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.
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.
When a group of Mid-City residents proposed opening a school four years ago that would be racially and economically diverse, they were greeted with doubt. Skeptics thought Morris Jeff would end up like most other public schools in the city: almost entirely African American and low-income.
“The understanding (was) that you guys are delusional. Once the school is open (it) will look the same way that all public schools who are open access look,” said Celeste Lofton-Bagert, one of the founders.
Eve Abrams has been chronicling Akili Academy, an open enrollment charter school now in its sixth year. This week, she reports on Akili Academy’s new-to-them building, and the issue of school real estate city-wide.
Akili Academy has always been a school of trailers, sitting in Gentilly. Until this year. The K-8th grade charter school has opened its doors in a permanent building.
This month the University of New Orleans sent out a notice, saying its child daycare facility would close December 20. The reason given? It loses money, at a time when the university is facing severe budget cuts. That leaves 81 children in need of new child care options.
At dusk, parents descend on the UNO lakefront campus to collect their little ones from daycare. But a few weeks ago, they lingered — to browse brochures for different child care. Word was out, the UNO Children’s Center was closing.
Political tempers have flared in Louisiana surrounding the Common Core standards. Adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia, the guidelines change the way some subjects are taught, and aim to better measure how students are performing on a national level.
Voices from the Classroom, a series presented by NolaVie and WWNO, explores local education through conversations with those on the front lines: the teachers.
While superintendents, experts, parents, politicians and pundits have weighed in extensively on what's right and wrong with the educational system in Louisiana, it's the people behind the desks who must deal, day in and day out, with students, evaluations, testing, behavior, curriculum and, ultimately, what works and what does not.