A unique study released last week by the LSU/Tulane Early Childhood Policy and Data Center uses maps to show where certain risk factors that could impede early childhood development are most prevalent across the state.
LSU Public Policy Research Lab Director Kirby Goidel and Epidemiologist Lina Brou said their study found that 55 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes have at least one high-risk factor that could impede childhood development such as high unemployment, high teen birth rate and high percentage of uninsured children. The nature of that risk was also found to differ from parish-to-parish.
Goidel said the initial step to addressing the needs of the children across Louisiana is to first understand the nature of the risk in each parish.
A report released Thursday by the LSU/Tulane Early Childhood Policy and Data Center reveals 35 percent of children under five in Louisiana live in parishes with moderate-to-high risk of factors that could impede their development.
A state judge has upheld legislation tying teachers’ pay and tenure to their performance in the classroom. Gov. Bobby Jindal pushed for the changes as part of his education overhaul.
Judge Michael Caldwell tossed out provisions of the same act that removed authority over hiring and firing decisions from local school boards, and required state reviews of district superintendent contracts.
Last spring at the capitol, thousands of public school teachers rallied against the bill that would tie their pay and tenure to performance through an evaluation system, which was rolled out at the start of this school year.
A state judge says he will rule Tuesday on whether Act 1 was passed in violation of Louisiana’s constitution.
Before the Mobile County school system reconstituted George Hall in 2004, less than half its students were on grade level. Discipline problems spilled out into the neighborhood. Its reputation had plummeted to the level of its test scores.
But as state Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice puts it, “It’s remarkable to think where they were eight years ago and where they are today. The demographics of the students have not changed at all, but their academic achievement has soared.”
The positive reinforcement that is a mainstay of classes at Mobile, Alabama’s George Hall Elementary mirrors the praise coming in from around the country. At least 95 percent of students here consistently score at or above grade level in math and reading. Educators from other districts come to observe and learn. It’s been a national Blue Ribbon school, a state Torchbearer School, and according to tech giant Intel, it has the best elementary math instruction in the United States.
But it wasn’t always like this. Before 2004, its chronic “low-performing” status, behavior problems, and failure to teach the most basic skills were the norm.