schools

Mallory Falk / WWNO

Last month, Lagniappe Academies lost its charter due to allegations that it wasn't serving students with disabilities. The school will close this spring. Its leaders have stepped down — including the CEO and acting principal. Now a group of teachers and staff will take the helm.

About a dozen teachers and staff attended the school's board meeting last night and made a proposal: allow them to run Lagniappe. They laid out a detailed plan for closing out the year and closing down the school.

For the past year now, many Americans have been hearing and reading about the 68,000 unaccompanied minors who have crossed illegally into the U.S. Nearly all of these minors come from El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras, and since their arrival, immigration officials have released most of them to their parents or relatives who already live in this country.

A number of these children and teenagers are in deportation proceedings, but while they wait, they have been allowed to attend public schools. In Louisiana, schools have enrolled nearly 2,000 of them.

It's a Saturday morning, and school marching bands are playing for a crowd. But they're not in a Mardi Gras parade. They're in the Superdome, where 120 schools are set up at long tables, putting their best faces forward and trying to recruit families.

One gives on-the-spot instrument lessons, another is showing off it's step team.

Sean Locke Photography / Shutterstock

The number of Louisiana students entering college has risen, according to new data from the State Department of Education.

More than 22,000 public school students across the state enrolled in two- and four-year colleges last fall. That's an all-time high, and an increase of six percent from the year before.

Looking at New Orleans alone, the increase in college-bound students was even higher — a 15 percent jump from the previous year.

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.

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