Apr 262016
 
Students from Sylvanie Williams College Prep marching band perform in the 2016 Martin Luther King Day parade. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Students from Sylvanie Williams College Prep marching band perform in the 2016 Martin Luther King Day parade. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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. Continue reading »

Apr 232016
 
Lusher Charter School board chair Blaine LeCesne speaks in favor of recognizing a teachers' union at the school. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Lusher Charter School board chair Blaine LeCesne speaks in favor of recognizing a teachers’ union at the school. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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. Continue reading »

Apr 212016
 
OPSB Superintendent Henderson Lewis Jr. (left) speaks on a panel with Thelma French, Deidre Johnson-Burel, Jamar McKneely and Ben Kleban on Tuesday night. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

OPSB Superintendent Henderson Lewis Jr. (left) speaks on a panel with Thelma French, Deidre Johnson-Burel, Jamar McKneely and Ben Kleban on Tuesday night. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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. Continue reading »

Apr 212016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

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. Continue reading »

Apr 202016
 
Informational pamphlets passed out by members of the United Teachers of Lusher union on Tuesday night at a meeting with parents. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Informational pamphlets passed out by members of the United Teachers of Lusher union on Tuesday night at a meeting with parents. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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. Continue reading »

Apr 192016
 
Children dance during a performance at Lusher Charter School's morning meeting in December 2011. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

Children dance during a performance at Lusher Charter School’s morning meeting in December 2011. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

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. Continue reading »

Apr 182016
 

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.

(via Ursuline Academy of New Orleans)

(via Ursuline Academy of New Orleans)

Continue reading »

Apr 162016
 
The Lusher Charter School governing board listens to comments from a crowd of nearly 100 people on Saturday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Lusher Charter School governing board listens to comments from a crowd of nearly 100 people on Saturday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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. Continue reading »

Apr 122016
 

Marina Schoen (via lfno.org)

Marina Schoen (via lfno.org)

The French minister of education has named the academic director of the Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans into a 200-year-old national order that confers knighthood on those who have made notable contributions to French education, school officials learned this week. Continue reading »

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Mar 242016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

OPSB Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis sent a letter to central office staff this week who were not eliminated in the first round of staff changes last summer advising them that more cuts were on the way but that they could apply for jobs remaining, if they were qualified. Even the current principals were told that their re-employment was not certain. Staff members are bracing for these inevitable changes, which will likely occur during the summer months. Continue reading »

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Mar 142016
 
A Lycee Francais banner hangs from the roof at the former Priestley campus in July 2015. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A Lycee Francais banner hangs from the roof at the former Priestley campus in July 2015. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

cropped-Logo_studentslou_webThree prominent New Orleans architectural firms with extensive experience in designing school buildings are among the finalists from 18 applicants for the renovation of the former Priestley campus in Carrollton for the Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans charter school — though one finalist may be removed from the list because of its ties to the school, officials said. Continue reading »

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Mar 092016
 

Audubon Charter School will host its annual fundraising soirée this Saturday, March 12from 7 to 10 p.m. The theme for this year’s event is “Back on Broadway” as to commemorate the lower school’s return to its newly renovated campus on Broadway Street. Soirée proceeds directly benefit Audubon’s unique academic programs and the over 800 children that the school serves. Continue reading »

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Mar 042016
 

The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education sent a controversial decision on how to fund individual schools in New Orleans back to the Orleans Parish School Board on Thursday, in a move that appears to at least partially satisfy some schools’ request for more time to consider the impact of a new formula. Continue reading »

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Feb 272016
 

By Della Hasselle and Robert Morris

lusherLusher Charter School’s governing board voted unanimously Saturday to seek a court order against a new school funding formula, on the grounds that the Louisiana constitution specifically prohibits funding schools different from parish to parish.

The Audubon Charter School board also voted Saturday to continue exploring similar legal action, though school administrators will return to the board before making a final decision. Continue reading »

Feb 262016
 
(via nolachili.com)

(via nolachili.com)

The 3rd Annual Chili In The Channel cook-off competition & celebration takes place this Saturday February 27, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at ReNEW SciTech Academy in the Irish Channel. Tickets for the event will be sold at the front gate, and proceeds will support programs for ReNEW Schools students. Continue reading »

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