Live blog Wednesday: Key committee considers bill to derail Common Core | The Lens – The Lens’ Tyler Bridges is live-blogging a hearing in the state Legislature on a proposal to kill Common Core standards. Earlier in the meeting, Bridges reported:
[Ascension Parish Superintendent Patrice] Pujol: Says the superintendents have supported Common Core standards. But she says the implementation has been fraught with problems – including the PARCC test. Says implementation has been uneven across the state.Says teachers have borne weight of writing own standards. Only now identifying school textbooks, she says.
“Unprecedented” numbers opt out of state tests–what’s next? | Digital/Edu – Widespread grassroots activism has intensified against standardized tests and Common Core has intensified in recent months. The article suggests three possible outcomes for how this will play out.
New Orleans’ state takeover schools need not return to local control, court says | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – The Louisiana Supreme Court declined to hear the Orleans Parish School Board’s case which sought the return of state-run schools in its district.
Government & Politics
Bobby Jindal, with an eye on 2016, to unveil plan to replace Obama health-care law | The Washington Post – Jindal will propose an alternative to the Affordable Care Act, which enjoyed a last minute surge in sign-ups. I doubt the Louisiana governor will call his framework “Jindalcare,” though. The plan will reportedly rely on federal grants that incentivize states flexibility to develop policies that rein in health care costs.
Zurik: Will House bill address campaign finance excesses? | FOX 8 WVUE – “The bill would force elected officials to make more detailed explanations on their campaign finance filings that show where they’ve spent their campaign money.”
Louisiana Senate race a battle of pork, policies and political legacies | Washington Examiner – This political analysis claims that Sen. Mary Landrieu’s ability to “bring home the bacon” will matter more to voters than her Obamacare vote.
Sheriff’s Office overcharged city for ankle monitoring program, IG report says | The Lens – The new Inspector General’s report said city overpaid sheriff more than $200,00 for pretrial release monitoring.
Complaints against NOPD dropped 19 percent in 2013, police monitor says | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – “The department’s Public Integrity Bureau fielded 951 complaints last year, down from 1,176 in 2012, the report said. “
Don’t expect a safe, humane Orleans Parish Prison any time soon; here’s why | The Lens – Medical and psychiatric care is terrible and prisoners live in fear of being beaten or raped, according to Lens contributing opinion writer Michael Avery.
For Louisiana criminal justice reform, the time is now: James Varney | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – “[B]oth Texas and Georgia have reformed their sentencing laws, producing a blueprint Mississippi followed. It is time for Louisiana to get with this rising tide.”
Planning Commission staff recommends not selling Newcomb Blvd. to neighbors | The Lens “A City Planning Commission staff report released Tuesday recommends denying a proposal to sell city-owned Newcomb Boulevard to the street’s neighborhood association, saying the sale would unnecessarily block the street grid and would go against the city’s Master Plan for land use.”
Newcomb residents defend gate, attempt to purchase street | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune — Earlier today, Richard Webster reported on why the residents want to buy the street. The article contained a key reminder about the genesis of the controversy:
Public Works Director John Shires awarded the residents a permit to construct the gate Jan. 31, 2006, his last day in office, despite never putting the issue before the City Planning Commission or the City Council, or requiring the residents of Newcomb to buy the street and pay for future maintenance costs, as city law requires.
Baton Rouge-New Orleans passenger trains don’t have to be fast to be competitive, study says | Progressive Railroading Magazine – Gov. Bobby Jindal declined $300 million in federal funds for a high-speed rail service. However, planning commissions in the two cities paid for a study on the feasibility of regular rail service for commuters. The bottom line, according to the article is that “passenger trains between the cities don’t need to be fast to be successful — they just can’t be slow.” Via New Orleans Ladder.
Coastal restoration financing is uncertain, but Louisiana has ideas to find $50 billion | The Lens – Raising $50 billion for the ambitious Master Plan to rebuild the Louisiana coast was never going to be easy. Though the BP oil spill will yield billions of dollars for projects, the state could come up $20 billion short. To close the gap, the state will try to change how the Mississippi River is dredged and will consider pollution-credit programs.
Bureau of Governmental Research opposes Senate bill that would give governor more power in selecting levee authority members | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – “BGR said the bill reverses reforms meant to professionalize the two authorities and remove them from political control.”
Anti-depressants flushed into seas and rivers are affecting wildlife | Daily Mail – Minute quantities of anti-depressants that drain into our rivers and lakes cane have a “a dramatic effect on the behaviour and biology of crustaceans,” such as shrimp.