Louisiana

Louisiana's Opportunity Gap

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The Urgency of Now, a new report from the Schott Foundation for Public Education, finds that 49 percent of Black male students graduated from Louisiana schools in four years, compared to 63 percent of Latino male students and 63 percent of White male students. The report cites the dire "pushout' and "lockout" crises hurting students of color and denying them access to a fair and substantive opportunity to learn. For more info, including state and district data, visit blackboysreport.org.
   
View the report's Louisiana press release here.

The Raise Your Hand Campaign is a student-led research initiative in New Orleans schools that pulled together student testimony and research from 6 different public high schools and examined the opportunities, or lack thereof, available to students in the years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. The report examines everything from teaching quality and student support services to physical environment and school food, and gives each school a report card and recommendations for improvement. 

Part 2 of the ongoing series "A Perfect Storm: The Takeover of New Orleans Public Schools," chronicles how the city's struggling public schools were seized by the state following Hurricane Katrina and handed over to private, charter school operators. Now, in the nation's first all-charter school district, New Orleans parents and students must contend with the failures of this massive experiment in "school choice."

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In a victory for parents and students fighting mass school closures and charter school expansion, the U.S. Department of Education has opened civil rights investigations in Chicago, Newark and New Orleans after organizers filed federal complaints in May.

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"Juking the stats" is a practice now so ingrained in the way education solutions are posed to the public that examples are rampant. An especially egregious example is the way school administration in New Orleans – where the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina was used as an opportunity to summarily fire school teachers and turn over the majority of schools to privately managed, outside charter school operators – is now being marketed as a “solution” for public education everywhere.

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The world watched in horror as Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast in 2005. But for New Orleans’ public school students, parents, and teachers, the tragedy of Katrina was just the beginning.

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Gina Womack, Executive Director of Families and Friends of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children, is speaking tonight at Wheelock College in Boston about how to end the school-to-prison pipeline.

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Policy
National Opportunity to Learn Campaign, Dec 2011
In the first in a series of policy proposals, the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign advocates the creation of Personal Opportunity Plans for every student who is one grade level or more behind in reading or math, giving them access to the academic, social and heathcare supports they need to get back on track.
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Policy
The Dignity in Schools Campaign, Aug 2012
The Dignity in Schools Campaign Model Code on Education and Dignity presents a set of recommended policies to schools, districts and legislators to help end school pushout and protect the human rights to education, dignity, participation and freedom from discrimination. The Code is the culmination of several years of research and dialogue with students, parents, educators, advocates and researchers who came together to envision a school system that supports all children and young people in reaching their full potential.
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Report
Center for Civil Rights Remedies at UCLA's Civil Rights Project , Aug 2012
This report analyzes data from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights on school discipline and suspensions in the 2009-10 school year to reveal the unconscionable disparities regarding which students are pushed out of the classroom through out-of-school suspensions.The source data covers 7,000 school districts and represents 85 percent of all public school students, making this report the first and most comprehensive analysis of the impact of out nation's school discipline policies.
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