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Defender Picks


John White Rips Grey Lady

Commissioner John White is transplanted from the New York City school system to Louisiana. However, there is no love lost between the State Superintendent of Schools and the paper of record in his old town. On Sunday (8.23), White released an open letter tearing into one of the Old Grey Lady’s op-eds.

Frustrations Persist at 2nd Day of RSD Summer Enrollment

The scene at the second day of the Recovery School District’s open Summer Enrollment was eerily similar to Wednesay's fiasco. On Thursday (7-10) morning, fustrated parents lingered under the sleek glass entrance of Lake Area High School, some still angered by the lack of organization in the enrollment system, others relieved that they had at least gotten their child into a school. 

'Chaos' at RSD Summer Enrollment

Students Turned Away, District to Switch Facilities

July 9, 2014 -- Hundreds of parents and children overwhelmed the first day of the Recovery School District’s summer open enrollment Wednesday (7-9) morning.

State Appeals Court Sides with Laid-Off NOLA Teachers

A state appeals court sided with thousands of New Orleans public school teachers who were fired following the Federal Flood this week. In a ruling handed down Wednesday, the state's 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Orleans Parish School Board teachers who were fired by the district in were deprived of due process.

Schools Choice

Three-Way Orleans Parish School Board Race Draws Donations From Outside the District

A town's typical school board meeting would normally constitute briefings and maybe a few contractual obligations, like where to get the condiments from. But in the remade school system of post-Flood New Orleans, every meeting could permanently alter students' future.

HBO Doc Spotlights N.O. 'Great Cafeteria Takeover' This Week

by Mary-Devon Dupuy

When most people reflect fondly on their high school experiences, very few of them are reminiscing about the solid, triangular layer of cheese on the top of their slice of “pizza,” or the questionable meat patty on their “hamburger.” School lunch lines are notoriously full of processed foods that slow students down rather than pumping them full of the nutrients growing kids need to make their brains and their bodies operate at top speed. A small group of New Orleans kids decided they deserved better from their cafeterias, and they challenged a food service provider to provide them with fresh, healthy food for two days of the week. Recently, HBO chronicled their efforts, and the documentary will be screened this week so locals can see the fruits of their labor.

BESE Battlelines

On Eve of Election, State Education Board Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues

Kira Orange Jones and Louella Givens are competing for New Orleans’s District 2 seat on Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).

Mayor Mike Meddling in BESE Races

As the days ticked closer to election last week, several candidates for the state board that will decide the future of New Orleans education found their campaign accounts in full Bloomberg. A trust controlled by the billionaire New York City mayor dumped $100,000 into efforts to elect backers of the charter-oriented school reform that has been enacted in New Orleans since K under the Recovery School District, according to The American Independent.

Arne Duncan's NOLA Attendance Record Going Up

by Mary Carlton

With Recovery School District Superintendent Paul Vallas on his way out, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is planning one final visit to his fellow member of the brethren of former Chicago school chiefs (sorry, CEOs). Duncan plans to attend a couple meetings with local education stakeholders, including a town hall, and he's even throwing writers a bone by addressing a meeting of the Education Writers Association. Though they haven't been on par with the chocolate In past visits, Duncan has made some memorable comments. When Duncan ventured down south in January 2010 he remarked, "Katrina is the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans."


Something is rotten at Newsweek. And, we're not talking about the pub's endangered species status. Earlier this week, Newsweek posted an article on schools in New Orleans which suggested that the vast post-Katrina "success" we've heard all about can be partially attributed to weeding out special needs kids to boost scores. Now, the article is missing from their website. But thanks to Liprap, who managed to aquire and repost the text for y'all. Kudos!

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