Future of school governance? Make your voice heard

The Orleans Public Education Network is hosting a series of community discussions on the future of public school governance in New Orleans. The series intends to ensure the community is heard in the governance conversation, network executive director Deidre Johnson Burel said.

Would-be local charter operators vent frustrations at state school board meeting

A frustration that’s become commonplace among community groups that feel disenfranchised by the Recovery School District’s latest decisions prevailed Wednesday night at a New Orleans meeting of the state school board. More than 100 people gathered Wednesday to hear the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approve requests for changes to one submitted charter application, receive the RSD’s annual equity report, and announce the creation of a task force designed to ensure the charter-operator-selection process is equitable.

Sojourner Truth charter gets one-two punch; teachers leaving before doors shuttered

By Jessica Williams, The Lens staff writer |

Citing discontent with the current administration, at least five teachers or staffers at a doomed charter school have already resigned or have plans to not return after the Christmas holidays, The Lens has learned. Parents and students at Sojourner Truth Academy were told last month that the governing board is surrendering its charter and that the school will close at the end of the academic year in May because of lagging test scores.

OPEN plans community forum on education

By Jessica Williams, The Lens staff writer |

In culmination of a yearlong effort to get community members to engage in education issues, the Orleans Public Education Network is hosting a roundtable discussion Saturday dubbed Let the Circle Be Unbroken. This event marks the end of the organization’s One Step community-engagement campaign, though a spokeswoman said Friday that it’s just the beginning of the organization’s attempts to let the community’s opinions on education be heard.

VAYLA study reveals student concerns about quality of education at six city high schools

By Jessica Williams, The Lens staff writer |

Those with the greatest stake in the city’s educational system – its students – came together today with criticisms and recommendations for reform. In what it’s calling the most extensive student-led evaluation of the New Orleans public school landscape since Hurricane Katrina, members of the Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association (VAYLA) have released a comprehensive critique of six city high schools. The report, based on surveys of 425 students and 50 hours of interviews, was scheduled to be released at 3 p.m. today at the main branch of the New Orleans Public Library on Loyola Avenue, near City Hall.

Innovative RSD planning process enters final month: public weighs in on needed changes

By Jessica Williams, The Lens staff writer |

More transparency, more equity, and greater levels of commitment to non-charter schools were among requests from community members at a public task force meeting Tuesday night with Recovery School District head John White. Members of the task force – comprising representatives from the RSD, the non-profit Orleans Parish Education Network and the charter support group New Schools for New Orleans – presented feedback gathered during a July comment period.