Friends of King Schools spent about $70,000 on all-staff retreat at Biloxi casino | The Lens – All of the approximately 180 employees of the two-school charter organization were invited to Beau Rivage in August. The charter organization covered their hotel rooms and meals. A week later, CEO Doris Roché-Hicks told staff at one school that their pay would be cut by two percent. That move saved about as much as the retreat cost.
Louisiana announces major changes, delays in implementing Common Core and PARCC testing | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
Louisiana State Superintendent of Education John White announced Thursday the state would be delaying how students, teachers and schools are held accountable under the Common Core State Standards and PARCC testing for at least two years. He also said the state would be shifting to “a long-term, 10 year view of what our education system can accomplish with these standards.”
Reading, writing & arsenic: New Orleans school planned atop toxic dump | Grist – Why is the new Booker T. Washington mega-school being built on the toxic grounds of an old landfill?
West Bank authority opposes suit against coast damage caused by oil drillers | The Lens – The state association of levee boards is set to poll its full membership on whether to sue oil and gas firms.
Louisiana Wetlands Tattered by Industrial Canals, Not Just River Levees | Scientific American
The lack of sediments [from the Mississippi River] isn’t the only cause of the dramatic loss of wetlands, however. It may not even be the major one, some scientists and legal experts argue. The other culprit: the cutting and dredging of thousands of kilometers of canals by oil, gas and pipeline companies.
New gun laws will improve Louisiana mental health reporting to FBI database | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – A gun-control advocacy group rates Louisiana last in terms of reporting mental health information to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check.
One Of The Largest Surveys Of Crime Victims In The U.S. Is Probably Underestimating Sexual Assaults | ThinkProgress –
The U.S. Department of Justice’s annual National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is one of the nation’s largest and most trusted sources for data on the crime rate. But it may not be painting an accurate picture of the number of sexual crimes that actually occur in the U.S., according to a new report from the National Research Council.
Delachaise neighborhood soon to join growing Project NOLA crime-camera network | Uptown Messenger – Homeowners seem to love surveillance. “Residents around the Baronne Street corridor will soon have the opportunity to join the network of nearly 600 security cameras privately monitored by the Project NOLA nonprofit, with the cost offset by $100 per home or business contributed by the Delachaise Neighborhood Association.”
Why Some Places Gentrify More Than Others | The Atlantic Cities – Atlantic Cities Editor Richard Florida writes: “A common assumption is that gentrification hurts the residents of poorer neighborhoods who are displaced from where they live.” But, as the article goes on to say, research economist Daniel Hartley has come to a different conclusion. (Via nola.curbed.com)
Government & Politics
Live blog: City Council to vote on 2014 budget, water shutoff ordinance | The Lens – Charles Maldonado of The Lens is live-blogging the City Council meeting, where a vote is expected on Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s proposed 2014 budget.
Zurik “Some people’s voice counts more than others” in La. – FOX 8 WVUE – The series on money’s influence on state politics continues. This installment focuses on loopholes in campaign finance.
“Legislators write the rules that regulate themselves,” notes political analyst Ed Chervenak. “They tend to write rules to their advantage, to their favor.”
Companion story by NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune is titled “Apparent campaign violations, large expenses should prompt reforms in Louisiana law, some say.”
Groups push for higher minimum wage | The Advocate – Jan Moller, director of the Louisiana Budget Project, notes that his group issued a report earlier this year that said the typical worker’s pay has risen by just one percent since 1979, while productivity increased 35 percent.
Planning urged to prepare for La.’s chemical boom | The Advocate – Over $80 billion in petrochemical industrial construction will require an estimated 130,000 workers by 2020, according to a manager with Louisiana Economic Development. My question is: Will the metro area be able to ramp up workforce training in time to take advantage of the employment boom? It’s expected to be concentrated between Baton Rouge and New Orleans?