The division that Lusher board members described leading up to this week’s vote on a teacher’s union exploded into public view on Saturday afternoon in a series of heated exchanges about the school’s diversity, its contract with Tulane University, its mounting legal costs and, of course, teacher morale.
Audubon Charter School hopes to conclude its search for a new permanent CEO by early June, board members decided Saturday morning.
The Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans charter school named the Blitch Knevel architectural firm to lead the master planning of its expansion to the Priestley campus in Carrollton, perhaps the most significant step forward on the major renovation project since the purchase of the building a year ago.
Nearly 60 percent of Lusher Charter School teachers voted against a bid to allow a union to conduct collective bargaining on their behalf in an election Tuesday afternoon, officials said.
By Ann Welsh
The Lusher Charter School community is special. Teachers, students, parents, and the administration work every day to promote “Learning the Lusher Way” and to exemplify Lusher’s number one rule: Be Kind. The level of engagement from the entire Lusher community is unsurpassed. Only with this consistent effort from all members of the Lusher community can our students achieve the success they’ve enjoyed as a result of their experiences at Lusher. Lusher students have discovered new approaches to environmental remediation after oil spills, have introduced the President of the United States at a celebration of National Poetry Month, and have performed at Carnegie Hall. A Lusher student has even had a planet named after her by NASA!
A Lusher Charter School board member resigned last week, underscoring the rising toll of mounting tensions within the school community even before the teachers vote on Tuesday whether to form a union.
Will Mayor Landrieu’s vocal support of a federal takeover at the Orleans Parish Prison be the final encouragement Judge Lance Africk needs to pull the trigger on receivership? Gusman filed his response to the Justice Department’s complaint yesterday which basically said he had not been given enough time or resources to significantly address the many issues at hand.
Under receivership, the federal government will appoint a seasoned correctional official to administer violence and mismanagement issues. Gusman would continue to serve as Sheriff but his hands would basically be tied.
Lafayette Academy graduated its first class of kindergarten students Tuesday from Dunbar Elementary, which reopened in Hollygrove last year 10 years after Hurricane Katrina.
By Chunlin Leonhard
Mr. Robbie Evans, the vice president of the board that governs the Choice Foundation, a three-school charter network in New Orleans, recently urged the Lusher Charter School teachers to vote against their fellow teachers’ efforts to unionize, describing the union as “an impediment to charter schools’ progress.” (The Advocate, Monday, May 9, 2016 p. 1B) He also commented about “union-created deadlock where only ineffective and possibly abusive teachers would benefit,” pointing to the infamous “rubber rooms” associated with New York public schools –“temporary reassignment centers where union-represented teachers accused of misconduct or incompetency have been sent while they await rulings from independent arbitrators.” (Id.)
Mr. Evans’ comments are not only outdated but also completely inapplicable to the unionization efforts at Lusher.
The Lusher Charter School governing board endorsed a resolution Thursday morning promising to remain neutral in the upcoming election over a proposed teachers’ union at the school and prohibiting any coercion of the teachers prior to the vote.
Lawrence Crocker and Sylvanie Williams — the two Uptown elementary schools in the New Orleans College Prep charter network — will add tuition-based seats to their preschool programs in the fall, part of a broader long-term strategy to create a completely new early-learning center in New Orleans.
The Lusher Charter School governing board voted 6-5 on Saturday morning against recognizing a petition for collective bargaining by the newly-formed United Teachers of Lusher, likely triggering a schoolwide election on the question in the coming weeks.
The rapidly evolving plan to return all schools in New Orleans to local control by 2018 — effectively ending the 10-year reign of the state’s Recovery School District — was hailed as a vitally important milestone in the rebuilding of the city’s school system, school leaders and education activists said Tuesday night at a forum on the the process of re-unifying the school district hosted by the 100 Black Men of Metro New Orleans.
Their comments were greeted, however, with questions ranging from the skeptical to almost hostile from the audience, underscoring the degree to which many residents remain unconvinced that 10 years of publicly celebrated reforms have made any substantive differences in their neighborhoods.
Charter schools are big business in New Orleans. They basically operate in their own world and are answerable not to the voters but only to their individual boards, each of which is like a mini OPSB.
Charter school organizations can hire whomever they want, pay whatever salaries they want, and purchase supplies and equipment from vendors of their own choosing. As the more successful charter school organizations get the opportunity to start up (or take over) additional schools, their fiefdom grows.
A meeting called by Lusher teachers on Tuesday evening to explain why they see a need to organize a union turned into the first public airing of sharply conflicting views over the issue. Some parents voiced support for the teachers’ right to make the decision themselves, others expressed concern for what the change will mean for the culture of the school, and the conversation dovetailed with national debates about the role of organized labor in public education and the past and future of the New Orleans school system.
By Jana K. Lipman
I am writing to support Lusher teachers, and I want to share my thoughts as a labor historian, a teacher, a former union member, and a parent of two children at Lusher.
Many friends and fellow parents have said they are normally pro-union or progressive, but that teachers, and particularly Lusher teachers, do not need a union. This is for Lusher teachers to decide themselves. Parents can support or not support unionization efforts (clearly, I am also taking a side), but ultimately this is a decision for the teachers to make.
Ursuline Academy students will celebrate the arts at their second annual Ursuline Arts Festival this Wednesday, April 20 from 3 to 5:30 p.m. The student-led festival will offer audiences the opportunity to stroll through the Academy’s 11.5-acre Uptown campus to experience diverse expressions of music, visual arts and performing arts. The festival is free and open to the public.
The vast majority of the crowd of nearly 100 people packed into the Lusher Charter School board meeting on Saturday bore some sort of insignia. Some wore white ‘UTL’ buttons with the logo of the United Teachers of Lusher; others carried handmade signs with slogans like “No Union;” and most on both sides had some variation of the Lusher logo on T-shirts in the school’s signature deep blue.
Many of them — again, on both sides — also had questions, mostly when they will get to air their views on whether and how the school leadership should recognize efforts to form a teachers’ union. The board gave them little in the way of answers on Saturday morning, but promised not to make a decision before hearing from them in the very near future.