The Justice Department is worried that Louisiana's private school voucher program may be undermining efforts to overcome the historic segregation of public schools, and last month asked a federal court to stop the state from awarding any more vouchers until it's shown the program isn't undoing progress.
The Justice Department is suing Louisiana for issuing school vouchers to students in districts under desegregation orders. The federal government says the system is undermining racial balances in public schools.
The non-profit's leader, Chris Meyer, was previously an administrator in the state-run Recovery School District. When New Schools launched last April, the RSD appeared ready to hand over the keys to the 7 schools it runs directly in Baton Rouge as soon as Meyer and his team had the charter school operators and resources in place.
Nearly a year and a half later, New Schools has picked half a dozen of what it considers to be the best charter operators in the country -- including Yes Prep and KIPP, which, as The Lens has reported, arefamiliar names in New Orleans. Backers have committed roughly $15 million in seed money. This fall the Recovery School District is starting the process of matching up the operators with buildings where they can start charter schools in Baton Rouge.
Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 4:05 pm
It’s a July morning at 6:45 a.m. and the temperature is starting to climb across the city. Most schoolchildren would expect to have at least a few more weeks of summer. But Quincy Lindsey, a fifth grader at New Orleans’ ReNEW Cultural Arts Academy, is trying to wake up for his first day of school.
The nation's first black public high school, Paul Laurence Dunbar High, opened its doors in Washington, D.C., in 1870. But more than 140 years later, Dunbar — like many urban schools — has fallen on hard times. The crumbling, brutalist-style building is often described as a prison, and graduation rates hover around 60 percent.
But it wasn't always that way. Once upon a time, the yearbook read like a Who's Who of black America.
Almost all the states and Washington, D.C., are grappling with a big challenge as the new school year nears: getting teachers up to speed on the Common Core, a sweeping set of new education standards for English language arts and math.
The Common Core will soon apply to most of America's students from kindergarten through high school. The policymakers behind the Core know that it could fail if they don't help teachers make the change. So this summer, the state of Maryland has been hosting what it calls "academies" to do just that.