New Orleans 911 operators fall below national standard for answer times – FOX 8 WVUE | Documents show that the city’s call center rarely has days when it answers 95 percent of incoming calls within 20 seconds, which is the national standard. City emergency preparedness officials say the office is understaffed, but they have recently hired more 911 operators.
“Rafael Goyeneche, president of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, said it’s a troubling situation. ‘This is at the front end of the criminal justice system and if we don’t have enough people to take those calls, we’re seeing the delays. And in many instances, those delays could create tragedies and, potentially, loss of life.’ “
The Lens reported in April that “up to 12 percent of all calls taken by emergency operators were from [NOPD] officers starting their privately paid detail work.”
From the Tea Party, a softer line in criminal justice — The Texas Tribune – Tea Party Republicans in the Texas Legislature changed the body’s “attitude toward law and order” by helping approve seven bills that would help the state prevent wrongful convictions.
Volleyball club drops plans to build sand courts along Bayou St. John — The Lens — Mounting neighborhood opposition may have led a volleyball group to abandon plans for a set of sand volleyball courts along Bayou St. John.
FEMA OK’s construction of new City Park championship golf course — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | Construction of the nearly $25 million course, paid for in part by FEMA money, could begin this year.
Dueling letters mark calls for action over West plant explosion | KPRC-TV Houston | “California Senator Barbara Boxer sent letters to every governor in the country, asking them to review state and local rules regarding the storage and handling of ammonium nitrate.” Boxer led a U.S. Senate hearing last month that was titled: Oversight of Federal Risk Management and Emergency Planning Programs to Prevent and Address Chemical Threats, Including the Events Leading Up to the Explosions in West, TX and Geismar, LA.
The RESTORE Act, one year later – FOX 8 WVUE | Flood protection projects in South Louisiana are being delayed as the U.S. Department of the Treasury decides how it will release over $300 million in oil spill settlement money from TransOcean.
By the numbers: The oil spill and BP’s legal troubles — PBS NewsHour | BP claims it has already spent $25 billion for the oil spill, and has set aside $42 billion total. The article asks: is that enough; should it be more? (Via Restore the Delta.)
Teachers retiring in high numbers — The Advocate | Teacher retirements increased have increased 24 percent since last year.
State Superintendent of Education John White said the exodus should be looked at as primarily a financial decision on the part of more veteran employees.
But school superintendents also said the decision has a lot to do with changes occurring in the classroom, including new teacher evaluations pushed by the Jindal administration, which one educator said created “a tipping point.”
John McDonogh High hires $115,000 principal for 13-member freshman class — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune |
Steve Barr, CEO of the charter management group Future Is Now, which runs McDonogh, said the school’s low enrollment “scares me to death, but people say this is the norm.” That’s because incoming ninth graders frequently wait to sign up for class until they’ve received the LEAP test scores that determine whether they must repeat eighth grade.
Student data sparks controversy — The Advocate |
The state is launching a task force to try to find ways to balance school needs with rising concerns about privacy, especially amid concerns that students could be traumatized, or worse, if delicate information falls into the wrong hands.
Reforms are improving student performance, opportunities: Letter | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – In a letter to the editor, state superintendent of education John White responds to a recent column on audits of the state’s voucher program by pundit Bob Mann. White claims: “[Mann] manipulates the language of audits to disparage private schools that offer students in struggling public schools an alternative, when the facts of the audits are clear: of 117 schools offering scholarships to Louisiana families, 116 showed no violations of law.”
However, blogger Lamar White shows– persuasively in my view– that this isn’t an accurate interpretation of the audits, since they did not fully scrutinize all 117 schools.
Government & Politics
Botching immigration again — National Review Online – Gov. Bobby Jindal claims that real immigration reform is “just not that complicated.” and unveils a three-point immigration plan. First step: secure the borders.
Elliott Stonecipher: Louisiana’s demographic challenge — The Pelican Post | Demographer Elliott Stonecipher analyzes the population shifts within Louisiana during the past (very eventful) decade.
Rick Scott to Obama: End furloughs — Sunshine State News – “Gov. Rick Scott has joined forces with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant in sending a letter to President Barack Obama, calling for an immediate end to the National Guard furloughs. “
Republican Charles Boustany endorses Medicaid expansion for Louisiana — Talking Points Memo “Rep. Charles Boustany, the chairman of the Ways and Means subcommittee on oversight, told constituents last week that if he had his way, Louisiana would accept the offer under the Affordable Care Act and reform Medicaid into a ’21st century program,’ according to the The Daily Advertiser in Lafayette. ” (Via @stephgracenola, who claims Boustany “still denies” the report.)