Those New Orleans *Miracle* Charter AP Outcomes Wednesday, Oct 8 2014 

edutalknola:

It’s always a very good idea to look past the Louisiana Department of Education’s press releases and check out the raw data. The press release is usually focused on making really bad news look good.

Originally posted on deutsch29:

On October 8, 2014, New York teacher Gary Rubinstein wrote a post on Louisiana’s May 2014 Advanced Placement (AP) outcomes. His post is aptly entitled, Louisiana Still Ranks Second to Last in AP Results. 

Of course such news must be spun; therefore, Louisiana Superintendent John White twists the result into Louisiana Among Nation’s Most Improved States on Advanced Placement Scores

As Rubinstein shows, Louisiana has ranked only higher than Mississippi on passing AP outcomes for the past three years. Not sure how consistent second-to-last equals “most improved.” But then, I am not a liar by trade.

In his post, Rubinstein includes a handful of scores on our New Orleans Miracle Schools. He was able to obtain such scores from a search engine in the Times-Picayune.

White does not do search engines. He has sabotaged the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) to such a degree that I doubt he has…

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Some Sad truths about RSD’s Grad Rate and Dropout numbers Friday, Oct 3 2014 

edutalknola:

It’s time for all of us to call on our state legislators and demand fraud audits of every school within the RSD including it’s charters. It’s clear that the Louisiana Department of Education cannot be trusted to audit schools it’s had a direct hand in operating or schools under it’s jurisdiction for oversight as charters. It’s time for this RSD charade to be shut down. Less than 10 of the RSD New Orleans schools are performing above the state average. They took 107 schools from the Orleans Parish School Board almost 10 years ago because they were below the state average. Who holds the RSD accountable for holding onto our schools or giving them to private non profit boards for all this time without getting at least to the state average? The initial RSD legislation for the takeover in 2005 was meant to give the schools back after 5 years assuming they would fix them in 5 years. Instead of giving them back, they gave them away. This is a racket!

Originally posted on Crazy Crawfish's Blog:

I have been warning LDOE for years that something fishy is going on with the grad rate across the state. John White, Chas Roemer and Reformers would just have you believe that “raising the bar” and having “higher expectations” for students is the only thing that Louisiana lacks. They ignore decades of history and Louisiana’s extreme poverty as contributing factors. It’s no coincidence that those who tell poor people poverty is not a factor that impacts academic success come from the most affluent segments of our society. Both Chas Roemer and John White attended some of the most prestigious and expensive private schools in the country and have parents with long entries in Wikipedia. Just average folks, like you and me, ya know? These folks tell us all we need to do is raise our standards, our benchmarks, and “Believe”.

When you operate this way in good faith (let’s pretend…

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Jim Arnold: Copy Louisiana? What a Joke! Tuesday, Sep 30 2014 

edutalknola:

Copy Louisiana, LOL, LOL, LOL, I hope Georgia listens to this guy.

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Jim Arnold, former superintendent of Pelham City public schools in Georgia, has a message for Governor Nathan Deal, who is running for re-election. Governor Deal thinks Georgia needs a “recovery school district,” like the one in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Jim Arnold says Governor Deal is wrong.

Arnold writes that Louisiana is a low-performing state and Néw Orleans is a low-performing district.

“Louisiana, where Advanced Placement exam results for 2013 are ahead of only Mississippi, is known more for LSU football and Duck Dynasty than public education…..

“The vast majority of charters in Louisiana, except for those with a selective admission process, are rated D or F by their own state. The New Orleans Recovery School District that Nathan Deal suggested we emulate was rated as one of the lowest performing districts in the state.
This plan was part of the “bait and switch” campaign in Louisiana to increase the number…

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The New Orleans Imperative Rebroadcast – September 29, 2014 Tuesday, Sep 30 2014 

edutalknola:

Yesterday I joined Dr. Raynard Sanders on his radio show, The New Orleans Imperative to discuss the recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Education that they were opening up an investigation into the Civil Rights complaint filed by the Coalition for Community Schools and C-6. I am a member of the Coalition for Community Schools. You can listen to a rebroadcast of the show at The New Orleans Imperative online.

Originally posted on theneworleansimperative:

Last week the U.S. Education Department Office of Civil Rights announced that they have opened an investigation into charges that the Recovery School District’s policy of closing and chartering New Orleans public schools violated the civil rights of African-American students. This investigation is the result of complaint filed by last May by the Advancement Project and two local education advocacy groups, Coalition for Community Schools and Conscious Concerned Citizens Controlling Community Changes. Karran Harper Royal of the Coalition for Community Schools joined us this morning to discuss the investigation.

Also on this morning’s program, Dr. Mark Naison of Fordham University joined us to discuss the claim by education reformer$ that public education has failed poor and minority children.

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New Orleans School Justice Hotline Tuesday, Sep 30 2014 

edutalknola:

Call the School Justice Hotline and let us know what your confers are related to public education in New Orleans.

Originally posted on theneworleansimperative:

TNOEER-1 copy

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RSD School Construction Overspending and Substandard Concrete: Time for Jindal Admin to Expand Its Audit Sunday, Aug 10 2014 

edutalknola:

It’s long past time for real oversight and accountability with the Recovery School District. If these construction issues had happened with OPSB driving the train solely in control of the post Katrina rebuilding money, the media would be doing weekly articles on this chaos. It’s time that our legislators end this charade of so called reform called the Recovery School District.

Originally posted on deutsch29:

As of June 18, 2014, Louisiana State Superintendent John White has found himself to be the focus of Office of Contractual Renewal (OCR) and Division of Administration (DOA) investigation for his questionable methods regarding Louisiana’s assessment contracts.

White has publicly complained that such is evidence that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is out to get him. White’s buddy, Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) President Chas Roemer, a career politician, tries to deflect focus from any White/BESE wrongdoing by dismissing the entire situation as “politics.”

(I’m sure it’s mere coincidence that Roemer the Politician Who Hails from a Family of Politicians and Who Has Been Calling Out Jindal for Behaving Like a Politician *just happens* to be featured in this August 9, 2014, News Star heart-warmer about how he has no future political aspirations… “for now.”)

The problem with White’s complaints and Roemer’s curt dismissal is that…

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The Role of Suspensions in Public Education. Monday, Dec 23 2013 

 

Recently students and parents Image at Carver Prep and Carver Collegiate charter schools have expressed concerns about  a number of issues at their school.  One of those issues was the excessive use of suspensions for minor issues.    I am discussing this topic this morning on WBOK radio in New Orleans.  You can join the conversation  no matter where you are by visiting http://www.wbok1230am.com today, December 23rd at 10AM Central time.   We’ll talk about the recent letter from the Souther Poverty Law Center which encourages the Collegiate Academies Board and administration to make some changes.  It’s an excellent letter that points out the conflict between what’s written in law and Collegiate Academies very own student handbook.

Listen to the New Orleans Imperative Radio show this morning and if you miss it, it will re-air on http://www.theneworleansimperative.org beginning on December 30th. 

I’ll talk more about this subject after the holiday break.   

Follow me on Twitter @KHRoyal 

Facebook:  Karran Harper Royal Education Advocacy 

The Best Article Ever About New Orleans’ Charter Schools Monday, Oct 7 2013 

edutalknola:

Andrea Gabor has done a great job of putting a human face on the changes in the New Orleans public education system over the last years.

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

We all have heard or read or seen the stories in the mass media about the “miracle” in New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina, which Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called the best thing that ever happened to education in that city, wiped out public education and the teachers’ union. Now New Orleans is the only city where more than 75 % of students are in charter schools with minimal government regulation.

Experienced journalist and scholar Andrea Gabor here goes behind the curtain and takes a closer look than Oprah or the other high-profile celebrants of the “miracle.” Her article appeared in Newsweek-The Daily Beast. (I link to another site here because I had trouble opening the Daily Beast site.)

In a tour de force of investigative journalism, she takes a close look at what is happening in the best charters (typified by a degree of regimentation that most parents would…

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Public Education in Post Katrina New Orleans Through the Eyes of Parents Thursday, Sep 12 2013 

The landscape of public education has changed drastically in the 8 years since the State Department of Education took over the vast majority of the public schools in New Orleans.  How those schools are doing seems to be a matter of perspective.  However, based on the State’s own data, 100% of the direct run Recovery School District schools  under the jurisdiction of the Louisiana Department of Education are rated F.  Of the charter schools that fall under the Recovery School District, 79% of those with letter grades are rated D or F.  These facts indicate that the Louisiana Department of Education has produced a similar or worse result than the previous elected school board.  However, we know that there is so much more that needs to be looked at in addition to scores.  Listen to the voices of two parents who used the public school system before the state takeover and after the state take over.  Parents Ashana Bigard and Nikkisha Napoleon are my guests on WBOK radio show Eyewitness to History.

A conversation with a New Orleans Parent about Vouchers and Choosing a School. Thursday, Apr 18 2013 

Last night I received a call from a very distress parent who was concerned about her child’s voucher school and it’s ability to provide a quality education for her 9 year old child. Sadly this child has already attended 3 different private schools and one charter school. This mother was surprised to find out that voucher school, which is a religious based school was one of the absolute worse scoring schools in the voucher program. She told me that when this school and others were promoted to her, they did not say anything about how students at this school had scored previously on state tests. This particular school is also on probation and may actually not be in the program if their test scores don’t improve significantly. In addition to these problems, the school is refusing to implement an Individualized Education Program (IEP) from the child’s previous school. I hated to tell her that as a private religious based school her child did not have a right to the same kind of special education services the child had in his previous public school. Services are limited to what the school has decided it would provide.

This parent has decided to seek another “choice.” When she told me the name of the next private religious based school she had chosen. I had to inform her of some of the experiences of other parents that I knew about who also had chosen that same school. The only thing I could do at this point was to give her a list of questions to ask the school so she could get a feel for the school’s ability to serve her child properly.

This parent was dismayed that in all of the promotion about the various school options in the voucher program, she did not have access about previous performance. No one told her that this school was on probation. This is a major problem with the voucher program.

I told the mother a little about the kinds of services that were possible within the public school system for a child with a disability. I advised her that a public school was her child’s best option to get the services he would need to be successful, based on what I know about the public and private schools available in New Orleans. As we explored other possible choice in the public school system, the mother told me about her experience in visiting a particular charter school. She was very much turned off when she asked to take a look around the school and the school was reluctant to show her around. She had a bad feeling because of this experience and did not list this school as one of her choices of public schools. I asked her if she knew that most of the Recovery School District (RSD) charters were rated D or F, she did not. She was shocked to find that 79% of the RSD charters are rated D or F. The RSD direct run schools were not even in the conversation with 100% of the direct run RSD schools being rated D or F. Our conversation moved “choices” within the Orleans Parish Public School system of schools and it’s charter schools. As it turns out, those were the only options of public schools that this parent felt comfortable exploring further. She realizes that her child needs stability and those schools have been very stable in the last 7 years since “reform” came to New Orleans.

Parental “choice” seems to be Louisiana’s major tool in reforming public education. Parents need adequate information in order to make informed choices. Even with this information, how does “choice” actually improve the quality of schools? Is it really school choice to continuously move children around in search of a better school option? Is this school reform? At what point do we get to reforming schools in our communities so parents don’t have to constantly move children around? When will the Louisiana Department of Education provide parents with adequate information to make an informed choice? When will schools open up their doors so that parents can really see how their schools operate rather than give them the usual PR propaganda? The good news is that this parent is now armed with information and will continue to seek a seat in one of the few quality schools within the Orleans Parish school system.

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