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. She currently produces the New Orleans Moth StorySLAM.

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.

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Education
5:09 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Closing Costs: The Last Day At Lagniappe Academies

Jen Pike-Vassell walks first grader Bre'Yelle to class on the last day at Lagniappe Academies.
Credit Mallory Falk / WWNO

 

Our series "Closing Costs" follows three New Orleans schools who lost their charters.

At Lagniappe Academies, some administrators tried to hide a lack of services for students with disabilities. The state and Recovery School District chose to close the school, which is a cluster of mobile classrooms in Tremé, rather than find a new operator.

The last day starts off in the cafeteria. Students perform the school chants and cheers one last time.

Pop songs alternate with the chants. Students dance, some with carefully choreographed dance routines.

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Education
8:47 am
Wed May 13, 2015

Closing Costs: Parents Push For Role In Choosing New Charter School Operator

Wilson parents Dana Wade and Miesha Jackson pose in front of the bumper cars at InspireNOLA Family Night. They want to make sure Wilson's new operator won't treat the school, or the students, like failures.
Credit Mallory Falk / WWNO

The school year is winding down, and for three New Orleans charters, the last day will bring dramatic changes. Two of those schools are closing for good. The third – kindergarten through 8th grade school Andrew H. Wilson Charter – is getting a new operator.

The story of Wilson's future is the first in WWNO's series Closing Costs.

Wilson's contract was up for review this year. The school had to earn a D to get renewed. It missed the grade by less than one point.

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Education
4:12 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

NPR's Michel Martin To Host Conversation About New Orleans Schools Ten Years After The Flood

Credit Steve Voss / NPR

The New Orleans education system has changed dramatically in the almost ten years since Hurricane Katrina. NPR's Michel Martin is in town for a live event looking at those changes. It's part of her Going There series, where she hosts conversations about local topics with national significance.

Martin recently spoke about the event with WWNO Education Reporter Mallory Falk. She started by explaining why she chose to focus on education in New Orleans.

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Education
3:57 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Voices Of Educators: Dr. Kate Kokontis

Dr. Kate Kokontis.
Credit Mallory Falk / WWNO

New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, or NOCCA, has long been known as a leading arts education program. But the staff there began to notice a trend. Students came to NOCCA from schools all over the city and had dramatically different experiences.

"And there were a lot of sad moments at the end of somebody's senior year where they'd be given a scholarship based on their art, or get into a school based on their arts audition, and then not be able to accept it because they weren't admitted academically," says Dr. Kate Kokontis.

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Education
4:14 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

New Superintendent Lays Out Vision For New Orleans Schools

Last month Henderson Lewis Jr. took the helm as superintendent of the Orleans Parish School Board. Today he laid out his plan for his first six months — and his vision for the future.

Henderson Lewis Jr. has a clear vision: "To reunite the school district," he says. "Right now we have a fragmented school system. We have some schools that are part of the Orleans Parish School Board. We have other schools that are part of the Recovery School District."

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Latest News
4:12 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

OneApp Sends Out School Placements

Many New Orleans students are finding out where they'll go to school this fall. OneApp placements went out in the mail and through email on Thursday.

Lashunda Dean was at work when she got the email from OneApp.

"My first reaction was like 'yay! Oh my God! Yeah!'" she says. "And then I opened the email and I was like 'oh, okay, well.'"

Her son William, a fifth-grader, got his second choice. Dean was disappointed but not surprised.

"I knew it was gonna be a slim chance of getting in," she says. Because their top choice had very few open seats.

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Latest News
7:47 am
Tue April 7, 2015

School Loses Charter And Administrators, So Teachers And Staff Take Helm

Teachers and staff fill Lagniappe Academies' April board meeting.
Credit Mallory Falk / WWNO

Last month, Lagniappe Academies lost its charter due to allegations that it wasn't serving students with disabilities. The school will close this spring. Its leaders have stepped down — including the CEO and acting principal. Now a group of teachers and staff will take the helm.

About a dozen teachers and staff attended the school's board meeting last night and made a proposal: allow them to run Lagniappe. They laid out a detailed plan for closing out the year and closing down the school.

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Education
11:19 am
Mon April 6, 2015

In New Orleans, The Scramble For The Right Fit

In New Orleans, advertisements for charter schools — and for the annual Schools Expo — appear on billboards and bus stops.
Mallory Falk WWNO

Originally published on Mon April 6, 2015 2:01 pm

It's a Saturday morning, and school marching bands are playing for a crowd. But they're not in a Mardi Gras parade. They're in the Superdome, where 120 schools are set up at long tables, putting their best faces forward and trying to recruit families.

One gives on-the-spot instrument lessons, another is showing off it's step team.

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Education
6:15 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

More Louisiana Public School Graduates Enrolling In College

Credit Sean Locke Photography / Shutterstock

The number of Louisiana students entering college has risen, according to new data from the State Department of Education.

More than 22,000 public school students across the state enrolled in two- and four-year colleges last fall. That's an all-time high, and an increase of six percent from the year before.

Looking at New Orleans alone, the increase in college-bound students was even higher — a 15 percent jump from the previous year.

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Education
7:30 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Study Finds Some New Orleans Schools Tried To Screen And Exclude Students

School leaders respond to a new report about responses to competition. From left: Niloy Gangopadhyay, director of Success Preparatory Academy; Michelle Douglas, CEO of Edward Hynes Charter School; Patricia Perkins, principal of Morris Jeff Community School.
Credit Mallory Falk / WWNO

In New Orleans' public school system, schools compete for kids. They receive a certain amount of money per student, so there is incentive to recruit and retain as many as possible. A new study from the Education Research Alliance looks at how school leaders respond to competition.

Huriya Jabbar is a research associate with the Education Research Alliance. She interviewed more than 70 school leaders from 30 different schools — a mix of Recovery School District and Orleans Parish School Board, charter and direct run.

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