At the start of the Louisiana Smart Growth Summit in November, keynote speaker Mitchell J. Silver – who works for the Department of City Planning in Raleigh, North Carolina – gave his audience some constructive criticism:
“Baton Rouge, you’re not keeping your young people. They're leaving," said Silver.
The Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana reported earlier this month that the number of its members retiring from jobs in K-12 education jumped by more than 25 percent last year. The spike came after the legislature passed changes to the way teachers are evaluated, compensated and awarded tenure.
The retirement system’s figures include people retiring from food service, and other non-classroom jobs. And State Superintendent John White says the figures are misleading.
He says the number of teachers leaving the classroom for any reason – including promotion to administrative positions – has in fact remained steady at around 12 percent over the past three years.
The finance chief for the Louisiana Department of Education had a hard time answering questions Friday about alternate plans for funding the 4,900 low-income elementary and secondary students attending private schools.
Schools around the country are closed Monday in remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr. But schools in the Deep South are also observing the birthday of Confederate General, Robert E. Lee.
Though Louisiana doesn't, Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia and Alabama all officially roll the holidays together and leave it to schools to communicate the confusing marriage to students. From the Southern Education Desk, Annie Gilbertson, reports on a Mississippi community college that has decided to name the combined observance, "Heritage Day."
State Superintendent of Education John White is advocating refinements to “Compass” – the program created by 2010 legislation to reform how public school teachers are evaluated. The changes stem from teacher input.
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.