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#70 | November 20 2019
OPEN's weekly newsletter sends you events, updates and developments from the #nolaed landscape. Got an event, program, or job description that supports equity and accountability? Send a request with your information and graphics to teri@opennola.org.
Top Story

It's Time For Education Theater!

It’s that time of the year again, when all sides don their masks to begin the annual educational theater season, where we all pretend we know where the school performance scores come from and what they mean about the quality of our public education system. See our thoughts on the reliability of these success measures in our blog. 

Read the Education Theater Blog

Thanks for Your Support! 

A huge THANK YOU to the community for showing up and out for Public Education Week. OPEN's events are free and open to the public because we believe the community should have full access, information and support in their public education system. Help us continue the work of community engagement in public education by donating to OPEN today!
Support OPEN Programming with a Donation
Take Action

OPSB Meeting Schedule
 

Don't let policy changes come as a surprise! Stay up to date with decisions and events in Orleans Parish Schools at Orleans Parish School Board meetings. 
  • December 2019: Committee Meeting, December 17 /Board Business, December 19
  • January 2019: Committee Meeting, January 14 /Board Business, December 19
Did you know? The full 2019 Meeting Schedule, guidelines for public comment, and agendas are available online
Can't make it to the meeting? Tune in via livestream!
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In the Landscape

Local

Bricolage Academy narrows CEO search to two candidates, hires interim

Bricolage Academy board members have narrowed their CEO search to two finalists to replace founder and longtime CEO Josh Densen, who is preparing to leave the Esplanade Avenue school at the end of the month. Read the full article here.

Nearly half of New Orleans' all-charter district schools got D or F grades; what happens next?

A whopping 35 of the 72 schools in the all-charter district scored a D or F, meaning nearly half of local public schools were considered failing, or close to it, in the school year ending in 2019. Since then, six of the 35 have closed. Read the full article here.

Orleans school board chair to review superintendent’s decision not to renew two charters

After families and staff from two F-rated charter schools with unknown fates packed an Orleans Parish School Board meeting Thursday to make emotional appeals to stay open, Orleans Parish School Board President John Brown Sr. promised to carefully review NOLA Public Schools’ Superintendent Henderson Lewis’ recommendation not to renew the schools’ charters. Read the full article here.

When It Comes to School Data, Parents Need Clarity

When the state of Louisiana recently released its 2019 public school grades, we were excited to review and share them with the families we support in New Orleans. We find that many parents are unaware of their school’s grade (polling results from the Cowen Institute suggest that less than 4 in 10 do), and some families do not know that schools are routinely graded at all.  Read the full article here.

State Superintendent Releases Statement Commending Investments in Early Childhood Education

As part of its adoption of the city's annual operating budget, the New Orleans City Council today invested $3 million--double what was committed last year--toward the expansion of local access to high quality early childhood education in 2020. This money will fund at least 150 seats for in-need children and provide additional supports and resources to the early learning centers that serve them. Read the full release here.

SPLC sues Louisiana for ‘nonexistent’ mental health services for Medicaid-eligible children and families

The Louisiana Children’s Rights Team at SPLC, filed a class action alleging that the state has violated the EPSDT provisions of the Medicaid Act and Title II of the ADA/Section 504 due to its failure to provide intensive home and community-based mental health services to 47,500 Louisiana Medicaid-eligible children with mental illnesses or conditions. Unable to access these critical services, members of the class languish in their homes, schools, and communities; are unnecessarily institutionalized (or become at risk thereof); and for many, encounter the juvenile justice system. Read the full story here.

New Louisiana school grades and performance scores are in: see how your school fared

The Louisiana Department of Education released closely-watched school performance scores and letter grades, showing school and district-wide results for the second year of a new plan aimed at enforcing tougher standards for public schools. See the school grades here.

National

A Call for a (W)holistic Approach to Education Equity 

One of the eight fundamental principles of Christian Community Development, as espoused by the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) , is that all community development work must take a (w)holistic approach. Click here to see how this principal is applied to education.

Deep Dive: Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren on Charter Schools

In the 2020 campaign, no two candidates for president have criticized charters as sharply as front-runners Sens. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, and Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts. But how many of their aggressive goals are realistic, and do they accurately describe what happens in charter schools today? Read the full story here.

Data & Resources

Public Education Week Webinars

Can't get enough of Public Education Week? Public Education Week Webinars are NOW available on YouTube. Watch anytime on the OPEN Youtube Channel for discussions like: 
Watch PEW Webinars on the OPEN Youtube Channel

City of New Orleans Office of Youth and Families 

The Office of Youth and Families (OYF) was conceived to support systems-level change for vulnerable youth and families. Keep up with all things NORD, YSC or in New Orleans Public Library in the OYF newsletter. To subscribe, click here.

Families Helping Families of Greater New Orleans Webinars

Families Helping Families of Greater New Orleans is hosting webinars all month long. Check out sessions on special education topics like IEPs, Section 504, and basic rights! To register, click here.
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