Voters’ Perceptions of Public Education in New Orleans, Spring 2014 | Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives – The Cowen Institute’s fifth annual survey on New Orleans schools, respondents generally seemed supportive of the city’s model charter-based model of public education. Of 602 likely voters, 45 percent said they think schools are improving, and 53 percent said choice had a positive effect on schools. On the other hand, just 28 percent said New Orleans students are being adequately prepared for college.
Public excluded from second round of interviews for Orleans Parish schools superintendent | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – The Orleans Parish School Board will conduct its second round of interviews in private, just like the first round. The Board plans to briefly convene in open session, then retire to closed “suppers” at the remaining candidate’s hotels.
New data will be collected about students receiving TOPS in Louisiana | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – The state is running of money to pay for TOPS, but state lawmakers have thus far been unable to pass a bill creating more stringent standards for entrance into the scholarship program. The state, however, will now be collecting data on recipients, including demographic information and standardized test scores. The state will compare the scores of students who lose the scholarship with those who successfully complete their degrees.
Teacher union says schools ill-prepared for Common Core tests | The Advocate – In a poll of more than 1,000 teachers by the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, the majority of respondents said their schools lacked the proper equipment and students lacked the technical skill to take Common Core tests online.
Government & Politics
Jindal signs restrictive abortion bill into law | Gambit –The bill, modeled on a Texas law passed last year, requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The bill could force four of the state’s five clinics to close, leaving just one in Shreveport.
Scalise at front of majority whip race | The New Orleans Advocate – House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s surprise primary defeat this week has left a vacuum in House GOP leadership. The current majority whip is expected to replace Cantor, leaving his position open. And Metairie Republican Rep. Steve Scalise has emerged as a frontrunner.
Poor need help to participate in economic boom, community leaders say | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
People at the bottom of the economic ladder need help if they are going to share in the post-Katrina prosperity in the New Orleans area, community leaders said Wednesday (June 11) during a meeting at the NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune office downtown.
Sen. Landrieu: Our goal isn’t clean energy, it’s energy security | The Hill – Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu continues to distance herself from the Obama Administration in her fight to keep her seat. The most recent version of this is her War on the “War on Coal,” the EPA’s new proposed limits on carbon-emitting power plants. Landrieu says clean energy is “important,” but it’s not her priority.
Environmentalists: Inaction feeds crisis over Mississippi River | McClatchy – Of course, Sen. Landrieu is still willing to stand with environmentalists when it comes to Louisiana land loss and its potentially devastating effects on the state’s economy.
As much as $50 billion will be needed to secure Louisiana’s port system, but “there is no hope in the current budget of the United States. Zero,” said Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who addressed a diverse group of political, environmental and private-sector leaders at a conference in Washington on the river’s future.
Braithwaite levee sits unfinished with hurricane season underway | WWL-TV – A dispute between the parish’s contractor and one of its subcontractors has left a Plaquemines Parish levee project languishing, weeks into the 2014 hurricane season.
Federal judge grants former BP engineer a new trial | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA – Kurt Mix, a former BP engineer convicted of deleting text messages relevant to the government’s investigation of the 2010 Gulf oil spill, will be granted a new trial as a result of tainted jury deliberations.
Gusman turns over documents, dodges legal ‘time out’ | WDSU – Sheriff Marlin Gusman narrowly avoided a court-imposed “time out,” in which he would have been forced to sit in a courtroom for an hour with nothing to pass the time, by turning in court ordered documents in a former inmate’s lawsuit.
Neighborhood bar believes ‘gentrification’ is trying to shut it down | The Louisiana Weekly – A Holy Cross bar owner thinks newcomers to the neighborhood are trying to shut her business down. Lawrence Martin, head of the Council of Black Elders, sees a scheme to buy the bar owner out of her land at a low price.
Charity Hospital building’s uncertain future worries many in New Orleans | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s decision to drop his plan to convert the former Charity Hospital into a civic center leaves advocates for the iconic building wondering what will become of it.