education

The "official" Hurricane Katrina bus tour is a big tourist attraction in New Orleans. But another kind of storm tour recently took off — more of a Katrina "reality" tour, documenting the last decade of the New Orleans school system.

School officials at West Monroe High School have banned the use of the Confederate flag by its student body.    

According to students, Principal Shelby Ainsworth announced that the flag could not be displayed or flown from vehicles on campus.  The practice has been a long-standing tradition during football season at the school, whose mascot is the Rebel.

A New Orleans Business Banks On New Connections

Aug 28, 2015
Noel King and Caitlin Esch

At McMillan's First Steps preschool, there's a big mural painted on the cafeteria wall. A smiling boy is held in the air by a doctor, a pastor and a police officer.

Plus, a guy in a Home Depot uniform.

In another city that might seem weird, but not in a city that is rebuilding. Linda McMillan, who owns First Steps, says the flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina destroyed her campus.

This week is filled with events marking the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Among them: a conference on the current state of Black New Orleans.

The three-day conference — hosted by the Urban League — kicked off with a town hall and panels focused on education.

Area students are encouraged to pursue their education in a local workshop called "My Mind Is A Pearl."

The program was created by local educator Cleoria Dunn.  "These sessions host resource fairs and activities to build confidence in students," says Dunn.

She arrived at the idea from her own experience.  "I wanted my children to be successful, and I knew I had to lead by example.  I decided to quit my state job and go back to college and get my degree."

It's back to school season. And in New Orleans, it truly is a season — spanning late July to late August. The city has many school start dates and calendars.

Charter schools are changing American education. Some say for the better, some say the worse. This week the Southern Education Desk looks at the charter school movement throughout the south. We start in New Orleans, the testing ground for the movement. Nearly all the city's public schools have been converted into charters: publicly funded, but privately run. Now other districts are looking to New Orleans as a model for school reform. 


Mallory Falk / WWNO

School is back in session. And there's a new option for students with severe mental and behavioral health needs: the New Orleans Therapeutic Day Program. The program recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Paul Boger / Southern Education Desk

States across the US have increasingly been turning to charter schools in an effort to bolster struggling public school systems. Two of the most recent states to adopt the controversial form of education are Mississippi and Alabama. As part of the Southern Education Desk's series examining charter schools in the South, MPB's Paul Boger reports on how those states are adapting to the alternative form of public education. 

Andre Natta / Southern Education Desk

Florida has about 650 charter schools. They're part of school districts but are privately managed and largely free of many of the rules governing traditional public schools. But as enrollment in charters has increased, so has the financial cost.

WFSU's Lynn Hatter reports for the Southern Education Desk that Tennessee and Georgia are also struggling to find ways to support their charter schools.

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