School buildings in the Crescent City will become monuments to our differences instead of the beacons of learning they are supposed to be if New Orleanians reject a preservation program for educational facilities in the voting booth on Dec. 6.

It’s a funding conflict that mirrors power disputes around the country over whether the states, or local, elected boards should control schools.

Anything but a vote to pass the measure ignores what New Orleans children went through before and immediately after Hurricane Katrina.

Sebastian Blanco / Creative Commons

In New Orleans and nationally, many schools have adopted a no-excuses model. They enforce strict rules and suspend students at high rates.

In a new article out this week in the Atlantic and Hechinger Report, reporter Sarah Carr looks at the push back against no-excuses discipline. She profiles several local charter schools, including Carver Collegiate, New Orleans College Prep, and KIPP Renaissance.

Young Audiences Charter School

Editor's note: With Voices from the Classroom: The Arts in Education Reform, NolaVie and cultural partner WWNO — New Orleans Public Radio are teaming up to take a look at how the arts are being used creatively in schools around the city.

Why are the arts an important component for school curricula? And how are we integrating arts into local classrooms? Today, Renee Peck interviews Folwell Dunbar, head of a new kind of school in Jefferson Parish.

Eve Abrams

What does it take to learn how to write well? Time and support. But the school day is more squeezed more than ever — with test preparation and a laundry list of standards to be taught.

There are few extra minutes to foster expression or help kids convey complex, creative ideas. But one young organization in New Orleans, Big Class, is supporting kids and schools in better writing.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

As New Orleans continues to reshape public education, WWNO seeks to highlight teachers who bring unique talents and perspectives to their work. We feature one such educator each month.

Clever Cupcakes / Flickr

The education system in Louisiana has undergone a major transformation. But until recently, most of the changes were aimed at grades K-12. Now the focus is turning to early childhood. Thanks to Act 3, or the Early Childhood Education Act, Pre-K and early child care programs across the state are getting revamped this fall.

WWNO's Mallory Falk spoke about the revamp with Melanie Bronfin, Executive Director of the Policy Institute for Children. Bronfin says the changes were partly prompted by new research on child brain development.

A New Orleans Family's Lives Changed In An Instant

Oct 26, 2014

NPR Ed is reporting this year on the extraordinary changes in the New Orleans schools.

I was in New Orleans to report on how the city's nearly all-charter school system is handling children with disabilities and special needs.

An old friend, a veteran New Orleans reporter, told me about a family — a mother and her two youngest sons — who'd been badly wounded in a drive-by shooting just days into the new school year.

I met up with Alanna Romain at a recreation league football game at City Park. She has five children. Her oldest boy plays football.

The Archdiocese of New Orleans announced Wednesday that it will close three schools because of low enrollment. Times Picayune reports the schools that will shut at the end of the current school year are the Holy Ghost in New Orleans, St. Agnes in Jefferson and Our Lady of Grace in Reserve. 

The schools will continue with full staff for the rest of the academic year. 

Roman Catholic school enrollment dropped 25 percent in the greater New Orleans area from 2003 to 2013.

The archdiocese closed more than 20 of its 100-plus schools during that decade.

The Louisiana Department of Education released school report cards on Tuesday. School letter grades across the state mostly held steady.

State Superintendent John White said this year's scores show steady, modest gains in student achievement. More schools earned an A this year, and most schools in the B through D range held steady.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

Nine years after Katrina, schools are still being renovated and rebuilt. John Dibert Community School moved into a brand new building this fall. The school held an open house over the weekend, to show off the new facility and recruit families.

The open house started with a second line and closed out with a special performance: first graders singing "What a Wonderful World."