5 Questions Every Black Parent Needs to Ask Their Child’s Teacher and School

I spent nearly five years at a nonprofit focused on getting students in and through college. Many of the students who entered our program were not on track to graduate high school and required working closely with counselors, parents and principals to ensure they would graduate high school and hopefully continue on to college. Our goal was not only to ensure students graduate, but also to equip parents with the skill set to… Read More

Seats’ Taken

In New Orleans, parents of school-aged children apply to schools through OneApp or the common application. Gone are the days where students attend school based solely on zip code or their home address.  This is positive in theory, because it helps students from disadvantaged neighborhoods have access to schools that they would not have accessed due to their living arrangement. However, there are hold-out schools who appear more interested in letting certain students… Read More

The Lusher Teachers Union Defeat: Do as I Say and Not as I Do

According to a Lusher Charter School parent, a teacher took the microwave she bought out of the teacher’s lounge because no one who was for unions was going to have the luxury of using her microwave. Parents heard from pro-union teachers that they have received threats by phone, mail and email because they wanted to form a union. The letter sent to Lusher Charter School parents from its PTSA, proclaimed to want… Read More

Mommy, why don’t any of my teachers look like me?

As student of color populations continue to grow, there are simply not enough teachers of color available to accommodate these increasing numbers. In fact, the numbers of Black teachers have declined from the beginning of 2000 until 2012.  Travis Bristol, a former public school teacher who now conducts research at Stanford’s Center for Opportunity Policy in Education asked, “Why should we care that the demographic makeup of America’s teaching force does not mirror… Read More

What’s Right About the NOLA Return Bill?

In recent weeks, there have been many articles and a lot of conversation about the return bill for New Orleans schools.  Perhaps it is time to look at what the bill actually brings to the table for students and the community.  Two areas to be highlighted are equity and performance.  The bill continues to strengthen equity for NOLA students, such as weighted student funding. Neerav Kingsland, former CEO of New Schools for New Orleans shared,… Read More

Return to Local Control Means Parents Must Be Heard

Senate Bill 432 has passed. Orleans Parish Schools are being returned to local control. Education officials announced thirteen members of a committee that will steer the process. It includes a mix of charter school heads, education advocates, and nonprofit leaders. It is a distinguished committee whose members have extensive backgrounds and experience in education. However I have some important questions for members of the committee. Who will ensure that the parents’ narrative… Read More

What do parents think about sending all NOLA charter schools to the OPSB?

  As a parent who regularly speaks with other parents and individuals about education in New Orleans I can tell you we have questions and concerns about a bill recently passed to transfer NOLA charter schools from the Recovery School District to the Orleans Parish School Board. It looks like the community is galvanized around bringing the schools under local control. Groups of leaders and parents seem to agree, I believe for… Read More

But, What about the Children?

If Governor John Bel Edwards has his way, many Louisiana children will be left with no choice other than to attend low-performing public schools. Governor Bel Edwards is proposing that the Louisiana Scholarship Program be cut by $6 million dollars, leaving it impossible to continue serving the current number of children supported by the program, and ultimately leading to approximately 1000 students suffering under poor educational conditions.  According to Ann Duplessis, President of… Read More

Celebrating 51 Years in Education!

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week!  For the second year, New Schools for New Orleans  has announced their Excellence in Teaching Awards.  One  educator they are celebrating is Sylvia Crier. Ms. Crier, a social studies teacher at McDonald 35 Senior High School, has been teaching for 51 years. That’s dedication! “She makes sure we leave her class with the most gained knowledge. She’s one of those kinds of teachers you are going to remember… Read More

The Moment I Knew I Was Called to Teach

The moment I knew I was going to become an educator was during my last year of college, volunteering at a local elementary school in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana. One afternoon one of my fifth-grade students asked me where I attended college. I told them I attended Louisiana State University. My college and this school were located less than five minutes away from each other and as a total surprise and shock to… Read More