Sep 172014
 

lyceeThe Orleans Parish School Board approved the recommendation of the its property committee to allow the Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans French-curriculum charter school buy the former Alfred C. Priestley school campus in west Carrollton on Tuesday night, despite protests from an activist group and legal claims by a private developer. Continue reading »

Sep 162014
 
Dr. Andre Perry delivers the keynote address at the Rising Tide conference Saturday, Sept. 13. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Dr. Andre Perry delivers the keynote address at the Rising Tide conference Saturday, Sept. 13. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Standardized test scores may be rising in the city’s public schools, but those gains on paper do not translate into any meaningful improvements in the lives of the city’s poorest students, said former New Orleans education official and activist Dr. Andre Perry. Challenging school reformers’ beliefs that a wholesale restructuring of the education system will create a better society, Perry added that all social conditions that plague New Orleans’ poor and African-American neighborhoods still persist even after 10 years of school reforms.

The best first step the city can take to real improvements for the African-American community, Perry said, is to begin searching for a way to reconcile with the thousands of teachers who were wrongfully fired after Hurricane Katrina. Continue reading »

Sep 122014
 

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Andre Perry (via drandreperry.com)

Andre Perry (via drandreperry.com)

The annual Rising Tide “Conference on the Future of New Orleans” will host educator Dr. Andre Perry as its keynote speaker, with panel discussions on the lost histories of New Orleans’ Palmer Park, community organizing, government waste and finding religion in the city, as well as “tech school” sessions on using social media in publishing. Continue reading »

Sep 112014
 
The front door of the Priestley school building in west Carrollton. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The front door of the Priestley school building in west Carrollton. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Orleans Parish School Board property committee recommended that Lycee Francais be approved to purchase the former Priestley campus Thursday, sending the proposal to the full school board next week for what could be final approval. Continue reading »

Sep 092014
 
Retired Lt. Gen. Russell Honore (center) and other advocates discuss contamination in the soil at the former Booker T. Washington site in front of what remains of the former school. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Retired Lt. Gen. Russell Honore (center) and other advocates discuss contamination in the soil at the former Booker T. Washington site in front of what remains of the former school. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

When Lt. Gen. Russell Honore led 20,000 federal troops into the city of New Orleans for search-and-rescue missions in the aftermath of the collapse of the federal levees following Hurricane Katrina, he instructed his soldiers not to let the contaminated water touch them.

Nine years later, Honore said, the risk of pollution to New Orleanians is coming not from the failures of the federal government, but from decisions made by leaders right here in the city and state — such as the plan to rebuild Booker T. Washington High School in Central City on top of heavily contaminated soil at the old Clio Street dump. State documents show that in some locations, cancer-causing compounds are present in levels more than 100 times what is considered acceptable.

“As we worked nine years ago to help save this city, we’re going to work now to help save this city from itself,” Honore said. “Because you know what? It’s not the White House doing this. It’s not President Bush doing this. It’s the leaders in New Orleans doing this, and it’s people we did not put in the office — the RSD.”

Many alumni of Booker T. Washington, however, believe that the Recovery School District’s plan for treating the contamination is sufficient, that Honore’s concerns are an unnecessary excess of caution, and that it is time to move the long-delayed construction of a state-of-the-art school forward. Continue reading »

Aug 302014
 
Retired Gen. Russell Honore speaks at the GreenARMY Katrina commemoration at Xavier University. (Zach Brien for UptownMessenger.com)

Retired Gen. Russell Honore speaks at the GreenARMY Katrina commemoration at Xavier University. (Zach Brien for UptownMessenger.com)

As New Orleans continues to recover from the devastation that followed Hurricane Katrina nine years ago, the city should pass a law preventing any schools or daycare centers from being built on top of toxic soil — including the proposed rebuilding of the Booker T. Washington High School over the old Silver City dump site in Central City, retired Lt. Gen. Russell Honore and local allies said Saturday morning.

“We’re the oldest city in this part of the country, and we ought to be the first to make a stand,” Honore said. “We’re not going to put a school on a dump.” Continue reading »

Aug 162014
 
The front door of the Priestley school building in west Carrollton. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The front door of the Priestley school building in west Carrollton. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

lyceeA group of Carrollton neighborhood leaders expressed support for the Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans charter school’s plan to reopen the long-shuttered Priestley campus, but many hope the school can do more to benefit all the children of the neighborhood, they said this week. Continue reading »

Aug 072014
 
The former James Weldon Johnson Elementary School (photographed in 2011) will eventually be refurbished and assigned to KIPP Believe Primary under a new configuration for Carrollton public schools announced Thursday morning. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

The former James Weldon Johnson Elementary School (photographed in 2011) will eventually be refurbished and assigned to KIPP Believe Primary under a new configuration for Carrollton public schools announced Thursday morning. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

The school options for Carrollton families will expand in the coming years as the Recovery School District announced a long-term plan Thursday morning to assign KIPP Believe and the operator Lafayette Academy to two campuses each along the Carrollton corridor. Continue reading »

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Aug 012014
 
Dozens of Entergy volunteers are joined by City Councilmen Jared Brossett and Jason Williams as they prepare the playground at the former Benjamin Banneker campus for KIPP Believe students to move in next week. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Dozens of Entergy volunteers are joined by City Councilmen Jared Brossett and Jason Williams as they prepare the playground at the former Benjamin Banneker campus for KIPP Believe students to move in next week. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The former Benjamin Banneker campus will become home to KIPP Believe Primary this month, returning open-admissions elementary education to the Carrollton corridor after a number of recent school closings. Continue reading »

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Jul 302014
 
The International School of Louisiana's outgoing board president Matt Amoss (far right) welcomes new member Vanessa Diaz to the board. Dominique Wilson (far left) will serve as the board's new president. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The International School of Louisiana’s outgoing board president Matt Amoss (far right) welcomes new member Vanessa Diaz to the board. Dominique Wilson (far left) will serve as the board’s new president. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

After a busy spring choosing a new leader for the International School of Louisiana’s three campuses, the school’s governing board made its own leadership transition on Wednesday night, electing a new president and preparing to say good-by to two long-time board members. Continue reading »

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Jul 102014
 
The front door of the Priestley school building in west Carrollton. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The front door of the Priestley school building in west Carrollton. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Interest by a French-immersion charter school in buying the long-vacant Priestley school site in west-Carrollton has galvanized a group called the “P-Town Project” into seeking a Healing Center-style home for fresh food and social services there instead. Continue reading »

Jun 272014
 

Lt. Gen. Russell Honore speaks in February at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in New Orleans. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Lt. Gen. Russell Honore speaks in February at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in New Orleans. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Lt. Gen. Russell Honore, who has become one of Louisiana’s most prominent environmental-justice activists since his retirement from the U.S. Army, spoke Thursday night at a rally at the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church against the rebuilding of the Booker T. Washington School on the 1930s-era Silver City waste dump site in Central City, where dangerous levels of arsenic, lead and other heavy metals reportedly remain in the soil. The Recovery School District says replacing the top layer of soil will be sufficient to make it safe for Walter L. Cohen High School to move in, reports Tania Dall of our partners at WWL-TV.

Continue reading »

Jun 252014
 
International School of Louisiana principal Melanie Tennyson accepts the 2014 school award from the national Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color. (photo via International School of Louisiana)

International School of Louisiana principal Melanie Tennyson accepts the 2014 school award from the national Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color. (photo via International School of Louisiana)

Bringing an unexpected leadership transition to a speedy resolution, the International School of Louisiana governing board voted Wednesday night to offer a contract as Head of School to current Camp Street principal Melanie Tennyson. Continue reading »

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Jun 242014
 
The former John Dibert school building in Mid-City will be the temporary home of ENCORE Academy next year. (image via Google maps)

The former John Dibert school building in Mid-City will be the temporary home of ENCORE Academy next year. (image via Google maps)

ENCORE Academy’s move downtown will happen more gradually than expected, as the school will spend a year in the John Dibert building in Mid-City while renovations proceed at ENCORE’s eventual home at the Shaw building in the St. Roch neighborhood, officials announced Tuesday night.

“We’ll have the building to ourselves, and there’s plenty of room for all of our kids,” said ENCORE school leader Terri L. Smith. “It’s a great location for our families.” Continue reading »

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