Louisiana educators already digging in to Common Core standards and practices | The Lens – The negative political posturing may be something new, but Louisiana embraced the Common Core three years ago as a key step toward stronger standards, says the head of a charter-school umbrella group, writing in an opinion piece.
MOOC bandwagon shows signs of slowing down | Hechinger Report – Enrollment in Massive Online Open Courses continues to grow while attendance at brick and mortar colleges dips. However, low performance scores and high dropout rates continue to plague online course providers, and now MOOCs are feeling a backlash from professional educators.
Louisiana school voucher program improves racial integration in some cases, study says | NOLA.cm/The Times-Picayune – An EducationNext study shows that Louisiana’s voucher program improves the racial balance in many schools. This finding runs counter to claims by the U.S. Justice Department, which is suing the state on the grounds that vouchers increase racial disparities in schools.
Partial victory for BP in dispute over settlement | The New York Times –
A federal appeals court gave BP a partial victory on Wednesday by ordering a lower court judge to reconsider his interpretation of a settlement with claimants who filed billions of dollars of claims against the oil company after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster. …
In a divided opinion, the majority found that the formula that measured a potential loss needed to be clarified. “
Federal flood insurance rates to rise after Hurricane Sandy | Time – New FEMA flood insurance rates took effect on Oct. 1, and some premiums skyrocketed while coastal property values plummeted. TIME senior editor Bryan Walsh says that while the changes may be too abrupt, they are not unfair. “If the pain is great now it’s because subsidized policy owners have essentially been given public money for years, even decades.”
Texas Brine official says giant Louisiana sinkhole could double | WAFB 9 – The surface of the sinkhole at Bayou Corne, now over a year old, could expand to over 50 acres.
Nagin’s attorney wants secret report on prosecutors’ online comments | The Advocate – Not only should former Mayor Ray Nagin be allowed to have a copy of the investigation into online comments made by federal prosecutors, the entire report should be made public.
Cops get new scooters, iPads from FQMD | NOLA Defender – The French Quarter Management District donated the equipment, worth over $20,000 to the New Orleans Police Department. Throw in some ironic threads and a retro-hat, and we could create the near-impossible: hipster cops.
Government & Politics
City’s 2014 budget projections show sharp increase in workers’ compensation costs | The Lens – Workers’ compensation claims are up 50 percent this year, and per-employee costs could jump by six times for some employees, according to projections.
Legislators use Tulane scholarship program to help connected insiders | WWL-TV – WWL’s Mike Perlstein and The New Orleans Advocate’s Gordon Russell investigate a familiar, but still irritating story of scholarship favoritism. “While the most egregious excesses of the scholarship giveaway have been reined in since they provoked a public outcry 20 years ago, the program is still, in the words of Metropolitan Crime Commission president Rafael Goyeneche, an ‘insider’s club.’ ” The initial stories in 1993 were reported for The Times-Picayune by Tyler Bridges, now a reporter at The Lens.
French Quarter, CBD residents mull New Orleans’ new zoning ordinance | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
The 600-page document replete with explanations, definitions and flow charts is expected to replace the zoning ordinance drafted in 1970 and amended regularly ever since. But first, city planners said they would try to incorporate public comments into the new plan, just as they had after the first round of community meetings in 2011.
Causeway loses out on $28 million grant but vows to improve retaining walls | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – The Causeway Commission vows to find money — somewhere, some way — to fund improvements to the railings on the Causeway bridge. So far this year, three vehicles have toppled over the bridge into Lake Pontchartrain.