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.
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.
Michael "Quess?" Moore is an instructional coach at Martin Behrman Charter School. He helps teachers from all grade levels – kindergarten through eighth – develop lesson plans. Sometimes he co-leads the lessons, and sometimes he teaches them on his own. In the classroom, Moore draws on his experience as a spoken word artist.
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Last week the state school board voted to close Lagniappe Academies after a report outlined special education violations at the Tremé charter school. On Monday night, families held a rally to fight that decision.
Harold Bailey Sr. was one of three parents and grandparents to speak out against the school closure. He says the state should get rid of the administrators but keep the school open.
"This isn't choice," he said. "We don't want this. And this is not what children need. They need stability."
Applications to most New Orleans public schools are due this Friday. New Orleans is known as a "choice" landscape. Families apply to schools across the city, instead of automatically sending their children to the neighborhood school. But how much actual choice is there?
It's a Saturday morning and school marching bands play for a crowd. But they're not in a Mardi Gras parade. They're in the Superdome, at a schools expo. There's a bouncy house and a climbing wall. Things to keep kids occupied while their families learn about schools.
Schools are back in session after Mardi Gras break. At one school, many students are adjusting to a change: no more yellow school buses.
When Miller McCoy Academy started back up on Monday, many students who had relied on yellow buses had to find a new way there. That's because the charter school, located in New Orleans East, cut back its bus services. It eliminated several routes and combined others.
The school's board members say the change saves $14,000 a month. They've distributed about 150 bus tokens to students.
Last month the Southern Poverty Law Center, Louisiana Department of Education, State School Board, and Orleans Parish School Board reached a settlement on a four-year-old lawsuit. The suit claimed New Orleans schools weren't effectively serving students with disabilities — something that's harder to monitor and track in the charter school landscape.