Mallory Falk

Education Reporter

Mallory Falk is the Education Reporter for WWNO. She fell in love with audio storytelling as a Middlebury Fellow in Narrative Journalism and studied radio production at the Transom Story Workshop. Before taking the plunge into radio, Mallory worked as Communications Director for the youth leadership organization Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools. She has taught radio in New Orleans middle schools and led youth media programs in Rwanda and Appalachia.

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.

When it comes to child well-being in the U.S., Louisiana ranks near the bottom: 48th. That's according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The results of the annual report are, sadly, not shocking. "We have historically always ranked at least in the bottom five states in overall child well-being, so unfortunately that wasn't a big surprise," says Teresa Falgoust. She's with Agenda for Children, which contributed local data to the national report. It looks at trends in data between 2008 and 2014.

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.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

Teachers at Lusher Charter School voted against joining a union.

The final vote was 54 in favor of the union and 77 against. A smaller group of paraprofessionals also voted separately, with eight for, five against and three challenged votes.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

This school year there's been a lot of talk about how to fund special education, as the Recovery School District and Orleans Parish School Board move toward a unified funding formula. But what actually happens inside a special education classroom?

Courtesy

This spring, families who applied to New Orleans public schools got some bad news. School placements were announced a week late. Why was that such a big deal? Many private school deposits were due. Families had to decide: pay up to reserve a seat or take a chance with the public charter school lottery, OneApp. More New Orleans families - those with enough resources - find themselves choosing between public and private education.

Jeneane Watson always assumed she’d send her kids to public school. That was the norm where she grew up, outside Baltimore.

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