Mays parents urge OPSB to take over school — The Advocate | Parents and stakeholders of Benjamin Mays Preparatory School are searching for options to keep the school open. Mays Prep’s charter was revoked and the school is due to close this year. “Parent Latisha Williams noted that Mays took on additional students from Carver Elementary, which brought its scores down. ‘It’s not fair,’ Williams said. ‘They say failing, but we didn’t feel like we were failing.’ “
Louisiana College Loses Largest Donor in College History Due to the Unethical Behavior of President Aguillard — Faith on View | Blogger Rondall Reynoso says that major donors to the Caskey Divinity School at Louisiana College, a private institution, are pulling out of perhaps $60 million in pledges because they believe, according to a statement, that the actions of Louisiana College President Joe Aguillard have been “unethical and potentially illegal.” An investigation into some of Aguillard’s alleged financial improprieties can be read here.
Is the Common Core Standards initiative in trouble? — The Washington Post | A review of the increasing national pushback on the Common Core State Standards curriculum which will standardize curricula and high-stakes tests in participating states, such as Louisiana. An article in The Atlantic by a college professor of English voices support for the Common Core Reading Standards.
A lesson in self-determination — Uptown Messenger | Jewel Bush celebrates the successful movement to save Xavier Preparatory High School from closure:
Saved by black alumni for black students under black leadership, a school owned and run by native New Orleanians is an anomaly in the post-Katrina landscape, where outsiders — non-New Orleanians — dominate the education reform efforts in the city. We, the collective we, stepped up and saved ourselves; an aspect that makes this victory all the sweeter.
Lafayette High in chaos as teachers rally in Baton Rouge — The Advertiser | On the day a rally of educators was held at the state capitol in Baton Rouge, 57 teachers were absent from Lafayette High. Only 25 substitutes could be found to replace them. According to Lafayette Parish Superintendent Pat Cooper: “It ruined an instructional day. They were also doing end-of-course testing and that had to be postponed until tomorrow. The folks at Lafayette High left us high and dry. I put it at the foot of the LAE leadership. They didn’t coordinate it and didn’t think about the repercussions. It just caused chaos, a wasted day.”
Report: Petrochemical plants see big benefits from low-cost gas — Fuel Fix | Louisiana is seeing this dynamic first-hand. “The Middle East has traditionally been the lowest-cost region for petrochemical producers, but low-cost shale gas has made North America almost as inexpensive.”
How Sprawl Made This Week’s Devastating Midwestern Floods Worse – The Atlantic Cities | Suburban sprawl reduces absorption of rainfall and aggravates flooding (which raises river levels).
Gulf oil spill judge poses questions on gross negligence issue — Fuel Fix | It will be a while until a decision is rendered on whether the gross negligence designation applies to BP. Over $10 billion likely hangs in the balance. Might as well read the legal tea leaves in the meantime.
Survey: Americans nationwide willing to shell out personally to save our coast — The Lens | I’m pleasantly shocked.
Government & Politics
Another budget stalemate? — Gambit | Political reporter Jeremy Alford writes: “Over the past several weeks, conservative lawmakers on the House Appropriations Committee have questioned if, not when, the budget will be passed during the ongoing session that adjourns June 6. That means, not long after Gov. Bobby Jindal has ‘parked’ his controversial tax-swap plan, his budget could be stalling.”
Legislative Likes Mounting for Social Media Privacy Bill — NOLA Defender | A bill to prevent employers from firing or penalizing an employee for personal social media content is making its way through the Legislature.
911 operators answer hundreds of calls every day related to police officers’ moonlighting — The Lens | About 250 times a day, a New Orleans police officer calls the 911 center to check in for a “paid detail” assignment — a private security job paying up to $39 an hour. Meanwhile, some people calling 911 wait so long for an answer, they hang up before reaching anyone.
The liberal talk show host discusses gun policy in Louisiana. — Rachel Maddow Show |
The mathematics of juries: The jury size and voting margins necessary for a fair trial. – Slate Magazine | “Isn’t a verdict in a criminal trial supposed to be unanimous? The answer is yes in 48 states and yes if the case is tried in a federal court. But two states, Oregon and Louisiana, allow convictions by a non-unanimous vote. “
Children’s Hospital will expand mental-health services, buy NOAH campus, lawmakers announce — Uptown Messenger | Local legislators have forged a compromise that allows Children’s Hospital to purchase New Orleans Adolescent Hospital, provided mental-health services expand.
Volleyball courts on the bayou? Neighbors worry about toilets, ads and parking — The Lens | Volleyball enthusiasts regularly set up a temporary court on Bayou St. John. Recent discussions about building a permanent court on land owned by the Sewerage and Water Board raise a number of land use issues. Importantly: will a permanent court encourage more parking on the bayou banks, and perhaps degrade the beauty that attracts the volleyball players in the first place?