Education

Early Childhood Development
7:28 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Study Results Bode Well For Early Childhood Education Act

Results of a ten year study show at-risk students who attended Pre-K do better in elementary and middle school.

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Early Childhood Education
6:13 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Pre-K: Politics and Poverty

Pre-K students raise their hands to answer a question in an LA-4 class.
Credit Sue Lincoln / Southern Education Desk

In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for universal pre-K.

The President singled out Georgia and Oklahoma as states that have already made pre-K a priority.

Louisiana should also be ahead of the curve.

The state enacted a universal pre-K promise in 2008. Beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, LA-4 classes are supposed to be provided at no cost to every eligible child.


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Education
6:25 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Pre-K Access: Good Program, Few Spots

Stephanie Berry and her son Cameron.
Credit Dan Carsen / Southern Education Desk

When it comes to enrollment rates, neither the South nor the U.S. is anywhere near “universal Pre-K.” Only eight states provide it to more than half their four-year-olds. Georgia is one of them. Louisiana enacted legislation in 2008 promising to provide pre-K to every eligible child through the state-run LA-4 program starting with the 2013-14 school year.

Alabama's state-funded pre-K program has been recognized as one of the country's best. But as the Southern Education Desk's Dan Carsen reports, just six percent of eligible kids are enrolled.


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Vouchers on Trial
7:45 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Whether Vouchers Short Public Schools Argued in La. Supreme Court

Louisiana's state Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in the case challenging the statewide school voucher program.

The justices' questions focused on whether the state constitution allows vouchers for private school tuition to be paid for through the MFP -- the formula used to calculate support for public schools.

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Education
9:03 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Vouchers Threaten Public School's Turnaround

Winbourne Elementary Principal Brenda Wilkinson
Credit Amy Jeffries / WRKF

The state Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a case against the statewide school voucher program.

At issue is whether private school tuition can be paid for with the funds that would otherwise go to struggling public schools.

At Hosanna Christian Academy, the tuition is being used in the battle to bring voucher students up to grade level. Hosanna's intervention strategies were inspired by the turnaround efforts at public Winbourne Elementary.
 


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Vouchers on Trial
4:58 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Voucher Program Transforms Christian School

A voucher student considers an editing worksheet in Beverly Ortego's English intervention session.
Credit Amy Jeffries / WRKF

Tuesday, the state Supreme Court will hear arguments in a suit from local school boards and teachers unions wanting Louisiana's school voucher program thrown out.

The legal challenges came almost as soon as the program was passed last year as part of Gov. Bobby Jindal's education overhaul.

Despite that, Hosanna Christian Academy in Baton Rouge went all in.

The school took on almost 300 voucher students, nearly doubling its enrollment. And Hosanna is doing everything it can to make sure all those students can perform at grade level.


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Education
3:25 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

School Turnaround Funds Repurposed

Federal funds dedicated to the turnaround of struggling Louisiana public schools have been repurposed.

The state Department of Education is using $5 million to issue grants to conceive new schools and allow high-performing schools to take on more students.

Almost 200,000 students are attending schools rated D or F. State Supt. John White said traditional public school systems that have been getting turnaround money are not drawing down that number.

“The pace of change has just not been fast enough for us not to consider a new path,” White said.  

Book News
6:38 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Hippies Were Dirty And Liked Music By Satanists, Louisiana Textbook Claims

Paintings adorn the "Magic Bus" on display at a museum built on the site of the 1969 Woodstock music festival.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 9:00 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Tenure Laws
5:42 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

On Second Thought, Tenure Changes Tossed

Judge Michael Caldwell heard this case in the 19th District Court for the first time in December. Then, he upheld parts of the law - now he's struck down the whole thing.
Credit Amy Jeffries / WRKF

A state judge has thrown out rules passed last session tying teacher tenure and pay to classroom performance. Monday's decision is a turnaround from the same judge’s previous ruling.

In December, Judge Michael Caldwell threw out parts of what’s been called the “Teacher Tenure Act,” – parts that didn’t directly address teacher tenure, but made rules for school boards, visiting teachers, superintendents and principals.

That day, the governor touted the ruling as a success because it kept his tenure overhauls. Now the judge is saying the whole thing has to go. 

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Re-segregation
9:25 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Nashville Wrestles With Re-Segregation

Kindergarten students at Jones Paideia Magnet learn about the Civil Rights movement.
Credit Southern Education Desk

In Nashville, public school officials are finding it a challenge to balance school improvement plans with a desire for racial diversity.


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