In a six month long investigation, the Southern Education Desk conducted dozens of interviews and relied on open records requests to obtain hundreds of documents. SED found an inaccurate curricula approval process and hundreds of thousands of dollars in exclusive grants may have resulted in a payday for a for-profit abstinence education company. Results for students are yet to be seen.
This is the first year that Mississippi has mandated sex education in all of its schools, trying to bring down its worst-in-the-nation teen pregnancy rate. But 75 percent of districts are teaching programs without a proven track record and critics argue that is handicapping the state’s sex education efforts. (Part one of a three-part investigative series)
Louisiana has enacted a statewide voucher program. In April 2012, Louisiana’s Legislature approved an omnibus education reform bill, which included—among other provisions—a “scholarship” program for students “trapped” in failing public schools. “Scholarships for Educational Excellence” are essentially vouchers, paying tuition at private and parochial schools for students whose family income does not exceed 250 percent of the federal poverty level—about $58,000 for a family of four. These maps show the schools approved for participation.
Louisiana has fully embraced the charter school concept, and is expected to have more than 100 of the not-for-profit alternatives to traditional public schools operating in the 2012-2013 school year. How are they doing? Check out these maps.
Mississippi is short on teachers. And the responsibility is increasingly falling on emergency staffing and alternative track teacher programs such as Teach for America. TFA places more teachers in the Mississippi Delta than in any region in the country. And they plan to double their numbers.
Last month marked the fortieth anniversary of the passage of Title IX, the education legislation that dramatically expanded the opportunities for women and girls in high school and college athletics. See a map of Georgia school districts’ expenditures on girls’ and boys’ sports as well as participation rates of male and female athletes.
As part of the Southern Education Desk’s continuing coverage of how changes to the federal No Child Left Behind law will affect schools around the South, we’re tracking how many schools are meeting the federal bar now and what some characteristics of those schools are.
More than 60 percent of Louisiana’s school districts made AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress), but districts are finding it much harder to close the achievement gap.