Test Scores Released — Educate Now! | This informative breakdown shows the strong growth in student scores in New Orleans. “Students improved across all grades and subjects. New Orleans continues to close the gap with the state average.”
Louisiana voucher students score almost 30 points below average on LEAP tests — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | “New test scores indicate that many of the current students educated with public money in private schools are not thriving. Or at least they aren’t yet.” Education officials say positive results will take time due to the influx of students into the controversial voucher program.
LEAP scores upbeat for N.O. metro area, but students struggle with questions aligned to higher education standards — The Advocate
State Superintendent John White said students appeared to struggle with new English questions aligned with so-called “common core” standards, a new testing regime that 25 different states have begun to adopt across the U.S.
Government & Politics
THE BUDDY SYSTEM: You’ve Got To Pay To Play | Continuing its investigation into Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, the Hayride presents documents showing that Caldwell hired lawyers and paid them rates that “far exceed the maximum fee schedule established by his own office. … When confronted by the allegations of hiring those who have close ties to his political campaigns, Caldwell responded, ‘I just gotta do things my way. I’m from a small town and you gotta know people, and you know if you’ve had contact with them if they’ve got a certain skill set.'”
Outlay deviation proper to address inefficient system — Between The Lines | Political science professor Jeffrey Sadow claims that debate over a $250 million capital improvements bill for community colleges fails to recognize the real issue: the “inefficient, overbuilt system of higher education” in the state and the short-sighted politics that prevents consolidation and closures.
Letter: Film credit needs rewrite — The Advocate | An interesting letter to the editor written by Sherri McConnell, the former chief of the state office that oversees the state film industry. She writes:
At some point we have to determine whether the taxpayers are investing in an incentive program that is building a homegrown, self-sustaining industry as the legislation requires, or if it is simply subsidizing Hollywood. … To pull the rug out from the Louisiana businesses and thousands of film industry workers with a hastily developed quick fix is not prudent. But to ignore the growing cost of the program, its diminishing return on investment, and the industry’s tax-credit dependency in perpetuity is not in the best interest of Louisiana taxpayers or its entertainment industry.
New Orleans Convention Center riverfront proposal passes Louisiana House — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
A bill allowing the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to embark on a significant expansion project on the New Orleans riverfront passed the Louisiana House on Wednesday, a day after it was stalled by a lack of support. The difference: work by Rep. Walt Leger, the sponsor of the bill, to convince his colleagues the measure would not require the state to spend any money on the projects.
Opinion: Review process shapes a better Habana Outpost — New Orleans CityBusiness | CityBusiness editors applaud the extended but constructive community dialogue regarding the proposed restaurant for the northeast corner of the French Quarter. But they counsel opponents not to “turn a blind eye toward a corner of the Vieux Carré that has sat vacant for decades. Its turnaround can be key to triggering additional, responsible development, especially along Rampart Street where progress along a once-bustling corridor has been slow to arrive.”
High-tech crime fighting tool now defunct — WWLtv.com | An audio technology called the Shot Spotter was installed in high places around neighborhoods to detect gunshots during Ray Nagin’s term. It looks like an expensive dud.
James Gill: N.O. crime stats look iffy — Opinion — The Advocate | Gill says the NOPD’s crime numbers are curious, if not implausible.
Judge greenlights class-action status for sinkhole lawsuits — The Advocate
The lawsuits claim a failed Texas Brine salt dome cavern caused the sinkhole last year that led to the evacuation of 350 people for more than nine months and counting. The evacuation ordered on Aug. 3 includes the northern Assumption Parish communities of Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou. The allegations blaming the cavern failure on the sinkhole mirror the suspicions of scientists working on the sinkhole for the state Office of Conservation.
Senators David Vitter, Frank Lautenberg announce chemical safety compromise — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | Vitter’s shown a great deal of bipartisanship over the past year.
“Our bill strikes the right balance between strengthening consumer confidence in the safety of chemicals, while also promoting innovation and the growth of an important sector of our economy,” said Sen. David Vitter, R-La., the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “