Louisiana superintendent scours budget to fund Course Choice | The Advertiser | The Advertiser – Superintendent of Education John White is surprised by the large response to the Course Choice Program, which offers classes not offered in some schools, and may have to cap enrollment if there are not enough funds for over a thousand students on a waiting list for the pilot program.
[White] has his staff weighing textbook spending, teacher preparation programs, training programs and program grants that are not “rigorous enough to meet the level of rigor” now being expected of students and teachers. If a program doesn’t meet the higher expectations, that funding could be shifted to Course Choice.
Report: Grade changed for Republican donor Christel DeHaan’s charter school | Indianapolis Star –
Former Indiana and current Florida schools chief Tony Bennett built his national star by promising to hold “failing” schools accountable. But when it appeared an Indianapolis charter school run by a prominent Republican donor might receive a poor grade, Bennett’s education team frantically overhauled his signature “A-F” school grading system to improve the school’s marks.
Ignoring the possible political dimension of this story, a larger issue is raised: education officials are pressured to modify school grading systems that don’t “look right.” There is blowback when traditionally high-performing schools do not receive high grades. For example, the story notes that low school scores can affect state funding and for a school as well as the homebuying market in its surrounding neighborhood.
Too much disrespect, teacher introduces new program | KLFY 10 – A high school teacher in Acadiana has proposed a new “reality check” program to reduce bullying. Geared toward incoming freshman, the check will be a “mix between team building and an intervention.”
BP braced for legal long-haul as spill payouts leap | Reuters – It appears that BP might be altering its legal strategy. As estimated oil spill payment costs continue to rise for the company, it might change its “bite the bullet” approach and instead opt to hunker down and delay for further payments. BP Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley says: “As we continue to fight these absurd (compensation) outcomes and as the likelihood of extended litigation on other matters increases … we want everyone to know that we are digging in and are well prepared for the long-haul on legal matters. “
Louisiana’s Disappearing Islands | Weather.com – The Chandeleur Islands, a 50-mile chain of atolls that supports rich ecosystems, have been ravaged by hurricane storm surge in recent years and are in danger of disappearing entirely.
Former World Trade Center building’s future no clearer after 3-hour committee hearing | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Members of the committee that will decide on a redevelopment proposal for the World Trade Center are staying mum, for now, on their preferences.
Growing Chains | NOLA DEFENDER – This morning, city officials cut the ribbon on the new Mid-City Market, which includes a Winn-Dixie and Office Depot as anchor stores. Writer Thomas Mattera evaluates the pros and cons of chain-store development in New Orleans.
Child sex trafficking a troubling trend in New Orleans area, authorities say | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – “Alleged purveyors of preteen and teenage prostitution represent a troubling trend in the Crescent City, according to Michael J. Anderson, special agent in charge of the FBI’s New Orleans Division.”
Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration appeals Orleans Parish Prison consent decree | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune — The city formally appealed a federal consent decree, arguing that it simply can’t afford reforms to bring the jail up to constitutional standards, which are estimated to cost an additional $10 to 20 million per year.
Government & Politics
La. senators promise filibuster until flood insurance rates are fixed | The Advocate –
Louisiana’s U.S. senators threatened Monday to block President Barack Obama’s next nominee to lead the Department of Homeland Security until fixes are made to stall skyrocketing flood insurance rate hikes.
Vitter Seeks to Cut Environmental Reviews for Massive Road Projects | Streetsblog Capitol Hill –
[Sen. David] Vitter’s amendment would make all BRICC projects [“bridges in critical corridors”] eligible for a “categorical exclusion” from the requirements of the National Environmental Protection Act. That means they wouldn’t have to undergo scrutiny of their environmental and community impacts or any evaluation of alternatives.