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools. She fell in love with audio storytelling as a Middlebury College Narrative Journalism Fellow and studied radio production at the Transom Story Workshop.

Jesse Hardman / WWNO

This week on All Things New Orleans, the Listening Post team asks local voters about the upcoming election and looks at the fate of 70,000 ineligible Louisiana voters. Tegan Wendland visits a new waterfront research center near the Port of New Orleans. Plus, Farrar Hudkins reflects on his 16 years as a WWNO announcer and classical music programmer.

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.

Floods Disrupt Louisiana's School Schedule

Sep 1, 2016


In Louisiana's second-largest school district, all the schools are closed because of the massive flooding there. Students in the East Baton Rouge Parish were scheduled to go back this week. But the district had to delay the start of school until after Labor Day. Mallory Falk from member station WWNO reports.


And the cleanup continues after record floods devastated southern Louisiana. An estimated 3,000 residents are still in shelters waiting to find out where they will go next. Mallory Falk from member station WWNO visited one of those shelters.

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.

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.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

Over 90% of New Orleans public school students attend charters. But there are still six traditional public schools, run directly by the Orleans Parish School Board. They came together at McDonogh 35 Senior High School to kick off the school year.

Like any good New Orleans event, the OPSB convocation started out with a second line. Each school had a turn parading down McDonogh's gleaming front hall. Teachers shook bells, waved umbrellas and performed school cheers.

OPSB oversees 28 schools, but it only directly runs six. Those are the ones here today.

The special legislative session is over. A budget deal has been reached. And changes are in store for TOPS, the state's college scholarship program.

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.