Equity in All Places is committed to educating our partners and the community. Please check out this week’s 8.29.16 News Brief
Hitting all the right notes
The Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School sits in a New Orleans neighborhood stressed by violence, poverty and the after-effects of Hurricane Katrina. But don’t tell that to the music teacher. Pat Sylvain-Little’s music class is a world apart. And she says there’s a lot more going on here than just a piano lesson. “It’s something about the keyboard,” Sylvain-Little told Miller. “You have so many things you have to do at once. You’re playing with two hands. You’re trying to read the music. You’re trying to count the rhythms, all at the same time. And what researchers have found is that it sparks the brain.” Cbsnews.com. Aug. 28, 2016.
New Orleans school unification is spelled M-O-N-E-Y
The mood was upbeat at McDonogh No. 35 High School Thursday (Aug. 25) as Orleans Parish schools Superintendent Henderson Lewis Jr. presented a plan to unify the city’s bifurcated education system by 2018. Comprised almost entirely of independent charter schools, the new-and-improved district “will be the first of its kind in the nation,” Lewis told an advisory committee, “dedicated to empowering families, empowering educators, ensuring equity and dramatically improving student outcomes.” Nola.com. Aug. 26, 2016.
6 key facts about the New Orleans school unification plan (and 5 for geeks)
Orleans Parish schools Superintendent Henderson Lewis Jr. is presenting the roadmap Thursday evening (Aug. 25), describing how the district will take on its new responsibilities over the next two years. In this, New Orleans is doing something unique. Traditional local school systems have been around for a long time; none has ever been designed for charters. The planning team “started with a blank sheet of paper and built up the organization,” CFO Stan Smith said Wednesday. Nola.com. Aug. 25, 2016.
After Flooding, Some Louisiana Students Face Uncertain School Year
In Southeastern Louisiana, where communities are reeling from deadly flooding that hit the Baton Rouge area on Aug. 12, many families worry not only about being displaced from their homes, but also what’s next in store for their children as some schools’ doors remain shuttered. One of those students without a school is Parker Simoneaux, a senior at Denham Springs High School in Denham Springs, one of the most hard-hit areas. He was a little more than a week into the school year when the torrential downpours severely flooded the school, forcing it to close. Abcnews.com. Aug. 26, 2016.
Louisiana LGBTs Pick Up the Pieces After Historic Flooding
Carrie Patterson talked about seeing her “kids” again in downtown Baton Rouge. “I was actually surprised to see how happy they were to see me,” she says, laughing. “They asked me about me and my wife’s dogs—to make sure they were OK.” Patterson is a social worker with Diversity House, a homeless shelter for LGBTQ youth in the Louisiana capital. She is back at work this week after a days of rain engulfed the Southern city in torrential flooding—what the Red Cross has called the worst natural disaster since 2012’s Hurricane Sandy. Out.com. Aug. 24, 2016.
Louisiana ranks 44th nationally on ACT, but education leader notes positive signs
Louisiana students rank 44th nationally on a test of college readiness called the ACT, officials announced Wednesday. The composite average – 19.5 out of a possible 36 – was rolled out by state education leaders on July 25. State Superintendent of Education John White told reporters there are positive signs within the numbers, especially when Louisiana is compared with 17 other states where all students are required to take the ACT. The Advocate. Aug. 24, 2016.
Education Groups Plunge Into Campaigns
Advocates on various sides of the education debate in Florida have plunged into the 2016 elections, but those spending the most remain tight-lipped about where exactly their resources are going. Two major groups – the Florida Education Association teachers union and a committee that supports the state’s de facto school-voucher system – have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into their efforts in recent weeks, funneling money to political committees or investing in their own direct-mail pieces. Miami.cbsnews.com. Aug. 26, 2016.
School advocates release primer on Oregon education funding
To show the need for a huge corporate tax increase in the November ballot, which they both support, the state’s teachers union and its largest parent lobbying group on Thursday unveiled a primer on Oregon school finances and staffing levels. Its main points are familiar to anyone who has watched Oregon schools and state education rankings: Funding for the state’s schools has fallen from above-average to below it in the wake of voter-enacted 1990s property tax limits, class sizes are some of the largest in the nation and extras that parents and teachers love, such as art classes, school counselors and summer school, are in short supply. Oregonlive.com. Aug. 25, 2016.
W.Va. higher education administrator receives national recognition for promoting college access
Dr. Adam S. Green, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the West Virginia Community and Technical College System, was honored in Washington, D.C. yesterday for his work in assisting students in earning a college diploma. Dr. Green was presented the national “GEAR UP Professional of the Year,” award during the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships conference. The award is given to one or two individuals each year who have demonstrated outstanding work in promoting the goals of the “Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)” project, a federally funded initiative that provides college readiness services to more than 570,000 students nationwide. Parsonsadvocate.com. Aug. 24, 2016.