Sarah Carr / The Hechinger Report

After countless schools and expulsions, two New Orleans teens make a last-ditch effort at their diplomas.

Just a few months ago, Kendrell New felt stuck. The 20-year-old had bounced between several different New Orleans high schools since Hurricane Katrina, before finding one she liked. But a diploma still eluded her.

New kept failing Louisiana’s graduate exit exam in math — a test she needed to pass in order to graduate. Math had never come easy for her.

mahlness / Creative Commons

The state-run Recovery School District took over nearly all New Orleans public schools after Hurricane Katrina. Soon, it won't run any. It will, however, oversee dozens of charter schools, including 17 local schools which recently decided they wanted to stay in the state system instead of returning to the local school board.

Sebastian Blanco / Creative Commons

Some recent reporting from The Lens and other outlets have highlighted a rapid rate of turnover in New Orleans school staffing. It’s a trend seen in the ranks of teachers and school administrators, and not just in New Orleans.

Sarah Carr is an education reporter for the Hechinger Report, an education news nonprofit, and a frequent contributor to WWNO. She sat down with News Director Eve Troeh to talk about the impact of high rates of  staff turnover in city schools.

Marvin Thompson knew he faced a difficult task when he was hired last year as principal at John McDonogh High School in New Orleans.

"The day that I pulled up to this building, I thought it was condemned," Thompson says.

The structure, built in 1898, was sagging and leaky and missing entire window panes. Inside, students were underperforming academically.

And then, there were the rats. Thompson and his two children didn't even finish unpacking his office before they discovered that problem.

Lissandra Melo / <a href="">Shutterstock</a>

Louisiana's state school board has backed a two-year delay for some consequences tied to the phase-in of more rigorous educational standards, called Common Core, at public schools.

Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on Tuesday overwhelmingly supported the changes pushed by Superintendent of Education John White.

The plan will raise accountability standards — like the grading of students, schools and teachers — to match the Common Core in 2015, with a slow adjustment to toughen school grades set to phase in through 2025.

Cheryl Gerber / Second Harvest

As school days get longer and family budgets grow tighter, more students are eating all three meals — breakfast, lunch, and dinner — at school.

The Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana recently released one of the first reports to examine New Orleans-specific data on out-of-school suspensions. It's called Suspensions Matter: 2011-2012 Year in Review.

Ben McLeish

Proponents of charter schools in New Orleans have a refrain: charters mean more choice, for kids and families. But most of the charter schools in New Orleans are based on a similar educational model — one marked by rigidity and a relentless focus on getting into college.

Matthew Hinton / New Orleans Advocate

The Common Core standards teach classroom fundamentals in new ways, with a goal of deeper understanding. Sarah Carr, who covers education for the Hechinger Report, has followed the adjustment to Common Core in Louisiana, including at Belle Chase Primary in Plaquemines Parish.

WWNO News Director Eve Troeh talked with Sarah Carr about how parents feel the Common Core changes, as they help their children with homework.

Flickr Creative Commons/ evmaiden

New Orleans parents with children in public schools already have to think about where they will send their students next year. That's because it's time to fill out the One App.

Short for "one application," the One App is a streamlined process for admissions at 74 New Orleans public schools. Parents and students can list up to eight schools they'd prefer to attend.

The application deadline is December 20 for the schools with selective criteria, which are new to the One App system. But not all selective schools are yet included in the One App.