This school year, two high profile New Orleans charter schools attempted to form unions. One voted yes: International High School. One voted no: Lusher Charter School. In light of those votes, teachers around the city shared their perspective on unions since Katrina and where things might go from here.
The New Orleans teaching force changed dramatically after Hurricane Katrina, when all public school teachers were laid off. They were mostly black, veteran educators from the area. Now, teachers are more likely to be young, white and to have grown up outside New Orleans.
Something big has been decided about New Orleans schools. And it seemed to happen pretty fast. Governor John Bel Edwards has now signed legislation ordering that all New Orleans schools return to the control of the Orleans Parish School Board. But not nearly as much control as that board had before Katrina. Things will look very different than they did a decade ago.
This spring, families who applied to New Orleans public schools got some bad news. School placements were announced a week late. Why was that such a big deal? Many private school deposits were due. Families had to decide: pay up to reserve a seat or take a chance with the public charter school lottery, OneApp. More New Orleans families – those with enough resources – find themselves choosing between public and private education.
“We’ve got a special interest group from out of state that’s currently misleading the public about this voucher program,” Governor John Bel Edwards said at the start of his weekly press conference.
He was referring to an ad that’s been getting heavy play in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
The House Education Committee approved a bill that would return all Recovery School District charters to the Orleans Parish School Board. The new legislation would require all schools to return, by 2019 at the latest.
Hundreds of New Orleans students got a hands-on civics lesson this week. They rallied at the state capitol to support a bill that would keep 17-year-olds out of adult court and prison.
It’s testing season in schools across the South and around the country. Students are flipping open booklets or logging onto computers to answer math and reading questions. For over a decade, annual standardized testing has been the law of the land. But it’s not without controversy or pushback – and some states and school districts are rethinking their approach.