education

Education
8:00 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Behind The Test: Schools Turn To Social Workers, Relaxation Techniques To Deal With LEAP Test Strain

Kevin and Byroneshia doing a guided imagery activity. LEAP tests put entire schools under enormous stress.
Credit Mallory Falk / WWNO

WWNO continues its series "Behind the Test" with a look at standardized testing through the lens of test anxiety. In the weeks leading up to the LEAP test, teachers do a lot to prepare students: drilling them on crucial skills, giving out practice tests, even holding pep rallies to boost confidence. But what about preparing students to cope with test-related anxiety?

Brittany Healy is leading a small group of fifth graders in a guided imagery activity. They’re sprawled out on a couch and sunken into bean bag chairs. Eyes shut, arms loose at their sides.

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Education
8:50 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Behind The Test: The Rules And Regulations Leading To Reliable LEAP Data

Flickr user midnightpeace_90

WWNO continues its series “Behind the Test” with a look at test security. The paper booklets, and students’ answers inside, can determine things like teacher pay or the very existence of a school. It takes a lot of effort — and people — to keep the testing materials secure through delivery, administering the test, turning them in and then scoring.

The booklets and answer sheets for Louisiana’s LEAP tests come from a company called Data Recognition Corporation in Minnesota. When the Recovery School District's tests arrive they go straight to a warehouse.

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WRKF
3:02 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Mixed Feelings and Messages About Sex Education

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 8:19 am

Louisiana’s full House approved “Erin’s Law” on Monday. Approved in 20 other states, it requires schools to teach kids what constitutes sexual abuse and sexual assault. There was no debate, and the votes for passage were unanimous.

Tuesday, the House Education Committee began hearing a bill to require schools to teach comprehensive sex education. Baton Rouge Representative Patricia Smith is the author, and she made reference to the previous day’s approval of “Erin’s Law”.

“It came out of this committee; passed the House floor. My question to you is, how can you teach sexual assault without talking about sexual education?” Smith queried her fellow committee members.

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Code Switch
2:44 am
Wed May 14, 2014

New Orleans Police Hope To 'Win The City Back,' One Kid At A Time

New Orleans police investigate a shooting in February. Though the city's murder rate is down for a second straight year, it's still high compared with other cities.
Michael DeMocker The Times-Picayune/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 8:25 am

New Orleans is making progress toward losing the "murder capital" label. For a second straight year, homicides declined in the city, in keeping with a nationwide trend.

For African-Americans in the city, though, the numbers are less comforting. Of the nearly 350 killings in the past two years, 91 percent of the victims have been black. It's a cycle that's worrisome to the city's African-American community — and law enforcement.

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Latest News
5:10 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Civil Rights Complaints Target New Orleans Charter Schools

New Orleans charter schools are named in a federal civil rights complaint as being discriminatory against students of color.
frwl Wikimedia

A coalition of groups opposed to charter schools says it is filing federal civil rights complaints claiming discrimination by officials running school systems in New Orleans, Chicago and Newark, New Jersey.

Copies of the complaints were released today by the Journey for Justice Alliance. They say black students in the three cities suffer because of the closure of traditional public schools or the conversion of them into charter schools — run by independent organizations under charters approved by state or local education officials.

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The Lens
7:00 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Behind The Test: Using Test Scores To Grade Teachers

Teachers have a lot riding ontheir students' standardized test scores. Improvement can mean financial rewards. But little or no improvement can lead to a teacher losing their job.
Josh Davis Flickr

Louisiana’s schools have a lot riding on student performance on standardized tests, and the stakes can be even higher for educators.

Louisiana is one of over 20 states around the country that ties teacher evaluations to student performance. Teachers can receive huge financial bonuses if their students do well, and they can lose their jobs if they don't.

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WRKF
3:02 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Effort to Elevate TOPS Standards Ends

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 3:45 pm

“It it’s not broken, let’s don’t try to fix it,” Senator Francis Thompson of Delhi summed up the sentiment of a majority of the Senate regarding TOPS.

TOPS isn’t broken, but many lawmakers see curbing the cost of the college scholarship program as part of the fix for the state budget. A measure that would have saved an estimated $24-million per year, by raising the standards for TOPS was argued on the Senate floor Monday.

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Education
1:18 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Behind The Test: Training Teachers To Give High-Stakes Tests

Reducing administrative errors means instructing teachers on how to administer high-stakes tests.
Blue Square Thing Flickr

School is winding up for the year, and students have the state LEAP test behind them. That’s the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program, the standardized test used to measure students’ skills — and, increasingly, to size up teachers and schools as a whole.

This week, as schools await their results, WWNO explores the world of LEAP beyond the test itself, in our "Behind The Test" series. We look behind-the-scenes at test security, emotions around testing, and the growing influence of tests.

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WRKF
3:02 am
Fri May 9, 2014

House Reallocates Education Dollars

Originally published on Sun May 11, 2014 1:00 pm

If there was a theme to “Budget Day” in the Louisiana House, it could be summed up by Thursday’s oft-heard refrain, “If we don’t do it, the Senate’s going to do it.”

There wasn’t a lot House members could do to alter the allocations, until they got to the Department of Education section. Because House Appropriations had forwarded the budget bill, HB 1, to the full House before the Senate Education Committee rejected the MFP, House members now had $70-million to play with.

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Latest News
5:10 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Bill To Boost Teacher Retirement Age Nearing Final Passage

The Senate backs a bill that would require public school teachers and most new state employees to wait 2 years longer to retire.
SalFalko Flickr

Public school teachers and most new state employees would have to wait longer to retire, under a proposal that received the unanimous backing of the state Senate Wednesday.

Current law generally allows that non-hazardous employees in the Louisiana State Employees' Retirement System, the Teachers' Retirement System of Louisiana and the Louisiana School Employees' Retirement System can retire at age 60 with 5 years of service.

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