Education Desk

Education news is a priority for WWNO's expanding local news reporting — providing trusted news for parents, educators and community leaders. 

Support for education reporting on WWNO comes from Entergy Corporation.

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Lafayette Academy parent Tuere Jones expressed frustration with the school's handling of the asbestos problem.
Jess Clark / WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

New Orleans charter school Lafayette Academy is scrambling to find accommodations for next school year after a state inspection revealed the building and yard may be contaminated with asbestos.

The Orleans Parish School Board held its first meeting as head of the new unified school district Thursday night. Nearly all public schools in the parish are under its control for the first time since Hurricane Katrina. But while the district is unified, public opinion is not. 

George Washington Carver High School class of 2018 files in for their graduation ceremony.
Jess Clark / WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

It’s been nearly 13 years since Hurricane Katrina decimated the city and its school system. And a lot has changed since then. Now the city is the first, large school district in the nation where nearly all students attend charter schools. But the reforms are controversial, and have left many wondering, did they work?

Cade Brumley was sworn in as Superintendent of Jefferson Parish Schools.
Jess Clark / WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

Jefferson Parish schools swore in its new superintendent Monday night - former DeSoto Parish schools superintendent Cade Brumley.

Civil rights pioneer Leona Tate takes questions from students in her summer camp.
Jess Clark / WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

School is out for most New Orleans kids, but many of them are still learning at summer camps. Some of them are taking on big topics, like the history of civil rights. At the Leona Tate Foundation For Change camp, students get to interview real leaders in the battle for racial equality. 

Rain clouds gather over Esperanza Charter School in Mid-City. The neighborhood was hard hit during the flooding of August 2017.
Jess Clark / WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

Climate change is bringing more intense weather — more rain, heat and storms. And in New Orleans, extreme weather is disruptive. People park their cars up on curbs, and miss work — and school. It turns out kids missed a lot of school this past year, largely because of aging infrastructure failing during extreme weather.

Results from the 2018 state standardized tests show New Orleans-area students are trailing their peers statewide.
midnightpeace_90 / Flickr

On average, kids in Louisiana public schools tested slightly better on their standardized tests this year. But New Orleans-area kids still trail behind the state, and achievment gaps for certain groups of students remain persistent.

 

This year kids were tested in math, social studies and English language arts (ELA). The state raised the bar this year for what it means to be on grade level - students now have to score at the “mastery" level to meet the standard.

 

 

 

Public schools get a large portion of their funding from local property taxes — that's taxes paid on homes and businesses, including big factories. But for decades, manufacturers in Orleans Parish have gotten a big break on those property taxes, and that means less money for schools. Now the parish school board is considering asking companies to pay up. 

U.S. Marshalls escort Ruby Bridges to integrate William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans in 1960.
United States Government

When Americans are taught the story of school desegregation, they learn about the 1954 landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. The Board of Education. But much of the work of desegregation happened outside the courtroom. Black children, some as young as six, put their bodies on the line every time they entered a white school, and nearly all of them were girls.

George Washington Carver High School class of 2018 files in for their graduation ceremony.
Jess Clark / WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

At the end of George Washington Carver High School's graduation ceremony held at Xavier University at the end of May, hundreds of graduates in their white caps and gowns flood out of the auditorium to meet their families. The Carver band is playing. Girls are pulling off their high heels and unzipping their robes so they can really break it down.

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