Education

Hurricane Katrina left New Orleans with the opportunity to revamp its public school system. To that end, the city's education landscape became dotted with charter schools run by several operators.

The eighth anniversary of that storm is upon us, and we're seeing the charter school movement in the city slow down as operators look elsewhere to take over low-performing schools.

The Lindsey Family

It’s a July morning at 6:45 a.m. and the temperature is starting to climb across the city. Most schoolchildren would expect to have at least a few more weeks of summer. But Quincy Lindsey, a fifth grader at New Orleans’ ReNEW Cultural Arts Academy, is trying to wake up for his first day of school.

His mother, Calanthia Lindsey, tries to keep Quincy on pace to make it to school by 7:15 a.m., reminding him not to use his pencils as drum sticks and to tuck in his shirt.

Janet Wilson / WWNO

Most of my academic life I’ve questioned how schools impact settlers’ integration into communities: How do people become members of society?  How do recalcitrant gatekeepers become welcoming neighbors? These questions have moved me literally and figuratively around the world. Nine years ago, those questions carried me to New Orleans and helped transform me into a New Orleanian. Until recently, I haven’t spent much time considering what full-fledged community members go through when they voluntarily leave their homes. That is until I decided to take a job in another state.

As New Orleans students start their summer break, some are leaving their schools behind for good. Four Orleans Parish schools closed their doors permanently, and education reporter Jessica Williams over at The Lens covers the impact on students, parents and educators.

Young Audiences

There are art programs in schools. And there are schools devoted solely to art. A new charter school in Jefferson Parish is getting ready for a unique approach to education that uses art in traditional subjects.

A five-judge state appeal court panel must decide whether to uphold a ruling that thousands of New Orleans public school employees were wrongfully fired after Hurricane Katrina shut down the city and its schools in 2005.

A lawyer for the fired workers told the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal panel Thursday that the Orleans Parish School Board and the state violated the rights of teachers and school workers fired after the storm. She urged the panel to uphold last year's ruling by Judge Ethel Simms Julien.

Playworks

A new study from Stanford University shows a program being used during recess at six New Orleans elementary schools is enhancing the children’s education. About 2,200 students are now in the local Playworks project.

Charter School Group May Owe More Than $250K For Student Meals

May 16, 2013
Flickr, creativecommons.org

In a report over at The Lens today, Charter School Reporting Corps member Della Hasselle digs into a conflict between the state's Recovery School District and ReNEW Schools, a charter school group which oversees several Orleans Parish schools.

Hasselle and Steve Myers, Managing Editor of The Lens, came to WWNO to discuss the story.

Parents have always held visions of what professional uniforms their sons or daughters should wear. These visions are becoming fetishes in a world in which professional titles provide license to a reframed American Dream. Christina Freeland describes it as a “winner-take-all economy” in which “education is the trump card.” Consequently, parents over time have increased their investments in education to ensure that their children are not second-class citizens in a high skilled economy.

The Louisiana Supreme Court handed Gov. Bobby Jindal a loss today: It agreed with a lower court that his method of funding private school tuition through vouchers was unconstitutional.

For the past year, explains the AP, Jindal's administration has used "money earmarked for public schools in the state's Minimum Foundation Program to pay for private school tuition."

In a 6-1 vote, the court decided the funding mechanism was unconstitutional.

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