schools

Mallory Falk / WWNO

In New Orleans' public school system, schools compete for kids. They receive a certain amount of money per student, so there is incentive to recruit and retain as many as possible. A new study from the Education Research Alliance looks at how school leaders respond to competition.

Huriya Jabbar is a research associate with the Education Research Alliance. She interviewed more than 70 school leaders from 30 different schools — a mix of Recovery School District and Orleans Parish School Board, charter and direct run.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

 

Michael "Quess?" Moore is an instructional coach at Martin Behrman Charter School. He helps teachers from all grade levels – kindergarten through eighth – develop lesson plans. Sometimes he co-leads the lessons, and sometimes he teaches them on his own. In the classroom, Moore draws on his experience as a spoken word artist.

Support for Voices of Educators and education reporting on WWNO comes from Entergy Corporation.

Today the Orleans Parish School Board has a new superintendent, but no board member to fill an empty seat.

Tuesday night the School Board unanimously approved a contract for Henderson Lewis Jr., and ended an almost three year search for a new superintendent.

Lewis previously served as superintendent for East Feliciana Parish. He says his main priority is uniting the School Board and Recovery School District to serve all students.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

Last week the state school board voted to close Lagniappe Academies after a report outlined special education violations at the Tremé charter school. On Monday night, families held a rally to fight that decision.

Harold Bailey Sr. was one of three parents and grandparents to speak out against the school closure. He says the state should get rid of the administrators but keep the school open.

"This isn't choice," he said. "We don't want this. And this is not what children need. They need stability."

Parent Anthony Parker expressed similar feelings.

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The number of New Orleans public school students learning English rose dramatically this year — by 35 percent. That's because of an influx of unaccompanied minors from Central America. Now some schools will receive extra funds to support those students.

The Recovery School District announced Monday it is giving out more than $160,000 to support English Language Learners. Those funds are divided among 16 charter operators and will pay for supports like technology, teacher training, and translated materials.

A New Orleans charter school violated the rights of special education students, then covered up those violations. That's according to a new report from the Louisiana Department of Education. Now the school's future is in question.

The report claims leaders at Lagniappe Academies didn't provide services to students with special needs, then arranged a cover up when the state came to investigate.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

Applications to most New Orleans public schools are due this Friday. New Orleans is known as a "choice" landscape. Families apply to schools across the city, instead of automatically sending their children to the neighborhood school. But how much actual choice is there?

It's a Saturday morning and school marching bands play for a crowd. But they're not in a Mardi Gras parade. They're in the Superdome, at a schools expo. There's a bouncy house and a climbing wall. Things to keep kids occupied while their families learn about schools.

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Schools are back in session after Mardi Gras break. At one school, many students are adjusting to a change: no more yellow school buses.

When Miller McCoy Academy started back up on Monday, many students who had relied on yellow buses had to find a new way there. That's because the charter school, located in New Orleans East, cut back its bus services. It eliminated several routes and combined others.

The school's board members say the change saves $14,000 a month. They've distributed about 150 bus tokens to students.

February is a big month for public school families. Applications to most of the city's schools are due on Feb. 27.

The New Orleans Parents' Guide is a key resource for families. It offers detailed information about every public school in the city.

Aesha Rasheed and Audrey Stewart produce the guide each year. They recently talked about the guide and application process with WWNO Education Reporter Mallory Falk.

Back in 2011, New Orleans created a centralized school enrollment system. Today the team behind that system — EnrollNOLA — released its first annual report.

According to the report, more than 10,000 students applied for school last year during the main enrollment round. 82 percent were matched with a school on their list.

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